Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why Greece?

Alot of people have been asking me concerning my travels, why Greece? And it's not an easy question to answer because I have not really thought about it. Why is Greece more special than any other location on the globe, and its culture better than any others? My answer is that Greece isn't any better, but for me, it was a matter of just choosing a place.

It is common I think to do the whole Eurotrip thing and see all of Europe. From the beginning, I knew I did not want to do this. When your visiting 15 or more countries in just a month or two, it must be hard to really experience any one culture. The main objective of my trip this summer is to experience a different culture then my own, and to do this I knew I had to just pick one.

For a long time I had been wanting to read The Iliad and The Odyssey, and this last semester at school I was given the opportunity to read them for my philosophy class. Last year in school I took a class on art history and my favorite period was ancient Greek and Roman architecture; I always thought it would be amazing to see the stuff in person. These are just a few things that got me thinking about Greece, and while they have romanticized my idea of the country, they have nevertheless made the decision to go to Greece an easy one to make.

Now, I am careful of this romanticism, and try to dismiss some of the expectations that have come out of it. I have heard this is the best things to do when traveling, and I imagine it would be a good thing to do in all of life.

In a week I leave for Greece, only with a "short" two week detour in New York. I swear it will be the longest two weeks of my life, but I have a family reunion in upstate New York that I am really excited about. I will be seeing much of my family from all over the country. The rest of my time will be spent in Manhattan and then Philadelphia, where I am visiting The Simple Way (, a community of Christians simply living the way the Bible teaches. After that, I will be on my way to Greece for a whole two months and then England for a week. It was cheaper airfare this way. I do not have a ticket yet from Greece to England. I purposefully left this detail of my trip unknown, to leave room for spontaneity. When I arrive in Greece I have a place to stay for the first three nights in Athens. After that, everything is up in the air.

People have been asking if I am nervous? I don't think the reality of the trip has actually hit me yet. Or maybe it's just the opposite; I am so sure of this trip and have been convinced of it for so long that I am more than ready. I am prepared in my mind and in my heart, not so much in body (where I will go or eat or sleep), but I think the unfinished details are the most beautiful thing about it. There is currently very little room for fear in my pool of emotions, but only excitement for the unknown, confidence in vulnerability, enthusiasm for a land I have not visited and for a people I have not met.

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