I just got back from an amazing trip that took me from Budapest, down through the Balkan coast all the way to Athens. I went with very little knowledge of the area, but sometimes that just makes the discoveries more interesting. For instance, I had no idea how big of an influence Italy had on the architecture and food throughout these coastal countries. Makes total sense now that I think about it. And something I really loved and appreciated was the history literally written all over the buildings. WWII bullet holes were still visible in some of the hundred-year-old stones. Original Roman floors were kept in what are now banks and shoe stores. I really appreciated that although they modernized and renovated, so much of humanity’s history (recent and long passed) was kept intact. I was so impressed with how well things were built in the past, that they have withstood so much weather, time and progress…
Despite how many photos are in this post, this is really just a fleeting glimpse of the beauty and history I tried to capture. As always, photos haven’t done any of these cities and landscapes justice. A snapshot of a stone step, once harsh and jagged, now shiny and smooth after enduring centuries of wear, just can’t compare to slipping on it with your own feet, laughing with relief when you catch yourself before falling.
People can always tell me stories and histories, warn me of bad decisions and follies, but the part of me that is stubborn and doesn’t want to be controlled is the same part that can fully absorb lessons, wisdom and awe when I can experience it for myself. I think that’s part of why travel is so important to me, why I try so hard to prioritize it. I realize I’m very fortunate to have the time and funds to do this, but it’s not without struggle and deprivation.
But still, I’d rather not buy any coffee, candy and lipsticks for a year than go without travel. Now that’s saying something.