Tag Archives: Crete

Samariá Gorge & Beach Lectures

Power of WOW Lecture @ the White Sand Beach

I’ve been lucky enough to have traveled to some amazing places the last few years, but the Samariá Gorge is one of the coolest.  The 16 km gorge is one of the longest in Europe and standing at the bottom you get taken aback by it’s sheer magnitude.

Our group left the hotel at 5am to get started on our hike down the Samariá Gorge.  Anyone who knows me can attest that I don’t function well until after 11am so that was a little bit of a struggle but well worth it.  The entire hike was incredible.  The landscape and scenery was breathtaking the entire walk down.  It’s amazing to think that a river carved out the natural beauty that we trekked on.  Since BA made the hike before she led the pack and I held down the back of the line making sure the stragglers kept a good pace.  My “Caboose Crew” that stayed at the back was definitely entertaining.  Students stopping and joking around with random European hikers and girls going “boy scout style” behind trees instead of waiting to use the restrooms kept the hike…interesting to say the least.

At the halfway point our group stopped and I was able to deliver a short lecture on seizing life’s amazing opportunities and I led the students in the writing of their bucket lists (Everything you want to do before you “kick the bucket”).  It’s crazy to think just a year ago I was sitting on the top of Table Mountain in South Africa writing my own Bucket List completely unaware of what was in store for me.  In Santorini I was also able to give the lesson on “The Power WOW.”  What can you do in your life to make others stop and say, “WOW!”  Here’s the quick Reader’s Digest version…

WOW can be obtained if you:

“…Care more than others think is wise. Risk more than others think is safe.  Dream more than others think is practical.  Expect more than others think is possible.”

Seeing the fire light up in students eyes, watching people get out of their comfort zones, and grabbing life by the horns is why I signed up for this crazy adventure.  The trip is wrapping up soon, but I know this is only the beginning of the change in some of these wonderful students lives!

LOW: Trying to be super adventurous I climbed a giant gorge rock for a photo-opp.  The picture was great, the fall down from the rock sucked.

HIGH: The hike was physically and emotionally draining but I had a new, deeper bond with the students that I spent the day with trekking across Greece.

(Thanks for letting me steal your pics Alex S., DeAnna J., and Sarah Grace D.)

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Island Time – Crete, Greece

Pool at the Galaxy Villas

Crete is awesome.  Getting out of the hustle and bustle of metropolitan Athens has been like a breath of fresh air for everyone.  Our last week in Athens was great, but giving back and serving some of communities in need can take a lot out of you.

The first day we arrived at our villas in Crete was revitalizing.  The villas are great, the pool is phenomenal, the people are more than friendly, the beach looks like spring break week, and the nightlife is fun and extremely entertaining.  It’s hard to find a flaw in Crete.  Well… except for the 10,000 Dutch students that just finished with their final exams and have inundated the beach/town here.  But most of them have been fun and interesting to strike up conversations with.

There is something about island life all over the world.  It moves at a slower pace, people are happier, the sky is prettier, the sun is warmer and the beach is (well, it’s still the beach, but you get the point).  Crete re-affirms my deep down desire to live on an island one day.  Richard Branson’s Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands is still my ultimate dream though… we’ll see how that works out for me.

LOW:  There are a crazy amount of mosquitos here and our group is getting eaten alive!  Wouldn’t think that’d be a big problem coming from the humid mosquito haven of Georgia but it’s a little ridiculous…

HIGH: The next stop is Santorini!

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