Life belongs to the living and he who lives must be prepared for changes– Goethe
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…
Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
An extract from my diary over the summer…
I’m sitting in the back of a black pick up truck, speeding along next to a wheelbarrow and spades. The pine laden green mountains sit splendidly in the midday heat, peaks and troughs rolling to right and left. Lining the road are tall, slightly bending trees, lush green tops dipping down towards the fields like giant oregano sprigs. Houses and restaurants are dotted at intervals along the way, interspersed with building sites, petrol stations and sprawling fields. Every now and then a scene from village life spills out onto the tarmac: a horse drawn carriage with its leathery skinned driver, a colourful, scarf covered lady carrying a bucket, workers in the fields, backs bent low to the ground, surrounded by the rich, sun drenched fields.
Meanwhile cars speed past, coach loads of tourists peer quizzically from the windows of their air conditioned thrones, on their way direct from the airport to their resorts and all inclusive holidays, the signs for which line the road.
The wind blows through my hair, locals wave and smile and I’m feeling THAT sensation which comes and goes at various times, but is as much a drug as any pill…the travel bug, freedom and adventure.
The engine rattles and my iPod plays earthy reggae tunes as the sun beats down. Sometimes hitchhiking is the best thing in the world!
Sorry what? Hitchhiking? Aren’t I supposed to be walking all the way to India? True, but what I’ve realised over the last few months here in Turkey is that flexibility is one of the most important things in any journey. And especially now as visa problems begin to rear their ugly head for the first time. 3 months has passed by like a whirlwind, and now I have 3 days before my Turkish visa expires. So North, South, East or West? Georgia, Armenia, Iran or back to Greece, for some island hopping? Decisions decisions. What does my gut tell me (apart from how delicious my Turkish breakfast was!)?!!
Rhodes is just a short boat ride away, Georgia, Armenia and Iran are 1,800+ kilometres.
2 days hitching or some island hopping?
Well when it’s put like that…there’s really only one option!
Land of the colossus here we come. The summer sun and islands call me, or perhaps it’s the sirens. After all, what’s the rush? “Better that the journey lasts a lifetime”. Ithaca you are still so very, very far away.
The bay of Marmaris spreads out below: orange roofs, white walls, blue turquoise waters, surrounded by the same dark green mountains…
Breathe, breathe, breathe…
If you feel overwhelmed, breathe. It will calm you and release the tensions.
If you are worried about something coming up, or caught up in something that already happened, breathe. It will bring you back to the present.
If you are moving too fast, breathe. It will remind you to slow down, and enjoy life more.
Breathe, and enjoy each moment of this life. They’re too fleeting and few to waste.