My Greek adventure begun completely by accident. One day I was sitting at work in a call centre dealing with the lovely general public at their best and thinking…there has to be more to life than this. Yes I had the regular holidays and mini adventures but it was not enough I wanted to see more of the world, I realised that work could be relatively easy to pick up in summer holiday resorts and I had some savings so I made the decision there and then to leave work and travel for the summer.
I bought a Lonely Planet guide to Europe on a shoestring and quickly got into researching where to go. As a serious sun lover Greece and Italy seemed the most appealing to start and the places where it may be easier to get work. Within a week I handed my notice in at work and had decided Greece would be my first port of call so I quickly booked a flight to Athens. In the weeks that followed I further researched the islands and discovered these would be my best bet for finding temporary work and the beaches, so looked into how to get around and where best to start of.
After seeing pictures online of Santorini I decided I must visit and as there seemed to be plenty of ferry links to other islands it seemed the ideal starting point. I promptly booked internal flights and sourced out accommodation for the first few days in a small family run unit which included a free airport pick up. Result!
I packed up my life into boxes, moved out of my cute little flat, said my goodbyes at work, then to friends and family. My mother provided me with a backpack, (which I still have but it is looking rather battered!) I packed a few summer essentials, limited toiletries I even had a rape alarm (just in case) as I was travelling alone. I had no plans for work or where I would live beyond this trip but I was young and felt confident I would find my feet easily again. I never really had any concrete travel plans either but then that was the joy of it all, go wherever my heart took me.
I instantly loved Athens airport which was a good thing, as I had an overnight stay until my early morning flight. I quickly found a row of rather uncomfortable seats and made my bed for the night. The following morning after a quick coffee I was ready to board what seemed like a rather small flight to Santorini. My first propeller plane was rather exciting and the airport on arrival was rather a culture shock for my naive and rather untravelled self. The guest house owner met me on arrival as promised and drove me to my first Greek accommodation. I instantly fell in love with the place, the scenery, the relaxed vibe and friendliness of everyone around, the sunshine, blue skies and the beautiful blue and white buildings with lovely shutters. It felt like finding a home from home.
My first few days were spent exploring the island by foot and shared taxi, this is basically a normal taxi but the driver will stop on route to your destination to pick up a few other people and make more money, very clever are the Greeks! After sun-ing myself on all the islands beaches and exploring the historical sites I decided to look for work which was not as easy as I had hoped but I managed to pick something up in a little souvenir shop in the capital of Fira. I stayed a few weeks longer in Santorini before I moved onto my next island. I made sure to catch the iconic sunset in Oia which is as magical as you have heard and that was when I realised this was definitely going to be a life changing trip. (read part 2 now!)