When I finally saved up enough money and the timing was perfect, I was ready to fly across the globe to Europe. It was my first visit to the continent and having traveled all over Asia solo, it was a no-brainer that I was going on this epic trip alone. Naturally, the plan was to hit the most popular countries in Western Europe such as France, Germany and Italy.
But wait, I’ve always wanted to go to Greece too, especially Santorini. I hesitated. This meant that I had to do a detour from Western Europe, fly east and incur additional costs. It would have been cheaper to just stay West and jump from one country to another via land travel.
I worked hard to get the Schengen visa and it may take awhile before I go on a long-deserved career break again, so I said: “Screw it, I’m going to Greece!” Besides, going to the islands was a good break from Europe’s autumn cold (Read: I’m from a tropical country. Not used to the cold!).
So I made a detour and flew from Italy to Greece:
My day in transit started at 8am with a train ride from Florence to Rome, a transfer from Roma Termini to Fiumicino Airport, then a flight from Rome to Athens. The transit in between places was fairly easy, but all the waiting and queueing and lugging a bag around was tiring! When I arrived in Athens, I still had to endure a 45-min bus ride while standing up, not to mention that my coat and boots made me sweat like hell in Athens’ hot climate.
It was heaven when I finally reached my hostel, Athens Backpackers. I freshened up and went up to the hostel’s popular rooftop bar. After a long, tiring day, I deserved a delicious (and cheap!) gyro and ice cold beer — all while drinking and chatting away with a view of the Parthenon! I can’t believe it, I’m in the land of the gods!
Travel: October 2013