Is it better to look at ancient podiums – or dance on sticky ones in nightclubs?
WAIT. Hold that thought…as I suppose you could do both…although just the one time – after all UNESCO people are such sticklers when it comes to boogeying on their priceless ruins. But for the sake of this post how about we pretend that the two are mutually exclusive? And that one sort of trip contains that of an avid flip flops and socks wearing tourist, and the other of a red-necked nuisance. Okay?
You see I’ve been fortunate to go on both sorts of trips and they are – OH HEY LOOK A VISUAL AID RATHER THAN ME EXPLAINING!
Yup. Athens and Zakynthos (Zante); both in Greece but both completely different – just look at that distance, oooh wee. Actually this is why I HATE HATE HATE with a capital claw hammer when people check off a country from their “been to” list after seeing just one city during an hour long coach stop. NEWS FLASH: You haven’t been to England if you have only seen London, no more than you have visited China by taking a selfie on the great wall of China – sorry to be that guy…but…well…facts and all that. GO SEE MORE THINGS, NOW!
And also location aside, holidays vary massively…simply put they are not all the same! If you go for a nice church retreat to Holy Island with some holier than thou nuns, you are likely to have a different experience than a pupil widening weekend to Ibiza with the boys from your five a side team. So stop trying to pretend you can see it all in one go...you can’t.
So with all that in mind, let’s compare the two trips – and see if there is a winner (spoiler alert, there isn’t):
First up is one of the most famous cities in the world – although these pictures barely do it proof (thanks to my goofy stupid face, apologies internet):
Athens, Greece: Aged 25 (2016) – This was part of my mega-trip after leaving South Korea I met with my sister and headed to the birthplace of democracy and the old stomping ground of my boy Zeus…don’t worry, there was still a lot of beer!
- Having the amazingly delicious, and healthy (not true at all but it’s nice to tell yourself lies sometimes) gyros every single day for every single lunch. I also learned I had been pronouncing the name incorrectly…it’s “gee-ros” not “guy-ros” apparently.
- Spending ages in lines to see the amazing historical sites…and then feeling cheated at the fact they were propped up with unsightly bits of scaffolding.
- Having a staring match with this grumpy guy in a laundrette – and losing. Atheniens are some of the most miserable people I have ever met (but perhaps they have good reason to be.)
But this wasn’t the first time I stepped foot in Greece…the first time was a lot more lively and a lot more hazy too…I give you, Zante:
Zante, Greece: Aged 19 (2011) – Oh to be young(er)…more tan, less hair, and a whole lot of memories. Good times – minus the times I was throwing up of course…
- Having two double hotel rooms with a balcony connecting both just for our group – ideal. But due to some sort of error (or accidentally on purpose?) I had to share a bed with one of my pals…weird at first, but after a few hundred shots of unidentified alcohol: not at all.
- Getting talked into allowing multiple friends to have a go cutting off my hair…which essentially looked like a half stripped kiwi for the rest of the holiday…and actually for years after.
- Whilst off his head one of my friends almost drowned himself in the sea, but was fortunately saved by a couple of random guys – who were aptly dubbed his “Guardian Angels” for the remainder of the trip. Safe to say he was a lot more careful after this experience.
- Almost crying upon returning to my home and ordinary life…as life on this paradise island was pretty much well…errr…paradise. Which sort of makes sense I suppose.
But alright, which one is better? Almost dying from exhaustion after two weeks of non-stop madness, or feeling a newly stuffed belly a cafe hopping vacation gives you?
There’s a time and place for everything – especially gyros. ALWAYS GYROS.
But I guess my advice is that you take the time to just enjoy whatever kind of experience you are experiencing…just go with the flow and enjoy it for what it is. Don’t cram. Just live in the moment…that way you will have something organic to savour later on.
Wait…why am I suddenly so hungry?
Gotta go eat something, bu-bye – but make sure you leave some sort of experience you have had in the comments – don’t let me be the only one…my God that hair cut and earrings…what was I thinking?!
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