Poland is a European country that I have always wanted to travel to. First of all, I am a sucker for cheap prices. Secondly, the World War II history of this country is insanely important to learn about and see for yourself.
A necklace with a white, bone hook that was known as mauri jewlery. The mauri tribes of new Zealand, like the native Americans of the united states, were the first inhabitants of New Zealand. The hook design represented “safety over water.” I have worn that necklace almost religiously for the past three years of my travels.
And today, I accidentally left it behind at a Best Western hotel in Milan, Italy. It is sitting on the desk, by the TV.
I reached for it around my neck when there was turbulence on my plane heading to Athens, and a sadness came over me when I felt it was not there.
Now I just need to plan a trip to New Zealand to find a new one.
As I sat in the Skandinavian Bar, the place I dreamed of for so many months, a song echoed off the walls, “Mr. Brightside,” by The Killers. I began to have flashbacks of the ghosts of people I have met along my journey this past year.
From a little island in Greece, to Italy, London and onward to Boston, Mass, where I can still remember that snowy night at a crappy bar called Crossroads.
Me, in my fake Uggs I bought in Ireland for 5 pounds, my American roomate from Mykonos, Alison, her [now ex] Australian boyfriend Jacko, her sister Brittany and my other English room mate from Greece, Holly. Just a bunch of kids looking for their acceptance, their place in this world. We all came from different patches of the Earth, and found each other on a rock in the middle of the Aegean Sea.
…and there we were, friends about to part our separate ways, singing “Mr. Brightside,” almost in tears and in wonder how we got to where we were and how we would never forget how we met.
Would we ever see each other again? Maybe. Would things change in our lives? Definitely. But no matter what happens, we always have our memories. And that is something that can never fade.
Like all summers in Europe, my adventure starts off with a long, ridiculous number of cheap plane rides to countries I don’t really have reason to go to! People ask me, “why do you go through London all the time?”
Because it’s CHEAP! I don’t mean venture out into the great British country side and mingle with the Brits, because that will drill holes in your pockets. England is the magical country that allows you to travel on such crap airlines such as Ryan Air and Easy Jet to destinations for as cheap as a penny (on specific discounts).
I am looking forward to once again throwing my responsibilities out the window and amercing myself in all that is Mykonos and Greece. The soul pounding beats of the famous DJ’s, the crisp, alcoholic and icy goodness of pool bar Mojitos, the mouth watering morsels of Greek food, the hypnotic nightlife and the luxurious atmosphere that covers you from the top of your designer sunglassed head to the tip of your spa treated toes.
I will tan darker than before. Drink a shot of ouzo whenever I see fit. Engorge myself with as much Greek salad as I want. And damn it, I will learn those awkward Greek sounds in order to learn the language! And if life turns around and smacks me in the face when I don’t expect it, I’ll throw my hands in the air and laugh. Because that is what life and experiences, good or bad, are all about.
I have been busting my tail for the past month at work, for the second season! For those of you who need a reminder, I am the VIP head waitress in the disco. Everyone always says each summer is different, and now I can see why. My set of friends have changed, my living arrangements and even my outlook on Mykonos. I have seen Mykonos in all four seasons now, and it is such a 180 between summer and winter.
Winter in Mykonos: Quiet. I mean silent. You will be walking through the narrow streets of town and in the distance hear the faint clicking sounds of the heels of someone’s boots. At night, only a few bars are open, and you must walk through the dark to find them. However, when you do, it is like discovering an oasis in a desert. Everyone is there, drinking, laughing, singing and dancing. It is very relaxed.
Summer in Mykonos: Out-of-control. Cruise ship horns every five minutes, people laughing, screaming and running around. The narrow alley ways of town are snaked with cruise ship tourists following leaders with numbered signs. The clanging of dishes and the smell of freshly seasoned sword fish echos off the buildings of Mykonos town. The roads to the beaches are like Nascar races, and the beaches themselves are half nudist colonies, circus acts, and happy hours.
But what can I say, I love it here. There is something about the island that has been calling me for the past two years…four years if you count the period when I first came here in 2006.
This is a typical day in the life of Lindsey:
3pm: Wake up
3:30: Catch a bus to one of the beaches to promote
5:15: Hop a bus back to town
6pm: Cook dinner or go out
7pm: Take a nap!
8pm: Get ready for work
9pm-5am: Party like a rock star and get paid to do it.
So now my days are filled with promoting on the beaches, Gelato ice cream, and hanging out with my clients in the club. But as Bon Jovi says, “It’s my life, it’s now or never!”
In the past 7 months, I have been so happy I cried and been so insane that I went numb. I have been put in cultures where I didn’t know the language, people tried to trick me, pick me up, follow me, steal my money…But then I have been in cultures where they hug me, teach me customs, give me discounts because they want to help, talk about life, find me jobs and help me network.
But I have learned, that you dont have to come all the way to Europe to achieve what makes you happy. I came looking for something that in a way, I had all along. The three F’s.. friends, family and familiarity. It is not that I see myself as a superior because I have been to all these places. As long as you enjoy the world you live in and the life you lead, then you are in the right direction and no one should treat you otherwise. If you are truthful with yourself, then life is a simpler place.
Now enough of the lifestuff. Here is the down and dirty points in a semi-sarcastic nutshell of each country:Greece:
So here is what I have truly discovered about what I miss from America:
-Chips and salsa
-Just add water, 1 cup of vegetable oil and one egg cooking products like cookies, cakes, pies…
-Pharmacies being INSIDE grocery stores
-Knowing when I take cash out of my debit account, it won’t charge me or screw me over with the exchange rate ie: 100 euro is 160 USD in disguise..
-The TV shows: Cops, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy-My A-Squad and family
-Using a cell phone to talk as long as I want and not having to spend hundreds on phone CREDIT
-Using a debit card and not expecting a foreign fee
-Driving my Ford Focus
-Putting money in my bank account…legally.
-Being familiar with cities, freeways, street signs, languages, events, parties, clubs and whatever else you can imagine.
After everything is said and done in the life I lead, all I am left with is my will to try. Try to be successful, try to be a better woman than yesterday, and try to hold onto what I value. I am rare in the fact that I do what I speak of and I always will try no matter how impossible. Because to me, if you want something with every inch of your soul, nothing is impossible.
Thank you for listening to my adventure and being there for me when no one else was,
I now close my travel itinerary, and head back to familiarity