Best Trip So Far

Best Trip So Far

Omaira Gonzalez

If you are like me, you have probably watched the movies “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” or “Mama Mia” and dreamed of one day visiting Greece. I finally made it in May 2018 in celebration of my 31st anniversary, and I fell madly in love with Greece, making it one of my best vacations yet.

It was spectacular, and I learned a few things on this trip. Here is what I discovered.

Be ready

I do not mean be ready in the sense of clothes, shoes, and that sort of stuff. Yes, of course, pack light, wear comfortable shoes and wear lots of sunscreen lotion. However, I mean more like be ready to experience every facet of Greece. I was on a boat with my husband, and I decided to stay inside as it was very windy and cold. My husband, on the other hand, decided to remain on the deck, and he witnessed Dolphins jumping alongside the boat. I could not believe I had missed it. I learned a valuable lesson that day: do not focus on the present situation, if you do, you might miss amazing opportunities that may not repeat themselves.

Be open

Greece is full of culture, amazing people, and let’s not forget the delicious food. Fresh Greek salads with bread and virgin olive oil. Yum. Practically everything you eat there is like an explosion of flavors in your mouth. I tried different dishes, and I was never disappointed. However, I also enjoyed walking down those beautiful streets of Santorini, Mykonos and Athens. As we strolled down the streets, we ran into people from almost every part of the world it seemed. At times, it was challenging trying to navigate through the language barriers. I learned that a smile, a kind gesture and a warm greeting is a language we all can understand. We met some great people along the way that made this trip extremely memorable.

Be surprised

Upon our arrival to Santorini, my husband and I had booked a room at a lovely hotel. The staff learned that we were celebrating our anniversary and, upon our arrival, greeted us with Champaign and hugs…yes, hugs (loved it). The biggest surprise was when they shared that the owner has several hotel establishments, and when he learned about our anniversary, he upgraded our stay to a 5-star suite. It was gorgeous and had amazing views. I witnessed some of the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises. I learned that life will surprise you with some good – do not question it, do not be suspicious, but receive those blessings and recognize how much God does love you. I also learned that the sunrise is just as beautiful as the sunset.

Be Adventurous

We thought it would be a good idea at Thira, Santorini to walk down the steps with the donkeys instead of waiting for the cable car line or riding a donkey down. Not quite the adventure I was hoping for, as I was extremely nervous and scared. Many times, donkeys would surround us, I could feel my heart beating in my chest, and I desperately made my way out. Here is what happened next: we took the cable car up. That was the end of that adventure. We also rented mopeds and rode around the island, visiting the different beaches and enjoying the scenery. It was breathtaking. I learned that getting lost can be more fun, will lead you to discover more and will give you some pleasant surprises. I also learned that you might not always enjoy every adventure you embark on, but have them anyways.

I am convinced that I will revisit Greece once again, and I would love others to plan the trip as well. It is full of history, culture, adventure and many surprises. Be ready, be open, be surprised and be adventurous.

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Omaira Gonzalez is the COO for Family Bridges. Omaira and her husband of 30+ years love adventure, long walks and Broadway shows. With their two kids Yomari and Omar, and new granddaughter, they enjoy great meals and playing board games. But look out–losing is not an option!

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