Athens Again

Hello there world, it’s been awhile!  I’ve missed you.

For the past two years I’ve been in the same place, working and living in Massachusetts with my two best friends.  It’s been a dream, but about six months ago I started getting itchy feet again.  Time to go!  I started planning a trip to Australia, which quickly expanded to include New Zealand and Southeast Asia.  Alas, it was not to be.  One day, driving to work with NPR on in the background, I realized all at once that instead of going to Australia I had to go to Greece, to volunteer with Syrian refugees.

It was a simple, split-second decision.  One moment – Australia, next moment – Greece.  Five seconds later the entire plan unfolded in my head.  I would go to Lesbos, work with refugees landing on the beaches, and come back when my money ran out.  Then I started second guessing myself.  I’d been planning the Australia trip for months, did I really want to throw all that away?

I waffled for almost a week, but I kept coming back to the same thought: I had the means, the time, and the inclination to help.  It felt like a moral obligation.  Here was a humanitarian crisis and I was in a position to help.  The conclusion was obvious.

So here I am, partway there.  I’m writing from the Fivos Hotel in Athens.  If you’ve been following this blog for a few years that name might sound familiar – it’s the same hostel I stayed in last time I was in Athens.  It’s right by Monastiraki square and the Acropolis, and within easy walking distance of a Metro station, which is convenient because later today I’m heading to Piraeus to catch a ferry to Lesbos.

The plan as it stands is this: meet up with Anna, another volunteer taking the same ferry.  Hopefully get some sleep (it’s an overnight ferry, similar to the one I took two years ago to get to Crete) and wake up at the port in Mytilene.  Explore a bit, settle into my Airbnb with Anna and Amy, another volunteer, and figure out what to do next.  Longer term, the plan is stay on Lesbos for three or four months volunteering, then finish up with a month visiting my friend Elise in Thailand.

It feels good to be on the road again.  Sometimes I just have to go, fly off into the wind and see someplace new.  I’ve never been to Lesbos, and I’ve never done anything remotely like this.  It’ll be a completely new experience, and I’m looking forward to it.

Kalimera from Athens everyone, I’ll check in again when I make it to Lesbos and get settled.

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