It has been exactly one month since I landed in the Athens airport and shortly after arriving at the residence building apartments. Across the Atlantic Ocean and many miles away from a most familiar home to now a completely clean, fresh, blank slate home densely populated and where English is not the first, and in some cases, second or third language of the local people. I ask myself this, how do I find balance within? This is a question to ask yourself anytime and anywhere, but I think especially when relocating somewhere for more than a month. Time is slipping away as quick as smoke does after you blow out a candle, and the days are starting to blur as the more comfortable I become here in the city of Athens, in my neighborhood Agia Paraskevi.
Greece is drastically shifting as a country and this crucial time of political choices made by the newly elected Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras because of the country’s amount of debt. In 2008 the economy plummeted and has since been trying to recover from the massive depression. With Athens as the biggest city in Greece and the country’s capitol with approximately 3 million people, the metro station is usually packed in the morning and afternoon around 5 p.m. Coincidentally, these are the times I’ve gone to the city center and plaka over the last couple weeks to visit the Acropolis, Parthenon, drink coffee, and do as the tourists do. Behind the tourism I feel and see the people of Greece who are worn, worked, and have been through hardships as with any economic downfall. Maybe it’s me being somewhat hypersensitive, but I feel I see sorrow and tiredness in the faces that I pass in my neighborhood down the streets and throughout the city during the day time. I have yet to spend time with local people of Greece besides a few classmates and I hope to gain more details and listen to their stories, so stay tuned.
A little bit of reflection on my journey so far:
The challenges we face in life are accompanied by sacrifice and stress along with the many difficult decisions to make and sometimes with haste. The opportunities we are given sometimes go unseen and simply learning to speak up and voice what you feel is right are obstacles young adults are challenged with daily. I believe small victories add up to great victories in time and every day is a chance to try something different and stray from social norms. I am so grateful for the beauty of life and the opportunities that I have been able to see and take advantage of and will never stop searching for the light of inspiration. Sending love, and good vibes your way.
If you want to read and see more from my time here in Greece check out my personal blog https://teaganmartin.wordpress.com/ .