Every trip, no matter what precautions are taken, there are always one or two days that may be your undoing. Whether it’s choosing the wrong type of transport, an overslept travel day, or a shady encounter, it’s never going to always be smooth sailing in a foreign ocean.
Greece 2019 was almost my kryptonite. It was like the universe was telling me that squishing a full day of travel to a brand new country, that is home to over 5000 islands, into three days was a bad idea…did i listen to my intuition? Hells no, I wanted to go to Greece!
After much deliberation and extensive crowd sourcing, Mykonos was chosen to fulfil all my feta-spiked dreams, and I hastily booked flights and accommodation, whilst sitting atop a double decker bus-come-hostel in the Algarve.
The trip was doomed from the start. Not only did I book a flight from Athens to Mykonos that departed before my flight had even landed from Lisbon, but once arriving to Athens airport, I was told I was on standby, the flight had been oversold. It was then the waterworks commenced. With a look of pity, the woman behind the check-in counter assured me I would get on the flight, that this was standard procedure. She was right and my tears and I landed safely at Mykonos airport at 10pm Friday night.
On recommendation, I had booked a hotel room slightly over my budget but situated right at Platys Gialos, the heart of my Greek beach needs. So when my taxi pulled up to the hotel and the reception was locked I was all kinds of confused.
After summoning the poor owner from her home to ‘check me in’, I was informed that she was booked out and I didn’t have my particular booking at her end. Panicked, we both checked our booking.com accounts. It seemed I had a confirmed booking for a hotel of this name…but on another island! Cue the waterworks again!
Recognising my distress but not quite knowing how to deal with a 33-year-old weeping Australian girl, the owner helped me search for a nearby refuge who could house me for the night. With my head hung low and tears rolling down my face, I shuffled 200m round the corner to a quaint BnB.
Upon seeing my face, the elderly owner, who spoke little-to-no English rushed to my aid as I spluttered to her my booking details. Compassion doesn’t require the tool of a mutual language; she settled me into a chair, brought me a huge glass of wine, and a water for good measure, and fetched another staff member who could translate my needs.
Led to my room, relief flooded me knowing I had somewhere to rest my head for the night, somewhere filled with love and care (and a bucket-sized glass of wine). These small moments of genuine hospitality can leave a life-long heart shaped memory and I will be forever thankful for that woman’s one night of perfect hospitality.
And as the sun rose the next day and I looked out at could only be described as the most perfect view I had ever seen, I knew the Aegean gods had my back.
Please enjoy a post-essay picture story…