I’m back. After 12 days of wandering through ancient ruins, eating the best olive oil (and tomatoes) in the world, and soaking up the sun on some of the most enticing beaches I’ve ever seen…I’ve returned to reality (well, my version of it anyhow).
You might be wondering if I had the urge to cry yesterday as our plane lifted off and I watched the circular archipelago of volcanic islands that makes up Santorini grow smaller and smaller and finally disappear. The answer is yes; it damn near ripped my heart out. Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco but I left mine in Santorini, tucked away in the mountainside town of Oia overlooking the vibrant blue waters of the Caldera.
I hope you enjoyed the stories and myths I left you with during my absence. I wasn’t sure how connected I’d be able to be – or would want to be – while I was gone. At the beginning of my trip, I had the best intentions when it came to blogging from the road. I started posting little tidbits from my journey, but soon I found myself worrying about where and when I’d find the next Internet connection (and whether or not I’d return home to an enormous cell phone bill if I kept updating from my phone).
Ultimately, I decided to embrace disconnectivity and accept that the world at large would go on without me. I became so disconnected, in fact, that one day, in Athens, we overheard a news report that more rioting had broken out…in Athens. We all looked at each other with furrowed brows. Really? We hadn’t even noticed.
After a few more days, I lost all sense of time. “People dress very casually for work here,” we observed while we waited to catch the Metro to the airport. That was before we figured out that it was Sunday.
In retrospect, unplugging for a little while was the right decision. I didn’t blog, tweet, e-mail or write in my travel journal. I didn’t even write a postcard (until the very last day in the airport). Instead of having my nose glued to my iPhone, I let myself gaze out the window, take in the scenery, and really just absorb Greece.
The unplugging, however, has been far easier than the plugging back in. My brain feels like mush today, my fingers seem to only vaguely remember their way around the keyboard and my computer spent the first three hours of the morning giving me and my password the cold shoulder. Luckily, I’m still in vacation mode so my impatience hasn’t kicked in yet.
We’ll see how things go tomorrow…