If you call the universe, it gives you an immediate answer – if you dare to listen.
Last year August, we were on a family vacation in Greece. The first week we stayed together with a befriended family and in the second we moved to another island to see a bit more from this area. Zakynthos was described in the holiday recommendation for beautiful beaches and the smooth Greek lifestyle we loved. It should only take one day to realize that we had probably chosen the wrong destination.
To add some excitement for the kids we had booked a hotel in a more vibrant spot to have sports activities for the kids and the possibility to chill out in a nice bar in the evenings.
Already the first impression let us doubt our intentions. Argassi seemed like the Greek Ballermann light – only The ‘Biertempel’ was exchanged to a Temple styled Castle serving Cockatails. (No drinks here!). Streets were plastered with cheap snack bars and colorful water sports plastic animals from China. The lunch was awful and far away from Greek cuisine – and we really tried a lot of Greek tavernas during our time in Greece.
Sitting at our Hotel´s pool with two happy hour cocktails we realized, that we were trapped by our expectations of ‘having it all’. We were looking for silence, sports activities, empty beaches, distraction, comfort of a hotel paired with privacy to an affordable price.
The realization dawned on us that you can´t have it all.
As with everything else in life you have to decide: where do I want to put my focus, what are my real intentions (in this case for the family vacation) and how much am I willing to spend (time and money)?
In this moment we decided to let go. Let go of our expectation of how the vacation should be. How perfect we had everything imagined and instead seeing the beauty in the present moment. The precious time we spent with our kids at the pool and during ping pong and minigolf matches.
We looked up at the beautiful Greek night sky and were grateful for everything we were presented with: a happy and healthy family, the possibility to travel everywhere in the world with valid passports and the fact, that we had the money to travel and sit at a pool drinking cocktails. We felt blessed and appreciated the moment.
Let go and appreciate the moment
The very next day, we let the kids decide what they wanted to do and of course, we stayed at the pool. In the afternoon we made a careful attempt to have dinner at the beach, my husband chose a restaurant at Dafni Beach, also called “the turtle beach”.
It was a beautiful long bay with riffs in the water to explore the underwater world. Three laidback restaurants provided sun beds on a staircase level as the beach was protected for the turtles, who lay their eggs in the sand.
We were gracefully taking in the atmosphere, so different to the dazzling party zone of Argassi and while searching for the toilets, I found little huts on the backside of the restaurant. Asking the waitress, she proudly showed us three tiny little huts, one fitting for up to 5 people on two levels. A tiny circular staircase lead to the second floor, the balcony with a build in alcove with a king size bed, a tiny table, two chairs and a beautiful view on the beach.
Follow your intention
We looked at each other and new that this was exactly the place we wanted to stay. It so much reminded us of our first trip together to Ecuador, 20 years ago. The hut was free for two nights, so we decided to follow our gut feeling and stay. My husband went back to the hotel collecting the basics: iPhone charger, our daughters stuffed animal “Schnuffelwuffel” and the toothbrushes (in this order).
The two of us slept outside in the alcove, waking up at dawn to watch the sunrise and doing some early morning Yoga at the beach. The beach had fresh traces of turtles, who laid their eggs in the night. The guards of this protected area, built up little cages to protect them. We spent the whole day relaxing at the beach taking in a beautiful sunset at the evening and got up at 4am to try to observe the turtles. Within an hour, we saw no turtles, but a breathtaking shooting star, bright and clear.
Sometimes you are just at the right place, with the right people at the right time.
“He is riches who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.”