My Favorite Place On Earth

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Well, it’s no secret that I love to travel. I’m one of those people that’s just addicted to it. I love everything about traveling, including the journey to and from my destination. As a result, I have a lot of places that I really like and want to visit again, but there’s only one place that has my heart: our Greek island. Ok, it’s not really OUR island, but it certainly feels like it to me.

A little back story for you. For as long as I can remember, my summers were spent in Greece. I don’t think that I spent a single summer in the U.S. until I was well into my teenage years. As a result, a large part of me feels like I grew up there. My aunt had a beachside condo that was in a gated community filled with kids my age. We’re talking 20-30 kids who would spend all day swimming in the ocean and all night having parties and bonfires. My brother and I were usually the only Americans, but there was always the occassional Brit or South African thrown into the mix as well. Those summers are probably my best memories from childhood.

Although my parents bought our house on the island back in the mid-1980s, I didn’t fully enjoy the house until I got to college where I had my fill of kids my age during the school year and I was really craving my solitiude. Our house was made for solitude and self-reflection. Set 3 kilometers up the side of the mountain, it’s a pretty steep drive to get up to where we are. Here’s a picture of the village:

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Notice how all of the house are staggered so that every single one has an amazing view of sunsets like these:

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The land that you see the sun setting behind is the mainland of Greece. I have to say that in the summers, I live for those sunsets. I absolutely refuse to leave the house before I get to see what beautiful sight I was granted that day. My father and the Irishman typically will take their beers down to the balcony and toast the sunset with “Mythos Time.” Mythos is a Greek beer that my husband greatly approves of.

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Island life really agrees with someone who likes alone time as much as I do. This is an average day of Cyndy island life: wake up, go running, eat, go to the beach, eat, take a nap, read a book, drink wine with the sunset, go out to eat. Now tell me, does it really get any better than that?

It isn’t just that I’m doing all of my favorite things there that makes me love the place so much. It’s that it seems like the planets are truly aligned and I’m constantly tapped into my inner peace. This is the only place in the world that the Irishman doesn’t stand a chance against me in any game (typically, he’s freakishly lucky and is incapable of losing at most things). I beat him regularly at gin rummy, backgammon and finally, darts. If you need further evidence that this house is my utopia, I’d like to bring your attention to a particular dart game where I needed to hit two bullseyes for the win (let me point out that I am a really poor dart player). Take a look at this picture and notice the two bullseyes right in the center. Yup, that was me.

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If I ever want a change of scenery, I can just drive around the island (about 60 miles all the way around). There are amazing views like this one from every stretch of the road and each beach is different from the ones next to it so in reality, it could take you an entire summer to explore them all.

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I’m pretty nostalgic at the moment because this is the first summer in 8 years that I’m not going to visit my island. It’s kind of like being in a long distance relationship. My soul aches to go there and when I’m there, I soak up every single second of every day; however, leaving the island is always hard for me to do. When I’m sailing away from the island on a ferry boat like the one below, I take comfort in the fact that my house and my island will always be waiting for me with open arms when I return.

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