Never be afraid to do what makes you happy.
March 25 was a national holiday in Greece celebrating the beginning of the revolution against the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire occupied Greece from 1453 until a peace treaty was signed war in 1829. (Since this is my blog and not a research paper, I’m not going to cite my sources. If you’d like to read more, I highly recommend Google.)
I was grateful for the opportunity to experience Greek Independence Day. Children dressed up in costumes for classes on Thursday; when I looked out from my sixth floor balcony, I could see billowing blue and white flags on almost every other balcony.
Since I had a three-day weekend, I decided that I wanted to explore one of the beautiful areas around Thessaloniki. However, no one else in my study abroad program wanted to travel with me.
So I decided to travel alone.
I was a little worried, but not a lot. I was already familiar with the bus station in Thessaloniki as well as the culture and environment of northern Greece. So I booked myself an AirBnB (which I’d never stayed in before), woke up at 7 a.m. on Friday morning and bought myself a one-way ticket to Kavala!
Kavala is a port city in northern Greece. When you Google pictures of Greece, it’s not a city that shows up in the first 4 pages (yes, I checked,) which is a shame because Kavala was incredibly beautiful.
Every time I thought I found the best view, I turned a corner and there was an even better picture waiting a few steps away.
My weekend in Kavala consisted of:
Kavala was amazing and I hope to go back before the end of the semester, hopefully when it’s a bit warmer.
Find Your Happy Place
Before I end this post and shamelessly direct you to the page where I’ve posted some of the pictures of my trip, I’d like to take a moment to encourage more people to travel alone.
Traveling alone is peaceful in a way that is difficult to describe. I didn't have to worry about getting to do or see everything I wanted. I also didn't have to struggle to please everyone else while traveling. I didn't have to meet anyone else's expectations of what vacation or a trip should be.
This isn't to say I'll never travel with other people again, because I definitely will. But my trip helped me understand that I can also be content on my own.
I was able to set my own expectations and didn't feel stressed if I didn't fulfill them. I was able to move at my own pace, to stop when I wanted, to keep going when I didn't want to stop.
I loved traveling alone, which wasn't what I expected to feel. I was content to be alone when, normally, I prefer to be surrounded by other people.
Granted, I still can't go very long without messaging friends and family or making new friends as I visit new places.
But after my trip to Kavala, I realized I’m going to be just fine traveling alone again.