I spent my weekend in Corinth, a lovely little city located on the isthmus that connects Attica to Peleponnese. The city itself is not particularly exciting, as it was rebuilt after it was struck by an earthquake. It is organized in a grid-like fashion (I can finally use blocks as a metric again!) and is right by the sea. The canal of Corinth is a pretty popular picture place (we stopped for 2 minutes to look at it) and bungee jumping is available there as well (thanks, but no thanks).
A year ago, I was at my desk, huddled under a blanket (the heater in my boarding house broke) and looking at colleges on my laptop. I had about 20 different tabs open, with colleges from Hong Kong to England to France. Most of my classmates had either already applied to colleges or knew what they wanted to do instead. Deadlines were looming, I still hadn’t signed up for Common App and my parents were absolutely no help (“Just study in Germany!”). I didn’t want to study in Germany, but I also didn’t know what I wanted to do instead. Going to college seemed like the obvious next step – if everyone else was doing it, why shouldn’t I? The future seemed scary and invincible and up until that moment, I had always thought that I had to go to college, that I had to have everything figured out, and that I had to have my 10 year plan written up already.
Suddenly, it hit me that going to college was a choice. Everyone had always made it seem like a requirement, a checkmark on your life’s to-do list. All of the pressure brought on by applications and deadlines suddenly fell off my shoulders – I felt free. I don’t have to make this decision today, in fact, I am not even qualified to make this decision, I told myself. At that moment, the future stopped seeming scary and was filled with opportunity instead. That’s when I realized that not having a plan was actually a gift, because it meant that I could pursue my interests with reckless abandon.
This gap year has been the best decision of my life so far. I still haven’t decided if I am going to college, but I am sure that I will figure it out. I am no longer scared.
This quick little inbetween post was inspired by a prompt by the Daily Prompt.
On my last full day in Athens, I decided to visit Cape Sounion as a quick afternoon getaway. Cape Sounion is at the south-eastern tip of the Attican peninsula, and is a very popular half day trip from Athens. It is not only famous for the sanctuaries built there, but also for its romanic sunset! 😉
My second day exploring Athens was a busy one as well, but there was one thing that made my day: encountering George.
The first thing I did after I got breakfast was to visit the Olympieion – I had definitely learned my lesson from yesterday. As I was walking there, I noticed a man who was wearing an ankle length leather jacket (like Neo from the Matrix!), kneeling in the grass to cut some leather. I registered him but kept walking because I’m not usually one to approach strangers.
After I walked back the same path a little while later, he was still kneeling there. My curiosity took over and I approached him with the question: “What are you working on?”
After being on top of the Acropolis, I decided to make my way towards Hadrian’s Arch and the Olympieion.
One of the great things about Athens is that all of the famous historical sites are located in close proximity to one another, making it really easy for travelers like me to create an itinerary. The fact that the metro is cheaper than in Germany (single ticket €1,40 , day ticket €4) and runs very frequently is also quite helpful.
Greek mythology is filled with heroes who slay murderous beasts and accomplish impossible tasks, and Athens has her very own: Theseus.