In the summer of 2009 I traveled to the Greek Islands with a large group of friends. It’s amazing how organized a group of MBAs can get 🙂 We began our journey in Athens under the cover of the amazing Acropolis. It never fails to amaze me that structures are still standing from centuries ago. I always find myself wondering about the people who built them: what were they like, what were their dreams, and did they think they were building something that people would travel thousands of miles to see?
Sometimes in the midst of our crazy modern lives we forget that the things we do may indeed just be what becomes a lasting impact on history. I’m sure the builders of the many ruins didn’t think they were doing anything spectacular they were just doing their jobs. Gives you something to think about the next time you wonder about your ability to make a difference.
This was my second trip to Greece, but unlike my last visit this time I made it to a place I have been dreaming of going for quite some time…Santorin! It was as lovely and beautiful as I had imagined. I found that even I could take postcard worthy pictures 🙂 Our island tour began with a bang…of sorts…we rented matching tiny yellow cars for a wine tasting extravaganza. Let’s just say that only one car made it through the day in one piece and some of us got to experience the joys of a Greek police station! Yes one of the lucky ones was me. We were involved in a hit and run accident. And yours truly got pictures of the runaways. We were taken to the station to give our statements, trying our best to wait patiently while they translated from English to Greek while ignoring the cat calls from those behind the jail cells. Something we found interesting is that the prisoners get their food from friends and relatives that bring it by, very different from our US system. Finally we were released thanks to one of our classmates coming to our rescue…never underestimate the power of a woman’s smile!
With its black sand beaches and hidden treasures, Santorin is truly a place I could keep going back to time and time again (minus the police encounters). One of my favorite memories is of finding this small church; I’ll never forget the feeling of accomplishment I felt upon spotting it in the distance. It’s located on the back side of a mountain that juts out from the island. It can only be seen from the sea….after 3 attempts we finally located it. Honestly no easy feat, it involved everything from climbing rocks to following crooked dirt paths to undetermined locations. Definitely some prayer involved along the way, for those faithful followers I’m sure they are ready for church upon arrival. With its white walls and blue dome it was one of the most breathtaking sights I’ve seen. Our excitement gave us the courage to climb up to the very top of the mountain, scaling what believe were once stairs. I’ve had very few occasions in my life where I found myself in a place where it felt like it was just me and God, yet that’s how I felt that day.
And there is it…the whole point of roaming round the world in a nutshell…seeing the wonders of the world that God has made through time. In journeying outside of our local comfort zones we open ourselves and our minds to so much more than we may even realize.