By Eric Gao
One of the most important things I learned from exchange was that attitude was the difference between an experience and an ordeal. The time you spend on exchange is something that will not be easy for the most part. Travelling will be no different. Everything that you meticulously plan can be ruined in a single night.
But hey, memories born through strife are memories that will stand the test of time.
Take my night in Athens for example. We’d taken the ferry from Santorini at around 4pm and got to Athens at 11.30pm. We had an Airbnb booked but our host got the dates mixed up and wasn’t in the room. She’d also lost her phone so we couldn’t get into contact with her throughout the night.
So with no accommodation and not enough money to book anywhere else we honestly thought we had hit rock bottom – before the trip had even began. We soon decided to sit in a cafe and allow a cup of Greek coffee and some free wifi to calm our misery. We soon gave up complaining and instead tried to call up support hotlines in vain as we took this development in our stride. We figured that this would give us an opportunity to see and do something really unique and out of our comfort zones. Athens, being the historically rich city it is, has the Acropolis, a sacred rock overlooking the city, scattered with ruins.
Since my travel friend and I were both pretty huge history buffs we decided this opportunity was too good to pass on and after a long walk through the night, which included additional trip to an internet cafe and more coffees, we made it to the ancient monument. It was dawn at the Acropolis.
Later in the day, we hunkered down in an internet cafe with obviously, some more Greek coffees. We were completely worn out but the memories of that sunrise and what we went through to get there, will not be forgotten.