For just over eight years, I have had a yearning to see the Greek Islands. It has been a long cherished dream of mine to step into white-walled paved alleys, lose myself in villages perched on the edge of seaside cliffs and enjoy the Cycladic sunsets and sweeping sea views. I've longed to swim in secluded turquoise water coves and bask under a Mediterranean sun.
I have been patient.
A lot of things have happened in those eight years; I got divorced, completed a psychology degree at uni, wrote a historical novel, began a new career, sold my apartment, moved to a new home, began a new relationship and visited other parts of the world including New Zealand, Turkey, Switzerland, Germany, China, Japan, the Whitsundays and Hong-Kong. Greece was overlooked somewhat. But I never forget my dreams.
It takes years, for most people, to reach their goals. Having everything happen all at once is not possible. Patience is key. Patience and grit over a long period of time. Eight years.
My dream is about to come true.
There are so many sights and experiences I am excited about. Soon I will be in Athens, strolling in the marbled streets of Plaka, eating more Greek food than I've ever dreamed of, setting off on an afternoon escapade to watch the sunset at Cape Sounion where Poseidon's temple sits high, overlooking the ocean on a dramatic cliff. It will be lovely.
It was a hard task selecting what islands to visit. But my choice was based on sunset views, the charm of traditional villages, walking/cycling potential and the sheer beauty of the landscape. I am after all, a fitness freak and a romantic aesthete. Milos, Santorini and Mykonos have won my favour.
I want to cycle around wild Milos, take a boat tour around the island and swim in surreal beach settings.
In Santorini, I want to walk from Fira to the picture perfect village of Oia and take in the stunning views of blue-domed churches and white stone traditional houses hanging over the ocean. More photography...
The charm of labyrinthine sun-washed Mykonos, its Little Venice and traditional white and blue villages, will contrast with its pulsating party atmosphere.
I like contrast. I will be there, taking it all in. I will turn 36 in Mykonos.
Dreams come true.