My first true love, Thessaloniki

There is nothing like your first love. A strange, scary, amazing feeling takes over your mind and body and it is new and exciting. I have never felt anything like that before until I came to Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki was my first true love.

In 2013 I decided to study abroad. I did not know much about Greece, or traveling anything for that matter. However, it was something I always wanted to do so I saved up the money all summer and got on a plane for the first time alone. Before that I went through a very difficult life change and I felt lost, I was hoping Greece would give me some guidance.

Greece is a country so rich in culture. However, whenever anyone thinks Greece they think riding donkeys in Mykonos. And as the the ignorant American I once was, I thought I’d be riding throughout the entire country on a donkey by the beach watching the sunset. Because an entire country is made up of donkeys and sunsets…

Like many of the others I studied abroad with we were very surprised when the Greece we thought would look like this:

Wound up looking more like this:


Although this is still beautiful, it is definitely not what we originally had in mind. Like any big city, it was a bit dirty, there was graffiti, and shockingly there were no donkeys (sarcasm intended). After the initial shock wore off, you really learn to love Thessaloniki and the people who live there. There is so much to do and there are so many things to do especially for young people.

Thessaloniki is my first true love for an abundance of reasons. Thessaloniki taught me how to be empathetic, it showed me compassion and understanding. Most importantly, Thessaloniki taught me to love myself. There is something so special about being alone in a foreign place and you only have yourself to rely on. It gives you of sense of liberty and confidence which you may never get in your everyday life.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts where I dive deeper into Thessa; studying abroad, what to do/where to eat, etc.


Finding Francesca

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