18 August 2014
I’d almost call it a hole in the wall, oddly nestled between a graveyard and some abandoned warehouses, a charming place to stumble upon. Except, we had decided not to stumble upon it; such risks do not always pan out here like they do in Greece. You could end up with something you wouldn’t want to feed to anyone or anything. Except a landfill.
That was the strongest it had been since we had gotten home. That feeling of quiet yet omnipresent excitement, that something was happening, that the scenery was alive in ways you’d suddenly notice but never be able to pinpoint. That you weren’t in Kansas any more. Call it nostalgia, and you’re almost right. Almost.
I guess it was the ambiance. I don’t know why it made me feel like I was in Greece again, it just did. It was a Greek restaurant after all, even if you can’t get the same caliber of ingredients here. Even if there was lettuce in the Greek salad and the prices were perfectly shaved to the nearest 95 cent mark, sales tax not included.
But it made me happy. And it made me miss Greece, because there really is no other place quite like it. And it made me remember that I had rather promised to write about my more fascinating experiences on the Aegean, though mere words can never express anything perfectly.
I suppose when I returned to the land of my birth and citizenship, I was afraid of holding on to closely to the trip, as though it was some childish toy I would be ridiculed for keeping. Life had to press on, to return to normal, and I knew this. It’s simply true. But the whole thing was meant to be fantastically unforgettable, to change our lives. Because it wasn’t just a cruise. It wasn’t merely the highlights of the country, compiled for tourists. It was more than that.
It was music and laughter and fellowship. It was meeting dozens of amazing and talented people. It was village life, and exploring the rugged and windy coastline. It was finding time between rehearsals and concerts to leap from a cliff into the Aegean sea.
It was noise and celebration, the band of friends, and post-concert silliness.
It was silence and the roll of the sea, and small conversations, and awe.
So this is for me, and for you, and for everyone. Sort of like one last souvenir. One last wave goodbye before the plane departs. Destination: future. Passengers: everyone. And in some small way, I’m a different person today than I would have been if the trip had never happened. For that, I am truly grateful.