As a child of Greek immigrants, in my twenties I traveled with my sister and childhood friend to the Greek islands to explore
more of the country that I had fallen in love with. We sailed on aged vessel on the Aegean,
and docked in a dozen different ports.
One of those sojourns was the volcanic island of Santorini, mythical, mountainous, magical.
It is potent from the moment you step on it's shore. It beckons you to clamber onto it .
It hypnotizes you - don't ever leave.
As a child of Greek immigrants, being raised in Canada I always felt a quiet yet distinct
gravitational pull to the sea. From my very first trip to Greece,
I was a girl addicted to the sea. Always the sea.
It was by the sea that I learned to dive off the craggy rocks.
The sea, where I learned to swim with mask and
fins until my lips were blue and my skin was as wrinkled as my Yiayia Eleni's skin.
It was by the sea that I had my first crush on Yanni,
a boy from the neighborhood who built sand castles with me.
It was by the sea that I dreamed big and large, that I realized how small I was, how
big the world was and how much of it still was out there to explore.
Those summers where I was fortunate enough to spend months with my cousins and
favorite uncle, we all lived together in a 500 square foot house, with 2 bedrooms.
A total of 11 people including my grandmother, and not to mention the cat, Toto.
To me that little house was a fortress of love, and a mansion in my eyes.
Those summers are my most treasured memories of time.
Year after year, month after after, living far away from the ocean is like a slow torture.
Time and again, I book yet another flight to some sunny destination.
Yet Greece is always in my heart, it's fragrant scents of Jasmine and Gardenia,
its' heart wrenching lyrics to music both nostalgic and modern,
its' voice dripping with passion and pain.
It is in my blood, and much as I deny its' gravitational pull. I am longing to go.
As you gaze through these photos, I am sure it will capture your heart too.
You might think it's Photoshop, or it's a camera with a fantastic lens.
I assure you, its' beauty is as natural as it is seen here, only more mesmerizing.
It is beckoning you now.
Shhhh. Do you hear it?