“But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.”
– Bill Bryson, Neither Here Nor there: Travels in Europe
It is easy to feel lost when traveling in another country. Greek doesn’t make much sense to me, the letters are unfamiliar and strange. I squint when I read signs and am constantly puzzled when I make a turn on a block, always losing my way–the beauty of traveling to a new place, you never know what to expect or where you’re going to end up.
I wake up everyday and I make it my mission to explore. Instead of getting off at the correct bus stop I stay on, enjoying the ride for a few more stops, hoping I might see another jewel from Thessaloniki. Sometimes getting lost is intentional but most of the time it’s not (and that’s okay too).
After thirteen days of being in Greece I no longer feel worried, scared or alone. Before, it felt like my anxiety was going to swallow me whole.
I don’t feel like a tourist invading the country for a few week and then jetting back home, barely letting the city reveal it’s secrets. I feel changed but I am still the same person. I’m undergoing an experience that has just started but in the blink of an eye will be–unfortunately, regrettably (insert another synonym here)–over.