And…cut!

I’m writing this blog post from my apartment in Rome, Italy with my mom in the next room packing for our next stop, Florence. I am ecstatic to travel across Italy and yet, it’s weird not packing next to Isabelle in my Thessaloniki apartment. It’s even stranger to be taking a train rather than the 20-person-full Greyhound bus. The weirdest part of all…I even miss the whole journalism part too (don’t tell Carlene 😉 )

Right now, aside from the aforementioned feelings of weird, I don’t think I have even begun to process what I just did during these past five weeks. To tide my loyal fans over (and to satisfy the required posting of blogs) I have put together a 7ish min montage of my time in Greece. I would like to pre-apologize to Mike, for I have used zero tripods in the making of this clip, BUT I did include audio fades and one transition.

Enjoy.

If you have been reading this blog, then you know of my roller coaster of emotions in my “On…” series. While those feelings were true to their core, while on this trip, those represent just a small snapshot of all the moods, feelings and thoughts I’ve had in this short period of time. I hope that I can someday put all of them into writing, either on this blog or elsewhere, but honestly I don’t see that ever being possible. Anger from this trip will fade into melancholy and acceptance, sadness into a tiny fraction of what it was and sadly, even the extreme happiness found in Greece will turn a less vibrant shade of yellow as the small details slip away.

However, this trip should not be looked at as fragments of a whole but as a huge, amazing, extraordinarily-hard-to-describe-no-matter-how-much-I-want-to experience of a lifetime that I will forever cherish and remember as something that has helped me to grow as a journalist, a friend and an overall person.

Thanks for reading.

Now, onto pizza, pasta, gelato and a well deserved break from reporting.

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Just a Small Town Girl…?

I have always been one for big cities, having grown up in one way too small for my liking. Boston called my name last year, a welcome escape from the suburbia of Edina, Minnesota.

Leaving Thessaloniki behind for the bigger and more well know Athens, I did not experience the same longing to be in the big city. Instead I felt a pang of sadness and a sense of nostalgia for the city I had only come to know in three weeks time.

Thessaloniki was not amazing because of its grandeur. Its skinny streets with half-closed shops and street cats did not shimmer with the foreign luster I desired when I first came to Greece. Instead, warn shop signs and tobacco scented air became the sights and smells of home. I knew the man at the gyro place down the street and the lady who worked at the deli counter who never once poked fun at my weekly visit for turkey and cheese (to pack school lunches for Asia and I).

As many of my friends here have mentioned, the boardwalk along the Aegean sea captured my heart from the very first (sweaty) stroll down its length. Serving as the compass rose for our small city, I always came back to the sea. While abroad in a new place, the moment I feel at home is the moment I realize that I know where I am and can make my way home from wherever that may be. On the boardwalk, eating a chocolate cake with Asia and Isabelle, I could turn to the left and remember when I chased protests with David and Bradley, to the right is where we took midnight boat rides and straight ahead is the old city, perched on the hill extending up into the horizon.

I am writing this blog post from Athens, in a humid hotel room with Paxtyn by my side, doing the same. I do not long for Thessaloniki, Alexandrias 124 or even the boardwalk, but they will forever hold a place in my heart. The three weeks spent there sounds like an arbitrary amount of time, but when you are dropped into a city and made to find stories, you learn the city quickly and soon after that, falling in love is inevitable.

While it is sad to say, I will most likely not return to Thessaloniki. I have a dream to travel the world, and that does not allow any time for do-overs. It is time for Athens now, a full two weeks to learn, map, explore and write about a new city. Athens is bigger and busier for sure, but after exploring for just four hours today with Theo (our guide of sorts) and Asia, I can tell my heart will be bruised when I must leave, just the same as it was when I left our first city.

Here’s to you Thessaloniki. Thank you for hosting me and helping me acclimate into Greece.

And to you Athens, here I am.