Athens wasn’t initially on my radar until I happened upon cheap flights with the perfect timing for a weekend trip. Honestly, I was mostly going for the warm weather (Southern California has spoiled me and anything below 45 is seriously miserable) and the Acropolis, which was all I really knew about the city. I asked my roommate Becky if she wanted to join, and she emphatically turned me down, citing an incident in which two of our classmates had all their belongings stolen and were stuck in Athens for a couple of days because they couldn’t come back to Budapest without passports as her reason. Bummer, that wasn’t the response I was looking for. So I asked my friend Charlie instead, and he answered with what I was hoping to hear: he absolutely loved Athens when he visited as a kid, and of course he wanted to go back to geek out about Ancient Greek history.
Fast-forward to a Saturday in Athens after we had been robbed, scammed, and poorly-fed all in one morning, and I learned something about selective hearing. “Becky knows best” is now my anthem (haha). We chalked it up to a combination of bad luck and the Greek economy being in shambles, and conceded defeat. We holed up in our Airbnb for a wine and Harry Potter movie night, complete with all-American burgers as comfort food. While I was bummed that we didn’t end up doing as much as I had initially hoped, taking it easy was definitely the right way to go – I had a much better time than I would have had trying to cram everything in while stressed and paranoid. I had fun despite the mishaps, and there’s probably a lesson in here about being able to roll with the punches and knowing when to call it a day.