Jackie's Adventures in Greece

jULY 16-18 - Porto Heli

After a much needed day of rest and siga-siga, Kristina and I loaded up the rental car, and off we went to Porto Heli!

The main activity for this portion of the trip was the wedding we were going to attend - γάμος as I learned.

The drive reminded me of how beautiful the mainland is. I normally despise driving, but for some reason I was really able to enjoy. It could hav been because of the company - I really needed to debrief with someone, and I think there were things Kristina needed to debrief as well. Here we were, two very career-driven women, obsessed with our roots, sharing our stories and loving and appreciating each other's insecurities. We vowed to normalize discussing the difficulties of life - that's how we are able to heal. My reader at the beginning of the year said that I would have a year with powerful female friendships. I think Kristina is totally one of them - she reminds me to take it slow and isn't afraid to tell me the truth. I think we need friendships that ground us in reality - that's a theme in Greece with a lot of friendships. I think in America those friendships are scarce.

Something that I love about me and Kristina is how similar but also how different we are. She's resort mom. I'm island princess. We balance each other out.

Another activity for the portion of this trip was the fact that I was going to see a very special person I met in Mykonos last summer. We'll call him "S" because I don't know if he'd be cool with his name on here. Funny enough, he happened to work at the beach that Kristina and I went to when we got there. I hopped in his car as soon as he was done with his shift for a little bit of an adventure - he had grown up a lot over the past year. He is troubled because he's adventurous but also doesn't have the energy to be adventurous as he is. But he's beautiful. He's gentle, he's curious, he's smart, and he knows that there's more to this world.

 

His family had a beautifully renovated villa with a pool and an incredible view of the Porto Heli sunset. We had the whole place to ourselves - I was running around, skipping about the pool, lifting my arms up to the sunset as if I'd fly away with it.

S and I totally had great sex. This sex was awesome because we had been waiting for it for a year. S and I connected in a very special way that one night we met in Mykonos - it was his last night there, and I remember how well dressed he was but also how exhausted he was from partying so much. It made me wonder if I'd ever lose my energy like that. But, this being the siga-siga trip, that was one of Greece's very subtle reminders that I needed to slow down. There have been lots of those.

It was just what I needed. He knew what to do with my body. He called me "agapi mou" and "moro mou." I fucking love it when people call me that.

Another thing that happened, however, was that my skin opened up. It was another reminder that my body was telling me I need to chill out a bit. It was frustrating. I felt like I couldn't completely let go because my body was burnt out.

So, after that magical little afternoon delight in the peaceful woods of Porto Heli, I kissed S goodbye and off I went to the rehearsal dinner. One of the things that happened right off the bat was Kristina yelled at me for leaving her alone for so long. That was a reminder for me that if I'm going to travel with friends, I need to remember that some people have different standards when traveling with a crew.

I am very unique when I travel. I LOVE doing my own thing. I hate needing to report to anyone, and I like getting lost with wherever I'm traveling. That's all fun and fabulous, but I need to make sure I'm considering that when I'm with friends.

Also, I need to make sure to not lose friends because of how I travel. I'm a places, people, things kind of gal with a habit of losing some of the people along the way. That's fine, but I just have to remember to be careful.

Anyway, I knew no one from the wedding - but I was excited to make friends. I was thirsty to meet new people. It was honestly a little hard connecting with some of those people - it made me realize how New York I am. The things I want to talk about are a little too complicated for some simple people. That's okay though - it's good to be exposed to those who are content moving through teh world in a basic way. That sounds loaded, but really - there's nothing wrong with that.

 

At one point, I got bored and wanted to smoke some weed - Kristina said that it wouldn't be a good idea to bring out my weed pen out in the open, so I went by the boats to smoke. I was listening to the water, and then I heard someone crying. A woman had been sitting on a bench and was crying to someone on the phone - and then when she hung up she was just sobbing to herself as quietly as she could. I couldn't help myself - so I kept scooching over towards her, eyes wide until she noticed me. We locked eyes. "Eisai kala?" I said with a smile. I tried to be as warm as possible, adn she couldn't help but smile. She definitely didn't speak any English, and my Greek is terrible, so we were trying to communicate as best as we could.

 

She was telling me that her boyfriend got into a fight and wasn't speaking to her, was somewhere in Porto Heli, and she was stressed because they were supposed to go to Thessaloniki tomorrow. Both of their families are from Thessaloniki, and they were going to spend time with them. But for whatever reason, I don't know what the fight was about, he wasn't responding to her. I could imagine that beign so frustrating. It was another reiteration for me that I really don't want to be in a relationship - too much heartbreak, too much work.

 

So, I tried to get her mind off of it until she found something else to do. I was acting like the jest that I am. I was making her laugh. It warmed my heart so much to watch her feeling better as we talked. It was a reminder of how much I love to make people smile and feel good.

 

Out of the blue, someone called her. "Autos einai." She said. It was like we were in a TV show. They talked briefly, and it seemed like it was okay - he was apparently going to come there to get her. I was so happy to see her so happy, and I waited with her. All of a sudden, I notice a shadow appear before both of us. It was him. I introduced myself, I gave Matina a hug, we exchanged Instagrams, and off we went in our separate ways. I went back to the rehearsal dinner feeling so good.

 

Something that I had been doing was matching with a bunch of people on Tinder. I swore off dating apps last summer after I met Kon, but sometimes I do get a little addicted to my vices. I noticed a guy at the wedding who looked familiar - then I realized I totally matched with him on Tinder. He was actually from NYC, so we could probably meet up once I'm home from Greece. He had the name of someone who will always be special to me - a short name that holds a lot of resonance and story as it falls out of my mouth. So, he totally stuck out.

We drank a bunch, and then eventually Kristina and I walked home. We talked about the importance of working out - even just walking. This was a reminder that while I'm in Greece, I need to listen to my body. The best way to do that is to get into my body as much as possible. I didn't do that so much last summer - maybe a little bit, but I needed to remember that I feel best when I'm taking care of my body - and in Greece I eat and drink a lot - so it's easy for me to let myself go in that regard, and then I get sad. As one who has a history of eating disorders and body dysmorphia, I do need to remind myself of the things that make me upset and work with them. Remembering what feels good really helps that.

Kristina and I got home - I was stoned and feeling fabulous - and then I checked my email. I got a message from someone at my yoga studio informing me that during my shift on Tuesday (a day before I went to Greece), a fully vaccinated student who took one of those classes tested positive for the coronavirus.

Fuck.

So, I needed to find a way to get tested. That was the journey of the next morning - when all I wanted to do was go to the beach and chill.

But, it was a blessing in disguise - I couldn't really sit at the beach because of my leg. So, at least with an activity I was able to get around the area and get to know it a little better.

I needed to go to Kranidi to get a rapid test. 30EUR - it wasn't terrible. Negative. The journey was annoying, but it could've been worse.

So, back I went to get ready for the wedding. It was exactly as I expected - but the view of Porto Heli was simply stunning. But, as it was all happening, it was a reminder that I really don't want any of that. But it's always nice to get invited and enjoy it for someone else.

S drove us to the reception because he's a wonderful gentleman. The bar was open (important). I started talking to one of the bartenders, and we shared a cigarette in between when the bar got crazy. He asked if he had seen me on Tinder earlier. Ruh roh.

We went to the beach and made out passionately on the beach chairs. Then he said he wants to see me later after his shift (obviously). But, I wasn't totally into him. I just wanted to make out with him a little bit, and that was enough for me. But, because I love validation, it was nice. We still keep in touch a little bit. Se perimeno - he says. I also love it when men say that to me.

The reception was beautiful. The firewords were stunning. It seemed to be the perfect evening for the bride and groom. So lovely, but not what I want. That's okay.

 

The rest of the night was honestly a little basic to me. I guess Porto Heli was pretty...basic. That's the word for it.

The next morning Kristina was super hungover. I waited for her boat with her to see if she needed anything. Then we parted ways.

Around that time, Matina messaged me saying how thankful she was that I came to talk to her, and how I made her feel so less alone. If I can do that to people for the rest of my life, I totally would.

So began the Pelopponeso road trip that I loved dearly.