While I sat on a wall by the Three Bells of Fira and blue domed church, I stared out over the coastline and the volcano. The beauty of the church against the Aegean Sea backdrop was unbelievable. To be honest, I think that I was sitting there because I was tired of walking and was over walking up and down stairs. The day of wandering had really taken it out of me which is embarrassing because it was still relatively early in my three week journey of adventuring but I was tired. Stairs can really force all the energy out of you at a significantly faster rate than expected.
As I sat there to truly catch my breath and cool down, I took some time to reflect. I was still within the first week of the solo portion of my trip and I had officially set foot in my 29th country. The next day I would be flying to my 30th country and I would be achieving my goal of 30 countries and I needed to take the time to really think about how that made me feel. Here’s what was running through my head while I sat there looking out over the coastline, on the verge of hitting my 30th country.
- Is this for real? Santorini cannot be a real place and I am just imaging it all. This place is absurdly beautiful and must be a dream. I mean… Look at it. It is unreal.
- What if I never go home? What if I just sit on this wall and miss my flight to Serbia? I’m sure the hotel would be okay if I jut continued renting out that room.
- Could I afford renting that room for even longer? Maybe they’ll give me a discount for living there permanently. What would I do for a job?
- How is it possible that I am about to set foot on my 30th country? How is it possible that I am currently chilling in my 29th country? Did I actually think that this was possible when I set up this goal? No. Flat no. When I decided to set this goal, deep down I was afraid that I wouldn’t achieve this and for a hot minute there, I didn’t think I would. I mean, with two job changes, two state moves, how have I accumulated enough time off to make this happen?
- Everything about this scenario is 100% unexpected. I set this goal for 30 countries in 2014 after getting out of the rut and had never traveled alone before. There was always someone waiting for me on the other side of the flight and here I am, sitting by myself on a wall in Santorini, Greece about to hit my goal. It’s weird to think that one event can be the catalyst for changing everything about yourself and forcing you take risks that you never thought you could take. Would I be sitting here if it hadn’t been for that loss? Would I have traveled at this rate if it hadn’t been for that loss? Would something else have happened that would have propelled me in this direction? Is this where my life was supposed to end up?
- Remember to work to live. Work isn’t everything and this is proof within itself. I have a job that allowed me to do this and now I’m seeing one of the most beautiful sunsets of my life. If it hadn’t been for this job, I would be sitting somewhere else contemplating other things.
- Be thankful. I am thankful (yes this came out as an inner monologue). More thankful than I think I can ever truly express and put into words.
- Okay, I’m cold.
- I should get some dinner before I head into the room and repack. Oh crap, I need to repack for the flight. Hopefully I can compress everything down so that I can squeeze my bag into the tiny overhead bins. Wait? Am I taking a prop plane back to Athens tomorrow? Set reminder on my phone so that I can check when I get back to wifi.
And with that, I began to make my way back down to the real world and off the city center to go find some food.