Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

(I’ve created a couple of entries before this one, mostly just photos, that I didn’t notify you about. You can go check them out if you feel like it). I’ve been much like a butterfly, flitting about from island to island, staying longer on those that please me (when ferry connections allow), and less time on those that don’t. I was looking forward to settling in for a few days on the island of Santorini; alas, it’s not the island for me. While beautiful, it is expensive and overrun with tourists. I can’t get a sense of what the place and its people are really about. Imagine a piece of antique wooden furniture that, rather than being stained, has been painted. One can see the form and shape and understand the function of the piece, but none of its true characteristics or nature show through. This is how I feel about Santorini. On tourist shops: It’s mind-melting to imagine what possible connection to Santorini, or anywhere else for that matter, a person could make from a hedgehog night light, Santa Claus oven mitts, or a Homer Simpson hoodie sweatshirt. For whatever psychological reason, people have a burning need to buy something – anything – when they are on vacation. I’m happy for the people who work here, and embarrassed for those who purchase. I barely took any photos here. Just not inspired (oh, and I also happened to accidentally delete all my photos from the first day). I miss Milos and especially Folegandros. Their authenticity, their quiet, their unpolished beauty. My favourite part of Santorini has been my time spent with Kostas, who owns a clothing shop on the caldera. We talked for hours of his village on the island of Kefelonia; of fishing, making wine and olive oil, of painting, of people and their nature. From the first day he arrives on Santorini in the spring, he counts the days until he goes back to Kefelonia in the fall. I will miss him. I am taking a gravol and a catamaran to the island of Paros in an hour. I’ve come to a great revelation about the travel time between places: much like life, it’s about the journey, and not the destination. I have come to think of the time spent on ferries, buses and the like as part of the adventure, rather than simply dead time between two places. I meet people, I see beautiful things, I talk and I think. It’s important to take in the surroundings, no matter where you find yourself. Because in travel, again as in life, if you spend too much time worrying about where you’re going, you miss out on all the beauty of where you already are.

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