Can you believe it!? After months (years, even) of contemplation and uncertainty over going abroad for an extended period of time, I finally made the decision to pull the trigger last night. The clock struck 3 AM and I sat in the kitchen with my laptop, sweating, anxious, and nervous. I finally said, “Okay, Rocky. This is it. What am I waiting for? Let’s go for it already!” There has never been a better time in my life to take a chance! If I go and fail epically, I’d rather fail fast NOW. I am not setting expectations prior to my travels because much of the beauty lies in the mystery of it all. My parents think I’ve gone crazy and I know some people will never understand but this really is about expanding my vision. The world is a vast place and doing something like this could become the adventure of a lifetime.
In that same moment, in the middle of the night, after many days of browsing destinations, prices, and everything else, my final decision was made. I bought a ticket.
In early July, I will be flying with a one-way ticket to Athens, Greece.
No joke, I have spent months figuring out the logistics of this trip. Planning the first leg required a lot of front-end work but I finally feel prepared to take the chance. The rest will unfold in due time. Traveling may sound glamorous but I can’t stress enough that I anticipate this trip will be anything but easy. Despite being “away,” I don’t expect this to be a “vacation” in the traditional sense of the word. I’m not “running away” or trying to escape from work. In fact, with what I am setting out to do, I know it will be very difficult and I will probably work harder than I did in America. I will have to learn to keep a budget and be very careful with the money I have available. I am going to be traveling to unknown places, working hard, all while trying to navigate, communicate, and get by in these unfamiliar cities. If that sounds stressful, well, yeah. This is about adventure and getting uncomfortable again.
Why Did I Choose Greece?
For a long time, I was going back and forth over whether to start my travels in Europe or in Asia. Once I decided to leave in July, I decided to start in Europe because of the hot summer weather. From there, things got really complicated because of Schengen laws. I’ll write more about this in another post but basically, Americans can only spend 3 out of every 6 months in the Schengen area which really makes any long-term travel in Europe very complicated.
I was considering going to Croatia or Bulgaria first but I ultimately settled on going to Greece (which IS inside the Schengen zone!) because I want to START my 180-day window as soon as possible. After Greece, I’ll most likely leave and go somewhere outside of Schengen the following month. Possibly Bulgaria. From there, maybe a stop in Lisbon or Paris.
What Will I Do in Greece?
Nothing is set in stone but I anticipate I will spend roughly four weeks experiencing life in Greece. I am going to use their public transportation, mainly their metro system, to get around the city of Athens. I will probably do some touristy stuff while I’m there because I’ll be in Athens and there are some places I would love to see – like the famous Acropolis!
The weather should be very hot in July so I’ll probably visit a few Greek beaches too while I’m there. Definitely going to take plenty of time to appreciate Greece’s beauty.
Some people prefer to have every detail of a trip worked out months in advance before they go somewhere. I’m intentionally not going to plan anything else during this first leg of my trip. I want to adjust, make sure I don’t overextend myself, and enjoy the city around me!
From there, I’ll decide where to go next!
So let the countdown BEGIN! T-Minus 3 months.
Somehow you reminded me of what I felt like before I left my tropical home. It was my simple yet happy little paradise. Then I move out and ventured into a bigger world. I do miss it still. Great post!
Hope that you too have photos to remember your happy little paradise. Thanks for commenting- It’s nice hearing from my readers! 🙂
Rocky–you will love Greece! I was there many years ago and it was so beautiful. The Acropolis–one amazing place. The history there is jaw-dropping. You will continue posting, right? ‘Cause I want pictures!!! Have a blast.
Ah I am so excited to hear that! It is so reassuring when friends have positive things to say about the places you’re going. I really can’t wait! I choose Greece based on a number of factors but after doing research, I can also clearly see why the city of Athens and Greece in general is such a popular tourist destination! I am getting more excited about it with each new thing I learn. Don’t worry, I will be fully connected all along the way (signal permitting)! Plenty of photos are sure to come of it. I have a post that will share more details about how I intend to stay connected along the way. Hopefully I won’t encounter too many issues with it. Stay tuned ?
Greece is a fantastic place to begin but before you go, the summer is the best time to visit many of the Greek islands. My family home is Skyros – one of the numerous islands that dot the seas. I’ve spent practically all of my summers there when my grandparents were alive. They’re removed from the metropolis of Athens so you can truly get the experience of what life in Greece is like. Naked hugs!
Thank you!!! I’m so excited. If I can arrange a way to get to Skyros, I will definitely do my best to visit the island! Sounds like a great suggestion- thank you for that!!! ?
There isn’t too much there besides my family. There is a gravesite for a British poet, Rupert Graves, I think. He died en route to Gallipoli in WWI. Naked hugs!
Hahahaha well I guess I’ll be seeing your family then! ?? hehe
Don’t worry – they abandoned cannibalism years ago! 🙂
Thats awesome! Have a great trip! Greece is on my bucket list of places to visit one day!!
Thank you!!! Definitely looking forward to crossing it off of mine! Greece sounds like it is an amazing place and I am so looking forward to exploring it.
I’ve been wanting top book my trip there. I am glad you were able to book your trip. Maybe you’ll be the inspiration I need to get my butt moving into this dream trip!
Hahaha awesome! I must say I feel honored that my experience might be an influential factor in your decision of whether or not to book it. #NOPRESSURE hahaha. In all seriousness, I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about Greece so I am not too worried. I’ll definitely let you know how it goes though! If Greece is a dream trip destination for you, I’d say don’t let anything stop you! ?
This sounds super exciting! I know you will have a great adventure and can’t wait to read about your trip as it unfolds.
Thanks man ? I’m really looking forward to it! Thanks for following by the way!
That sounds great. I really enjoyed Greece.
Awesome, happy to hear that! Where did you go in Greece?
I visited Thessaloniki and Athens mostly.
Nice! Any recommendations in Athens? If not, it’s okay. Just curious in case you know of any cool places!
Not really, because I’ve been there about 2 decades ago, so things have changed. I was very impressed with the remains of Ancient Greece, of course.
Gotcha. No problem! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing that as well! 🙂
Nice post! I’ve never been to Greece but I’m sure you’ll have a blast. If I went to Greece I’d do it the same way you’re doing it – drop into a city and figure things out as you go. Enjoy your trip! – Kendall
Hey, Kendall! Thank you so much! Appreciate the support. Yeah, I think this will be very different than any other trip I’ve ever gone on.