I knew this would happen…

As you might know by now, I am sooo German – such a planner, organizer and change avoider. But being two months on the road now, and six weeks in Greece, I have to admit that a tiny part of my personal culture changed. I knew this would happen.

I got more relaxed and I started to realize that plans have to change if you want to make the best out of your travel adventure. And find your Happy Places…

If you look at my initial route 2018 you will see, that I was planning on driving from the North of Greece in the Thessaloniki area down the coast to Athens and then spend a couple of weeks in Peleponnese before I go to Igoumenitsa to catch the ferry to Italy.

Pelepo – what?!

Peleponnese is the area zoomed in on my initial map. You can tell, it’s a huge proportion compared to the rest of my initial Greece route.

The initial route planning with Peleponnese highlighted

Supposingly, Peleponnese is a very famos and unique piece of Greece with lots of tourism and interesting points to discover.  Cities such as Corinth, Sparta, Kalamata and Patras are in the top 3 of tourist agendas.

Well, I missed all of that.

How can six weeks not be enough?

Even though I had six weeks net to spend in Greece, this was still not enough time to explore the full beauty of the country and see everything I wanted and had planned out such as Peleponnese.

Yes, you have read right. Six weeks was simply not enough. I know, this sounds ridiculous. Believe me, every time I have read other people’s travel blogs in the past, and they wrote that weeks and months in specific areas they have been to were not enough to discover the landscape, people and culture, I started laughing immediately. Really loud. Mostly combined with big sigh following shortly after.

How slow are they please? Even I can make that tour in my annual two and a half week vacation. What is the big deal? What are they even talking about? What are they wasting their time on? Why can’t they just stick to the plan?

This is what you might think of me now as you are reading these lines.

As you can see in one of my previous posts “Time for a new Start” , I started to slow down and decelerate my pace, which I have been running after for years. I know I have enough time now to cruise through Europe and stay where ever I like it as long as I want it.  Time simply ticks differently on this trip, and I start to understand what other bloggers meant, when I have read their complaints about weeks and months not being enough to see everything.

It means that you find what I call “Happy Places” which you don’t want to leave – even though it messes with your plan. And you don’t have to. So you just stay.

Find and stay at “Happy Places”

Happy Places don’t have anything to do with the location, the campsite, nice bathrooms or extraordinarily friendly people around you. It doesn’t matter how crystal clear the water and how pretty the beach is. It is not the architecture of ancients sites or the shopping selection of bigger cities. None of this matters to define a Happy Place.

You just don’t want to leave because these places makes you simply feel really good. It is more of an intuition that it is right to stay where you are. You can see these places on my realtime map, where I indicated through heart symbols, that these places are my personal Happy Places.

My personal Happy Places in Greece

You can tell that Greece has quite a lot of heart symbols. It was for sure worth staying at every single one of these places, and therefore not being able to finish the initially planned route. Changing the plan.

Overall, skipping Peleponnese made me realize three things.

  1. I will have to come back to Greece to explore Peleponnese
  2. Plans change, and that’s totally okay
  3. Find your Happy Place and stay there

I intend to integrate these learnings into my daily life – independently from this road trip through Europe. Especially how to better find Happy Places and simply stay at them. No matter what or where they are.

As this is one of my last posts from Greece, and I will continue my route to Italy shortly, I am sure you will see popping up more heart symbols on the other side of the Adriatic Sea very soon.

Do you have Happy Places? Then please share them with us!