Tag Archives: Santorini

Santorini: Round 2!

When you watch a movie set in Greece and you see the amazing views, blue domed buildings, and stunning sunsets you are taking a glimpse at Santorini!  It’s hard to find a more beautiful place in the world.  Walking down the streets of the Town of Oia which boasts the “most beautiful sunset in the world” you have to pinch yourself and realize that you truly are in paradise.

There’s no doubt why it’s one of the most visited places in Greece.  The gorgeous red and black sand beaches, powerful volcano, and picturesque towns scattered atop magnificent cliffs make it a truly remarkable place.  Santorini inspired Jules Verne’s “20,000

Leagues Under the Sea” and has ties to the fabled city of Atlantis.

Since one of the themes of my trip is “Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone” I decided to take advantage of some of the unique opportunities that Santorini had to offer.  Like cliff jumping into the Mediterranean (see pics below), hiking an active volcano, and riding a donkey up from the old port to watch the world famous sunset, just to name a few.

HIGH: This is an incredible place to end on for my epic adventure through Greece.  It’s one of those places you will never forget.

LOW:  This blog post is a bit rushed because I still need to pack and get ready to fly to Rome in the morning.  But nevertheless Santorini has to be one of my favorite places in the entire world!  (Hopefully these pictures are worth 1,000 words.  *Courtesy of BA’s BA camera)

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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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Santorini Preview

Every morning I wake up I have to keep pinching myself… I honestly can’t believe I’m getting paid to explore Greece!  This week Beth Ann and I went to the little island of Santorini to do some research on new hotels, activities to do, places to go, etc.

Santorini is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to.  The blue domed buildings scattered across the island make for a gorgeous setting.  I’m excited to go back next month and check out what has been called the “best sunset in the world.”  B.A. and I made some new friends too that I’m looking forward to see again.  The waiter at a local restaurant must have given us over a liter of free wine. #winning.

The LEAD Greece students get here in a few days and the work is definitely piling up but I’m looking forward to going on some adventures with 45 more people!

HIGH: 1 beautiful island + lots of fun people + liters of free alcohol = 1 very happy Jhaff!

LOW:  I wish we could’ve spent more time at Santorini… (but I’ll be back there for 8 days in June!)

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