As Mike wrote, everything old was new again this time he visited Greece, and our experience was so wonderful that Rhodes is currently in our top three possibilities for a new home. He put together this awesome video of our adventures in Turkey and Greece so you can experience them along with us!
The first stop on our sailing tour of the Greek islands was actually in Turkey, at Bozuk Buku, beneath the ruins of ancient Loryma. But first we had to find the boat.
I'd always wanted to visit Istanbul, that ancient seat of declining Roman dominance. That gateway to conquest for Persians, Turks, Muslims, and Christians alike. That historical terminus of the iconic Orient Express Railway. That fabled and vibrant modern metropolis that bridges the Bosphorus and reaches between worlds to join Asia to Europe. And here we were.
Of all the places I traveled as a kid, Greece was at once both the most memorable and the most regrettable. Memorable because of the rugged natural beauty, fascinating culture, and contagious congeniality of the Greek people. Those recollections that live in snapshots viewed through the fog of youth grown old. Leaning into the relentless headwind as we tried and failed to make port in Mykonos. An inappropriate joke told at the oracle site in Delphi. The smile of an olive-eyed Greek girl passing by on the pier. Regrettable because, at the time, I appreciated none of it.
Angela booked our adventure to Mumbai while we were in the car on a road trip. I didn't really understand what she was doing at the time. We often play the "where in the world" game while driving, and I honestly hadn't given India much thought as a potential travel destination until she announced that the tickets were bought. When I informed friends and coworkers that our next trip would be to India, the resounding response was an incredulous, "Why?" When I began planning the trip, the question that kept tickling my brain was, "Why *not* India?" It was never previously on my radar. Why was that? What had kept me from researching an expat life in this most beautiful, ancient, exotic country? Why was India a place I was reluctant to explore? In short, what did I fear?
We're always on the lookout for the least expensive way to visit the places we want to see. We get daily emails with airfare alerts, limited-time package deals, hotel bargains, and more. We have a list of websites we regularly scour for the same. When an airline posts a super low ticket price by accident (known as an error fare), we jump with joy and scoop it up before they fix their mistake. When you're traveling on the cheap, you learn to manage your expectations accordingly. Your international round-trip flight might only cost you $300, but it might leave at 4 a.m., and you're also likely seated in the back of the plane near the galley and bathrooms. This happens to us pretty regularly, and you develop all sorts of tricks for dealing with long, overnight flights in cramped coach quarters. And then sometimes you're pleasantly surprised.
I attended my first destination wedding last weekend in Orange Beach, Alabama. My childhood friend, Kyle Nuckolls, married his best friend, Lisa, in a beachside sunset ceremony, and I couldn't be happier for the two of them. It's fitting that Kyle and Lisa chose to have a destination wedding. They are, after all, marrying adventure, too. They both have that spritely spirit that looks forward to the future, respects the past, and yet stays firmly rooted in appreciation of the beautiful, fleeting present. In spending these few days with them, I came to realize that Kyle and his family had a greater influence on my own wanderlust than I had previously understood.
In looking for our next home, it must be a place that inspires stories. These are some of the stories from our life's adventures that have inspired us. They are why we travel. That first real trip is crucial. When, for the first time, you travel further than Grandma's house in Eclectic, Alabama. When the road becomes exotic, not only in destination, but in composition, asphalt giving way to concrete, then to cobblestone, or to sand-swept hardpack. When the familiar southern drawl loses its cadence, slipping from a Tennessee twang to the rounder sounds of a South Carolina conversation, and then on to thicker, wilder accents, leading inexorably on to unintelligible foreign tongues that leave you grasping for recognizable words. That first true step into the unknown either makes or breaks a world traveler. The feeling of being alone, out of place, uniquely foreign when you have lived your whole life up to that point in a sea of familiarity and predictability is either something to be loathed, or it's something to be loved.
If you're an avid traveler, it can be difficult to keep up with details on everywhere you've been. You know you went to the United Kingdom, but was the great little pub with the live music in Glasgow or Dublin? Did you take the hike to the tide pools on St. Croix or Bonaire? And what year did you ride the train through Spain? Was it Spain? The more we travel (and the older we get), the more we want to chronicle all of the terrific little details that make each trip so special. To do this, we use Travellerspoint. According to the website, "The goal of Travellerspoint is to create an international meeting point for travellers worldwide, whether they are planning their travels, currently travelling or have returned from their travels and want to stay in touch with (or find) those travel friends they met while travelling in the past." Here's a look at Mike's Travellerspoint map.
We're always on the lookout for the least expensive way to visit the places we want to see. We get daily emails with airfare alerts, limited-time package deals, hotel bargains, and more. We have a list of websites we regularly scour for the same. When an airline posts a super low ticket price by accident (known as an error fare), we jump with joy and scoop it up before they fix their mistake. When you're traveling on the cheap, you learn to manage your expectations accordingly. Your international round-trip flight might only cost you $300, but it might leave at 4 a.m., and you're also likely seated in the back of the plane near the galley and bathrooms. Your cross-country rail ticket might only be $20, but it might take you three train transfers with layovers between each leg to get to your destination rather than a nonstop, direct route with a reserved seat. And then sometimes you're pleasantly surprised.