Where to begin. I've started this blog at a crossroad: the end of my first chapter in Northern Greece and the beginning of a very uncertain, but very exciting future. For the past couple months, my boyfriend Charlie and I have been living out of a hotel in the small village of Arnea. I mean tiny. Charlie is here for his job as an engineer, and I've been keeping myself busy with my position as editor and social media marketer for The Gutsy Traveler. Lucky for me, my jobs allows me to work from wherever.
It has been an incredible and eye-opening experience for so many different reasons. One, we are living in a country with a failing economy. Two, our "home" is a teeny-tiny hotel room with just a bed. Three, not much happens in this sleepy town--so we have become quite the spectacle for the locals. Especially Charlie who towers over everyone at 6'5". Four, we can't communicate with most of the people here. Lastly (and most importantly), we get to spend our weekends exploring the most beautiful, picturesque landscapes and historical sites you can imagine.
You learn a lot about yourself when you are forced out of your comfort zone, and you get lots of thinking done when you spend your days observing, not talking. Not to mention you definitely know you are compatible with your significant other if you can live in such close quarters for that long.
We have spent hours driving through rural Greece, observing beautiful villas next to fields of olive trees one moment, and boarded-up businesses and homes the next. The good and the bad.
But the memories that we take away from this experience are the ones spent in awe of the natural beauty that Greece has to offer. The sandy beaches with ocean-smoothed rocks, the beautiful river running through the town of Edessa before cascading off the cliff into a roaring waterfall, the gorgeous monasteries nestled thousands of feet up in the cliffs of Meteora, and the seaside promenade of bustling Thessaloniki--the cultural capital of Greece. (You can read more about my experience in Thessaloniki on The Gutsy Traveler.)
The only thing missing from this experience was Daisy, since the hotel wouldn't allow us to bring her. Every picture I took felt a little incomplete (if you follow me on Instagram, you know what I mean). But with an abundance of strays to feed and care for, I made lots of Greek friends, just of the four-legged variety. Nevertheless, there is no way I am ever going to leave Daisy for this long again. When you are used to having a furry companion 24/7, there is no going back. Atleast it was comforting to know she was in good hands with Charlie's parents.
We don't know where the company will be sending Charlie after the holidays--maybe Turkey or someplace else in Greece. Not knowing is definitely something I find hard to swallow, but if this experience has taught me anything it is that you just have to go with it.
In about a weeks time, I will be back in the states or as I think of it now, the land of Sushi, Mexican food, automatic transmissions and television in English. Back to my pup, friends and family--and ready to take on whatever adventure comes next.
Stay tuned for my upcoming photo series of Greek animals.