I always felt as though I wasn't meant to live in the unforgiving and ever-growing town of Carleton Place, Ontario; so of course I leapt at the opportunity to travel to Greece with my best friends. After over twelve hours of air travel and the consumption of airport sandwiches, stepping foot on the European earth was a blessing. The first few days we spent in the heart of lively Athens, briefly reaching the mountainous heights of Delfoi. It was a universal truth amongst our group however, that the Greek island of Hydra was easily the most enchanting. The sea was the color of viridian as we came into the coast. The island, only reachable by boat, was flooded with tourists, yet still the hospitality of the foreign language-speaking locals was beyond inclined. In ambling past gift-shops and jewelry stores, my friends and I came to a hidden group of dark-haired Europeans selling 30 minute donkey-rides up the mountain for bargain. The whole process felt a little threatening, and we weren't allowed to pay until after we had agreed and gotten on the donkeys. Concerned that we were going to be mugged by this non-english speaker, my travel buddies and I eyed each other nervously. As it turns out, the man was void of all ill-intentions and lead us wordlessly through cobblestone streets and between brightly colored buildings. The earth began to incline and the view over my shoulder was beyond breathtaking. An endless horizon, the water was sparkling a blue untouched by the infectious fingers of human consumption. The rooftops of small white houses were glowing orange in the dying of the light. All train of thought immediately dissipated, stolen from me by scenery so picturesque I felt like I was in a movie. I fell in love with the world that day, and I didn't realize how full my heart was until I left and it was empty. If for any reason, you find yourself ambling these streets and you stumble upon a man with six donkeys and a jean jacket, promise yourself you'll offer him 30 euros in exchange for a ride. I guarantee you, not a day will go by for the rest of your life that you won't wish you were back in Hydra, Greece.
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