I am recently back from a "solo but not alone" Odysseys Unlimited adventure. It is hard to believe that I was once so frightened of getting lost that any free time we had, I made sure I kept within sight of the hotel. Glad those days are behind me! With each Odysseys trip, my confidence grows, especially since I realized every place Odysseys Unlimited selects is centrally located, highly walkable, and has plenty of things to see even if you do not want to stray far. It is incredibly freeing to go explore and I do exactly that.
This trip was truly a bucket list/pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming vacation. I have long been fascinated with the mythology and history of Greece and to be seeing so many incredible structures and artworks in one place was mesmerizing. The flowers, the friendly and welcoming people, and the delectable food made every day wonderful. Our tour director, Maria, was a walking encyclopedia of anything and everything Greek. She exudes warmth and compassion, and made every guest feel special. My travel companions quickly bonded and we thoroughly enjoyed our time together.
Some special memories would include walking under the tree-lined streets, branches heavy with oranges and the scent of the neroli blossoms. Absolutely intoxicating. Taking the private boat to Spinalonga, a former Venetian island fortress was a wonderful way to spend some of our day, and the tour of the small family-owned olive farm was a highlight as well. Santorini and Oia are absolutely stunning and easy to wander and just spend time admiring the view. To stand at the foot of the Parthenon, the Tomb of Agamemnon, and the sacred temples of Apollo is beyond belief.
I decided that I was going to be "all in" for my travels – and this one I really did! From reciting poetry in an ancient theater, to making cheese pies at a Greek Women's Cooperative, to dancing in a taverna with Greek dancers, I no longer let fear or worry stop me. I was especially proud of hiking up the 999 steps to Palamidi Fortress in Nafplio. The view from the top made every step worth it!
For those of you who are still on the fence about traveling solo, I do urge you to think of my opening sentence: "solo but not alone." Taking a deep breath, and going so far out of my comfort zone for that initial trip (one I was certain would be a one-and-done experience) has turned into something I work hard to make happen once a year. The sand is running through the hourglass awfully fast these days ( I recently turned 60) and I want to do this as long as I am able. When you do book with Odysseys Unlimited, know you will be so well looked after – they handle every detail, and you can just enjoy every single minute of your own once-in-a-lifetime adventure.