Hydra, Week 1

Lightning round of thoughts, heavenly skies, donkey shit, real-life green screen.

I think I am reluctant to call this place “real” because back home, nothing is this beautiful. I don’t trust it. It will probably take a few days to sink in to believe that people actually live and thrive here. With the houses of white and blue or red, the colours of nature are accented more. Everything around me is clearer. I can see the details in flower petals and I notice fish more easily in the water. Vassilis, our tour guide, has been so welcoming as we arrived and I am thankful that strangers can offer a place to stay. Corrina and Arabella have the most interesting quirks and I am intrigued by their lifestyle. Arabella says she had to struggle to be baptized under that name. It reminds me to be grateful for the upbringing I had. On the other hand, I feel so pleased to be learning about the hardships of others and to be accepting that their culture is just different. Not bad. Different. I think that is the best part of this trip. We get to experience a difference (or a change) from our regular lifestyles. Many people live their lives in the exact same way. But having a change is a blessing, for sure. I wonder how Fatsa, the local dog, feels knowing only this place her whole life. This island is truly one of a kind. It reminds me of the island in Lost. As we boated to the shore, I looked for a personality in the hills and mountains. From afar it seemed so flat and lifeless. How wrong was I to think that! The community of Hydriots have so much character to them. It is so amazing to be able to talk with new faces.

Three things I can’t go without.

Firstly, if music didn’t exist, I would have so many more problems. As I write this now, my thoughts are being brought out by a gorgeous playlist of music from Corrina’s library. There is something so magical about a song. I could never live in a healthy way without music.

Secondly, my little sister has the ability to make any day better for me. It’s incredible that I lived without her for 10 years because when she was born, every part of life had more energy to it. I was happier, more thoughtful and made more sense of things. She is my light.

Lastly, I would feel lost without human connection. I seem to be very nervous of social media nowadays because I’m afraid it will kill off any interactions that occur face-to-face. Especially in our Western society, I find people I meet have trouble holding a conversation with me. Being in Hydra so far has been so refreshing to get to converse with new people and understand their way of living.

IPHONES, PLEASE DON’T DESTROY US!

What is the most memorable part of this trip?

For me, the celebration of the Greek Revolution was the most memorable part because I felt so welcomed. The announcer spoke in a English as well as Greek, making us understand the history and importance of this day. While I was sitting and looking out onto the water, I couldn’t help but want to cry. The atmosphere had such a depth to it that I’ve never felt before. I feel so lucky to have this experience in my life. I started to videotape the ceremonial burning of the ship so that I could remember it forever but then I realized I wasn’t being present in the moment. The fact that I was watching the event from a camera screen made me cringe. So, I put down my phone just in time for the fireworks and truly felt like I belonged somewhere special. I knew that where I was, was exactly where I was meant to be. The coordination of the explosions in time with the music was breathtaking. The most spectacular thing I have ever seen. It flowed so smoothly and effortlessly that my jaw stayed open the entire time. My favourite sequence was when the music had a run in it and about 6 fireworks blasted in a glorious canon. Perfection. Quite possibly, it was the most memorable part of my life, but I know this trip is just getting started.

What would your perfect day be like?

Version A:

9am – wake up and make an eggs, bacon, fruit salad breakfast (eat slowly to enjoy my food)

10am – walk my dog around my neighbourhood and listen to a podcast to get my brain thinking

11am – visit the gym/a dance studio for exercise

1pm – bike to my job as a Broadway performer

1:30pm – rehearsals, then do make up and pin curls for the show later

8pm – perform the show and then have time to meet the audience outside the stage door (we would gawk about how much we love theatre and NYC)

11pm – return home to my dog for a good night’s sleep

Version B:

10am – wake up to pancakes and watch Netflix

1am – go to sleep if I’m lazy enough

What do you hope to learn about yourself?

On this trip, I hope to learn about if I can truly take care of myself. There have been instances when I travel where I’ve made things worse for myself or forgotten to give TLC to my body. I hope to learn about proper mindfulness and practice positive thinking whenever I can. The change in setting will hopefully help with this. Also this trip sort of feels like a fresh start. I hope that I can use the island as an environment to try to be a different person. Obviously, I don’t want to completely abandon my morals, but I want to try putting on new hats. New personality, new way of dressing, or even new everything. Just to see what it would be like.

What grand adventures do you hope to go on?

In my life, I hope to go on adventures such as marriage, natural childbirth and death by old age.

Marriage is something very sacred in my family and I have learned from watching my parents and grandparents as they stay together for 25 years and 53 years, respectively. It is very inspiring to me.

Natural childbirth has always intrigued me since I was the only sibling to be birthed in a natural way. Although it may be painful and difficult on the body, I believe that all women should go through it and show the world how powerful their bodies can be.

Death by old age has fascinated me ever since my great-grandmother died at the age of 104 years. As I spent time with her up until she died, I saw how fragile but strong she was. Her mind was still full of wisdom even though her body had begun to rot. I want to do her the honour of dying in the same way rather than by illness or accident. Hopefully I will get that choice.

What do you hope to take time for on this trip?

I want to take time for reading and writing above all else. I never get he opportunity to have free time and I think it is important to get off my phone whenever I can. I used to love reading and writing when I was younger and I think because I have more responsibilities now, I have let that part of me go. Being on this island will help me to connect with words again, and bring out my best thoughts. I brought the final book of The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series and it has helped me remember that Greece is magical. It can change you. I have 2 other books that I want to finish as well. I will be so proud of myself if I even get through one 🙂

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