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What Books Should You Read When Going to Greece?

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What Books Should You Read When Going to Greece?

What books should you read for traveling to Greece? Here's our three recommendations. 

Two of these were suggested by friends from Athens, Greece while we were there and the other I found on my own. I suggest each one for you, too. Check 'em out!

 
3 Fun Recommended Books for Traveling to Greece
 

Three RECOMMENED books for traveling to Greece:

 

1. Greek Expectations: The Last Moussaka Standing

I totally recommend this book for a funny read and to get a glimpse of social and family expectations in Greece.

This is my favorite read because it was about the crazy journey of a woman from the UK marrying a Greek man. Drama and tension! 

The author is a comedian and takes the reader through her journey of figuring out how to balance her upbringing as a woman in the UK where she saw her parents both work and share household duties to now marrying into a Greek family where she's expected to do it all. What an adventure she was on and she takes you with her.

This type of story is my favorite to read when learning a new culture (where a foreigner marries a local), because you learn the intimacies of a culture through the lens of someone figuring it out themselves in the most intimate relationship you can have: marriage! You learn so many quarks of a culture that you'd never pick up on even befriending local folks. 

Totally recommend this one!


2. The Island

The Island
By Victoria Hislop

I totally recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about Greece's history, Crete's culture, along with some self-discovery, and a little romance:)

The Island was suggested by my friend Evita from Athens. This was my second favorite read while in Greece.

It's historical fiction story. It's about a girl learning the dark past of her family being forced onto an island just off Crete that all lepers were sent to. And, it also includes a view into World War 2 from a Cretan's perspective.

It was fascinating to be sent to the past and learn how leprosy tore apart families and how World War 2 affected people in Greece. And, the story presents Crete's landscape so well. You feel like you're on the journey with the main character. 

I totally recommend this book for your trip, too!


3. Zorba the Greek

Zorba the Greek
By Nikos Kazantzakis

You gotta read Zorba the Greek when you're going to Greece. It's a classic and this will be everyone's suggestion for you. 

We received Zorba the Greek as a gift from our friend Antonis for Adam's birthday. We both read this one.

Zorba will suck you in with his zeal for life and you'll be transported to tiny Greek villages and learn the culture. 

Read this one for sure!

 

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5 Reasons It's Okay to Take a Break from Your Travel Partner and Explore on Your Own

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5 Reasons It's Okay to Take a Break from Your Travel Partner and Explore on Your Own

Should you take a break from your travel partner and explore on your own while you're on a trip? We can imagine you're either at a point where you need a break or you can't agree on how to spend your time. We've been there, too! 

One of the biggest questions we get as a traveling couple is, "Do you do everything together?" There's normally a lot of emphasis and drawing out of the word "everythinnngg." We laugh because, there's no way!

We're two different people with different interests, curiosities, and things that excite us.

Should you take a break from your travel partner and explore solo

Recently, we were in Athens, Greece home to the Acropolis and Parthenon. I kept asking Adam, "Would this be a good day to go? Or this one?" He was never committal when responding and I finally realized he doesn't care to see the Parthenon. "How can he not want to go see the Parthenon?!?" I thought. When I asked, he said he didn't want to spend 20 Euro on something he can see better pictures of on Google. WHAT?!? I was shocked, but hey, like I said we have different interests. But, my response to that? "Well I can't miss the Parthenon when I'm in Athens, Greece!" So I scheduled a date with myself and went without him. It was lovely! I packed my camera gear and took the Parthenon at my own pace. It was glorious! You can take the tour with me here through my photo journal:) 

Along our 3.5 years of traveling together, we've learned it's healthy and totally okay to take a break from each other and explore on our own while we're in new places. 

So, should you split from your travel partner? We say, "Totally! Do it!" Here's five reasons why. And if you're still in planning mode, maybe even plan for some solo time before the trip starts :)

5 reasons It's Okay to take a break from your travel buddy & Explore on your own

1. You Have Different Thing's You're Interested In.

It's natural that you and your travel buddy will be interested in two different things. For us, Adam loves mountain biking and tries to mountain bike every day. I'll go once in awhile, but I'm not a big fan. And, I love roaming around taking photos in new places and that bores Adam to tears. So, we've found it healthy to take time to do our own things. 

2. Don't Miss Out or Regret.

5 Reasons It's Okay to Take a Break from Your Travel Partner and Explore on Your Own

Since we all have our own interests, we'll all have things we want to do our we'll totally regret it. Like Adam would be totally bummed out if he never mountain biked when we were in Crete, Greece because I didn't want to go. He still talks about his bike trips as one of his favorite memories. And for me, I'd be totally bummed out if I never took an evening and simply walked the narrow cobble stone streets exploring and taking photos in Rethymno, Crete. That night's one of my favorite memories of our trip.

So, don't miss out on something you're curious about and dying to do even if you're buddy isn't interested. You're only there once. Go do it with or without your pal.

IMG_1073-27.jpg5 Reasons It's Okay to Take a Break from Your Travel Partner and Explore on Your Own

3. Quench your curiosity.

Curiosity is this anxious and lingering feeling for me. If I don't quench it, sometimes it feels like I'm going to burst and if I don't do it I'll be devastated.  So, quench that curiosity of yours, try something new, and go do it! If you don't you'll always be curious and never feel fully at rest.

4. Solo adventures are empowering. 

5 Reasons It's Okay to Take a Break from Your Travel Partner and Explore on Your Own

When you take off from your buddy and you're responsible for all the logistics, how to get where you want to go, how to pay for things, how to solve problems you come up against, enjoying and getting to take a new place at your pace, and then coming home with your own exciting experience, it's so rewarding. You stand up taller and you feel empowered with thoughts like, "Heck yeah I did that!"

5. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

This is so cliche but so true in this situation. When you've been with someone for lots and lots of time, and then get a healthy break, you get a new perspective. You realize how nice it is to have your travel buddy with you and you realize how much you appreciate their company. And it's so nice to return home to your pal and swap your own stories from the day. 

 

So, how do you break the news to your travel buddy you want a solo adventure?

Should You Take a Break from Your Travel Partner and Explore Solo

Be honest and transparent. 

Say something like, "Hey, I need some solo time today. I found this thing I want to do. So, I'm going to go try it. I should be back around this time." 

This gives them your reasoning, sets your boundaries (if you want them), and gives them a heads up for when they can expect to see you again. This way, they can figure out their timing of doing their own thing.

The funny thing is, most times whenever Adam and I have conflicting wants for a day and I share the solo adventure I've planned for myself, he changes his mind and wants to come. A lot of times he just didn't feel like planning something and when I handle that part he's in. And, most times, I'd prefer his company and I'm glad he changed his mind. Other times I say, "I want to do this one solo." 

Cheering you on to take your solo adventure! Have fun! 


Stay Encouraged to Explore Solo

Pin this for later here.


Use our Day Trip Packing List

to make sure you have everything you'll need before you head out. 

Yes! I want the packing list!


Want to see more about the Parthenon and Acropolis?

And see what Adam missed out on:)

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Tour the Acropolis & Parthenon in Photos

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Tour the Acropolis & Parthenon in Photos

Tour the Acropolis and Parthenon in Photos

Want to see Acropolis and the Parthenon up close before visiting?

Let's take a tour together through my photo journal! 

Before you visit in person, check out my packing list (I forgot a lot of must have things) and tips I suggest before you go.

Back to this photo journey, you'll see:

  1. Your approach to Acropolis hill

  2. We'll pass the ancient theater Odeon of Herodes Atticus on our way up

  3. We'll climb the stairs through the first Temple of Athena Nike (the Goddess of Victory)

  4. Then we'll take a left at the top of the hill and walk to the temple Erechtheion dedicated to the Goddess Athena and God Poseidon

  5. Then, we'll walk around the Parthenon.

Enjoy!

 

Let's Tour Acropolis & the Parthenon Together!

 
 

Still Curious about Acropolis & the Parthenon?

Check out these books to keep learning!

 

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10 Things to Pack When Visiting the Parthenon & Acropolis in Athens, Greece

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10 Things to Pack When Visiting the Parthenon & Acropolis in Athens, Greece

10 Must Pack Items When Visiting the Acropolis and Parthenon: Essential Gear

How should you prepare to visit the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens, Greece? I've got you covered! I made so many mistakes on my visit, so please follow my list to carry what you'll need for an enjoyable time up there.

What mistakes? First, I made the mistake of going in the heat of the day (what a bad idea!). I was up there for three or four hours soaking in the history, but there's no vegetation and shade up there, so second, I forgot a hat and sunscreen so I got blasted by the sun for all that time. Lastly, I was wearing slippery shoes and was slipping on the rocks the whole time. I ended the visit fried, dehydrated, and exhausted. I was in awe the whole times surrounded by this ancient history, but boy did my body pay for it! 

So, make sure you go early in the day and pack these items below:

 

10 must pack items for visiting the Acropolis & Parthenon:

1. Money

To get a pass in, it costs €20 in the summer (€10 in the winter) and you'll be standing in line for awhile for your pass. So, make sure you have a credit card or euros on hand. And make sure you're in the right line (there's two lines at the ticket booth). There's a credit card line and a cash line and there's terrible/no signage for which one's which. So make sure you're in the right line, so you're not waiting in the wrong line to have to wait all over again. 

Here's a money belt we pack with us to tuck our money into.

 

 

2. Shoes with Good Traction

I was shocked by how slippery the rocks were up there on Acropolis and around the Parthenon. However, if you think about it, this small area has been walked on with high traffic for centuries, so the ground has been smoothed and it's slippery. I recommend shoes with good traction to have sure footing as you're looking up at the striking columns and carvings on the Parthenon. 

During my visit I was wearing cheap and slippery shoes. I wish I'd been wearing my Altra's. They have awesome traction! 

 

 

3. Sunglasses

The area up on Acropolis around the Parthenon is white rock at every angle. There's barely any vegetation and it's super bright from all the light being reflected! Protect your eyes with sunglasses. 

A friend gifted us fun sunglasses like these, and life is just more fun in these. We feel like we're chilling at the beach when wearing them:)

 

 

4. Hat

Along with no vegetation up there, there's also little shade. Make sure you wear a hat, a big wide one, to protect your head, face, and skin. 

I forgot these things on my visit, but if I were to go again, I'd pack my hat and my buff to protect my head and neck. 

 

 

5. Sunscreen

 

And wear sunscreen from head to toe! 

Again, I forgot this at our Airbnb. But, we use Beyond Coastal's tiny travel size ones and love it, because it doesn't leave you greasy like other sunscreens. 

 

 

6. Umbrella

Bring this too! I'm not an umbrella type even in the rain, but it's so bright up there from the sun above and the white stone reflecting light from every angle, next time I'm packing an umbrella to provide my own shade.

Here's a fun travel umbrella I found for next time:)

 

 

7. Water

Carry water, water, and more water. With that Greek sun, heat, and the amount of time you'll want to spend up there, remember to stay hydrated. It'll make for a more enjoyable experience. 

This is my favorite water bottle that I left at home and forgot to carry.

 

 

8. Snack

It's always smart to carry a snack to keep the hangry monster at bay:)

My favorite quick, compact, and healthy snacks to grab and go is some kind of bar. Larabars are my fav!

 

 

9. Camera

For your photos and video of the Parthenon! You have to capture this place! It's over 2,400 years old! What a spot in the world! Read some more fun facts here

I carry a small Canon Rebel. I love it because it's light and I can stow it away in my bag and get it out easily when I need it. You can check out other camera gear I carry here

 

10. Backpack

Pack all this in a collapsible backpack. 

Our friends gifted us this awesome collapsable backpack. It folds down into a tiny pocket to pack in our carry on luggage and then we unpack it and use it for our day trips. It's been a game changer for us on trips!

Have an awesome time at the Parthenon!


Make packing easier!

1. Pin this for later here.

2. And, download this packing list to have for later, too.

Yes! I want the packing list!


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