I have my own spiritual non-religious beliefs, but ever since I was a child I knew I needed to visit Acropolis. Something deep inside my soul became determined that I would visit this ancient city.
Nearing the end of my German journey, I became sad that I was so close to Athens, but between exhaustion from traveling and blowing my pocketbook, I was just as far from Athens as I would be in Seattle. Oddly enough, a company I work for in the states contacted me to present a workshop in Athens. Although work was the priority, I had a later evening flight that allowed me to squeeze in an afternoon visit to Acropolis.
A wave of chills overcame my body and with several tears streaming down my cheek, I said, “I’m home.” I did not know why I became emotional in that moment, but I knew my soul recognized this place. Shit, there had to be something. I mean I was obsessed over Spain and Greece while in college and I even named my blog The Lemon Tree, which the Mediterranean is the mecca of citrus trees. If it weren’t for the Greeks, I never would have studied Recreation, Leisure and Tourism, since leisure birthed from the Greek culture.
I watched girls wearing t-shirts that say, “Barbie bitch” and take selfies with fish-lips and peace-sign hands; I could not help but become emotional about the future of where we are going as a “consumerist” species. This place, Acropolis, is the birthplace of some of the most brilliant minds known to man. Living in peace, without pollution, these creative minds had nothing to do but BIRTH the human mind and to observe the stars.
They saw the movement of the sky and they understood nature, man and the unity between the two beings.
All these creative and sophisticated beings – Aristotle, Socrates, Plato – and not forgetting about poets like Sappho, historians like Herodotus, scientists like Hippocrates and Pythagoras and leaders like Solon.
Fuck! This is it the place where western society based most of its thoughts, philosophies and theories.
Part of me could not believe a place like this still stood, but many buildings have been restored throughout the years due to past destruction. The eternal battle between the west and the east caused much destruction throughout the Centuries.
The most prolific building, the Parthenon, is one of the main reasons why people visit Acropolis. The Parthenon built in honor of Athena is the symbol of Athens, to thank the goddess for their success. The building replaced a temple that was destroyed by the Persians around 447 BC. The same building later became a place of worship for the Christians and eventually tuned into a mosque in 1456. Between further destruction, the remnants of this sacred building still stand today.
I contemplated the “deeper things” about human existence. In my twenties, I figured out all of my personal shit and now balanced and liberated at 30, I can now “worry” about my role in this world and the future of humans.
Still and calm, a slog of DSLR-camera tourists nudged me out of the way to get their “stock photo” of the cat. I started to believe that selfie-sticks are the vein of consumerism's humanity. I continued my journey.
Some people travel just to travel and to accumulate passport stamps as a means of external bragging. And maybe I do the same, but many of my journeys are guided from within. If there’s an internal urge or attraction to see a place, there must be a reason why.
At the time, I was 10 days away from launching my first travel memoir, Finding Om, a journey of backpacking and studying yoga in India. My journey of introspection and analysis between our east and west worlds inspired me to help people help themselves through ancient wisdom. And although semi-broke from backpacking, I knew abundance would find its way once again to my bank account.
Touring Acropolis is more than just a tourist destination. It's the gateway into your soul and to understand the origins of mankind's most innovative thinkers.
Wisdom begins in wonder. – Socrates
He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature. – Socrates
Wisdom outweighs any wealth. – Sophocles
Nature does nothing uselessly. The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. - Aristotle
Youth is the best time to be rich, and the best time to be poor. - Euripides
What have you learned on your journeys abroad? I'd love to hear more about your thoughts, contemplative moments or journeys into the world unknown (and your soul).
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