As the plane touched the ground, cheers were heard amongst the group of weary travelers. Admittedly, I was one of those cheering to be back on U.S. soil after traveling in Greece for almost two weeks and being in transit for nearly twenty hours. I’m the type of person that the Concorde supersonic jet was built for – the type that needs to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Sitting and waiting do not seem to be among my strengths. I was probably one of those kids that sat in the back seat and asked “Are we there, yet?” Now that I’m back on my own terra firma and supervising fifty loads of laundry, I can take pause to reflect upon certain aspects of my trip.
My daughter has truly become an independent, self-assured young lady. She’s always been mature and independent, but her tenure abroad has added a new dimension to her confidence. She bravely went to Greece alone, made new friends, learned to speak and read some modern Greek – which is no easy task, excelled in her five difficult university courses, and with the ease of a seasoned traveler, she navigated her way around Greece, Bulgaria, Egypt, and Jordan. Her extensive knowledge of Greek history was evident as she proved herself a competent tour guide ushering me and my husband throughout the historic sites in the city of Athens. I listened intently as she spoke passionately about the economic and cultural issues of Greece – a country she vows to return to one day.
Whereas my daughter wants to be a world traveler, I discovered I really don’t enjoy traveling for extended periods of time. I am good for about ten days and then I start to get weary of the hustle and bustle and the lack of a good night’s sleep. Having been fortunate to have traveled a bit, I acknowledge that I’ve seen sights and sounds in parts of the world that other people only dream of. I would never trade my memories of visiting my dad’s village in China or of my first glimpse of the crystal clear, cerulean blue waters surrounding Bora Bora or of the charming little towns of Italy’s Cinque Terre, but at some point during all of these trips, the overall strain of traveling and sightseeing starts to overshadow the wonderment.
Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard.” This morning as I sipped my tea, I gazed out of my kitchen window and looked at my backyard. With gazania, geranium, and begonia blossoms painting the garden with vivid splashes of color and carpet roses cascading over boulders like an undulating ribbon, I indulged myself a few moments to take it in. The scent of citrus blossoms wafted through the window and the sounds of water trickling from the fountain welcomed me home. Greece was wonderful to visit, but to me there’s no place like home.
Adventures in Greece – to be continued . . .