For the past 5 weeks I have been living in the village of Sinarades on Corfu in Greece. A few months ago, I was imagining what my life on the island would be like. Fantasies appeared of beach time, writing, playing music, helping in the bar, and adventures on this magical island.
As usual, my life here on Corfu has exceeded all expectations. Not because of the reasons mentioned above but because I have, once again, found myself surrounded by extraordinary people.
I have had many visitors the past month and observing their interactions and experiences with my family/friends here on Corfu has justified all of the reasons I came here.
There WERE doubts as to why exactly I was coming here. I was offered something like a “dream job” in May to teach at a Montessori school in Myanmar. There were wonderfully obvious signs to take the position but my commitments to the people coming to visit me in Greece could not be undone.
Whoever believes they are coming to see Greece with me receives SO MUCH MORE. As so many of the places I have “lived in,” I have been welcomed with open arms and have made friends and family for life. And my guests have received (and GIVEN!) the same loving kindnesses.
There is truly some magic in this island. If a day goes by and I do not get to swim in the sea I feel rotten. The days I swim in the beautiful turquoise waters of the Ionion Sea I feel like a warrior until I fall asleep. Something in that highly dense salt water gives me an inexplainable energy and sense of well-being.
The past three days have been rough weather not allowing my favorite daily activity. This resulted in a small state of depression, exhaustion, and anxiety I hadn’t experienced since I stepped foot off the boat.
However, yesterday I was taken to the local’s beach, where I swam until my fingers and toes wrinkled.
Treatment for those suffering from the before mentioned ailments; Swim until tired. Dry in the sun. Repeat. Results include elation, energy, and a stubborn belief that everything is/is going to be amazing.
Last week we had a BBQ at my house. We prepared 5 kilos of various delectable meats, greek salad, grilled peppers and onions, and beer, beer, beer and local wine, wine, wine.
I had invited my neighbors and the locals in the village. I wanted to show how absolutely grateful I was/am for their endless acts of friendship and kindness.
As many of you know from my parties in the past, I ultimately invited every person I passed in the street. So our little party turned into something more like an International Summit.
My Sinarades family, friends we met at Robin’s bar, my coworkers, Charlotte (my cousin), her boyfriend, Seth, and my friend, Mark (who I met in Bangkok) were all present. It was a party and it was exactly everything I had hoped for.
Good food, good people, good music, and GOOD wine. I looked around and had an incredible sense of happiness.
Now, why can’t the leaders of the world be like this?
It really was one of my top favorite nights here on Corfu. Especially having Charlotte, my partner in crime since the moment she came into this world 10 months after me, to share in this experience.
Corfu is a beautiful place with an incredible history but as I have found in so many other popular tourist destinations, the PEOPLE are what make it an experience of a lifetime.
So this is my heartfelt, a thousand times over “thank you” (Haha, last time Fotis I swear!) to everyone on this island who has made me remember the endless majesty of the people all over the world.
I looked around at our circle of internationals and thought about the fact that we all were coming from so many different places. We all grew up with different backgrounds, different traditions, and different families yet we appear to be all on the same quest; to enjoy life and be happy.
There was a moment after the sunset, and Spiros lit the tiki lamps he had brought over, where I noticed that EVERY single person was enthralled in conversation.
I was overwhelmed with contentment and gratitude. This is why I do this! This is what I live for!
And the theme of my life; experience always exceeds expectations.
Once again, SOMEHOW, I have unknowingly surrounded myself with new “forever friends.”
And I hope, every single day, that they know how grateful I really am and how much love I have for my Corfu family.
“I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.”
-Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek