Swimming a few hundred metres from the shore of Perivolous beach, I pause to look back to shore. The early evening sun is still warm and bright and soaking everything in a luxurious, golden hue. The water is calm and exquisitely refreshing after a day spent lounging on the sand. New friends and old friends alike relax on chairs and paddle around in the gentle swells, more buoyant than usual from the increased salinity of the Mediterranean. One of the nearby beach clubs throws music into the sky, loud enough that the danceable fusion of modern house and warm Afro-Cuban jazz rhythms extends all the way out here at the edge of the swimming area.
The island of Santorini is many things. But with each visit, the sum of those things seems to exert an even stronger attraction towards its shores. Santorini has come to define a vacation. For all the wandering I have done, this island remains one of the few places to which I eagerly return and dread leaving. Almost no other destination veers so dangerously close to perfection.
For all the wandering I have done, this island remains one of the few places to which I eagerly return and dread leaving.
Somewhere on the island, I am sure there must be a tally of those who simply abandon plans to return home and adopt Santorini as their own. Judging by the sentiments of crowd assembled with me, that tally could easily grow by a few more. But in a few hours, however, my bags will be grudgingly packed and I will board a ferry bound for and Athens before flying on to Zurich and Baltimore.
In the meantime, work calls: I have a barbeque to get started.
This brings my final trip dispatch to a close. I’d hoped to write more and more often, but, well, you know. As always, thanks for reading and thanks for writing. Stay in touch, and stay on the road.