Europe / Greece / My Travels

Crete, Greece: Love in the Time of Corona

“Despite everything he’s suffered he can still look at life in the most uncomplicated way. I’ve never known that kind of faith. It makes me so sad that people like Kostas who have lost everything can still be open to love,
while I, who have lost nothing, am not.” – Lena (The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants)

Chania, Crete

I have not written any story for a year and a half now, because I have not travelled to a new place for a year and half now! When I relocated here in London last July 2019, I restrained myself from travelling until I land a job. Although I went to Zurich and Dubai last year for a quick visit, it still doesn’t count as a travel for me, lol!

2019 was the most challenging year for me, there were many times that I want to give up but I kept fighting. Then as soon 2020 started, everything seemed to start falling into place. I landed a job that I really want and I started feeling settled in London already, living the new life I have set for myself. But then…

CORONA HAPPENED. BOOM.

All my travel plans and my plans in life in general have been put on hold. For how long? Only Corona knows.

Evil Eye

This is my first time in Greece, I planned to go to Greece twice in the past but something was always coming up that I always had to cancel it. I planned to go to the usual islands like Athens then go Santorini and Mykonos. This time, I chose Crete because I am saving those 3 islands in the future with some special people with me.

Besides, I was intrigued with friends who have been to Crete that told me that it is a different Greek holiday experience if you go to Crete, it’s not the blue & white images that I always imagined Greece would be.

Crete is the largest amongst Greek Islands so exploring it for a week without a car is really NOT advisable, lol! I thought this trip will be cancelled too so I didn’t really plan anything until the night before my flight – and that is to just stay at the hotel and relax by the beach.

But i find one week too long if you will just be in the hotel or by the beach. It is just not me. I want to see and experience something else and not just lazying around only. So I went to the old town to see a bit of Cretan culture. I indulged myself with seafood whilst in Greece, the best spot I guess to have it when you’re in town is at the harbour. The views are amazing and if you’re lucky, you’ll get free Raki! (and yes it rhymes, lol!)

Venetian port at Chania is the most picturesque in the island because of the array of bars and restaurants, the lighthouse is one of the oldest worldwide, and the fort is where the Greek flag was first raised.

Crete’s capital Chania has its Venetian and Turkish influences. You must see the old town but it will only take you an hour or two to go around the narrow alleys full of shops, restaurants, and accommodations.

The only reason why I went twice here is because I missed my bus going to another Cretan village. Not my fault though! Let’s all blame it to “Greek Time” then!

My hotel is not that bad either, it is the Mr.&Mrs. White Resort & Spa in Stavros, 15km away from the capital Chania. This is one of the options for the British Airways package, if I have looked carefully of the options, I will choose a hotel that is in the old town so it will be easy for me to go to places even without a car because all the buses going to places of interests in Crete starts here.

Although I can drive in Greece, I wasn’t able to do so on this trip because of, well, just poor planning and research, which is so NOT me. My mind was just elsewhere before the trip. But having no plans also means no disappointments, so it was all good :P

The only thing I love about the hotel I stayed at (apart from the friendly staff) was the sunset view over the Aegean sea. The seaview in my balcony has no sunset or sunrise but they just upgraded my room so can’t complain, lol! My stay was full board including local drinks but it’s a shame that I didn’t note down all the names of my drinks and meals.

Not many of you knows that due to the pandemic crisis, I have lost my job last July. I am just glad that I have made it that far because I was already expecting that I may lose it because of the crisis. But still, losing your job in these difficult times, sucks. Sucks big time.

It’s not only jobs that are affected in most of us, all of our travel plans too. I have trips that were cancelled due to the crisis too. So when this Greece trip was not cancelled unlike my other trips, I was still thinking of not going anymore. I was feeling anxious about everything, not just the fear that I may caught the virus and a lot of other personal problems, but also my fear for being shamed on travelling during the pandemic.  Ironically, whenever I am feeling anxious in pre-Covid times, I usually just go on a trip, how times have changed…

Luckily, I did not get travel-shamed or maybe my friends were just polite, i don’t know?

However, there were two very different opinions I got from friends – some are telling me to just go on this trip so I can distress a bit and forget my worries for awhile, and some are telling me NOT to go because this was a non-essential trip anyway and IF i caught a virus, then that will just add up to my many problems already.

Both opinions are reasonable to be honest, so I had to weigh things over – should I stay or should I go?

When I found out that I will lose more money if I do not go on this trip, I just packed my bags half-heartedly and went on this trip. Here’s the thing too, I am living alone here in London, so I was isolating solo during the lockdown for almost 3 months. And it wasn’t easy.

If it was difficult for you who are with your loved-ones or family or flatmates or friends, it was much more difficult for someone living alone like me. There were times that I was losing it already but I am just glad I had a job during that time that kept me occupied.

Even when the lockdown rules has been eased out, I was still very careful. Yes, I finally started meeting friends (max 4 so far), but I am still practicing social distance in public places and still observing proper hygiene. I am doing it because I have a low immune system, I cannot risk to get ill because it’s hard to get ill when you live alone.

But 5 months after since the lockdown, I realised that I should not get this virus scare get in the way of how I live my life, it may offend some people but as long as I am not endangering anyone’s life, risking catching the virus, and observing safety measure, I do not see anything wrong in it.

It may sound selfish or unreasonable for others because travelling in these times should only be the essential trips only. Going to Greece for holiday is obviously a non-essential trip. For me this trip was essential. It’s essential at least for my sanity. If you still cannot understand that, then you are lucky.

Each one of us are going through obstacles in these difficult times, the way people deal with it is up to them. We should not shame how they solve their problems because we do not know all the reason behind why they did it. Some people look at life in the most uncomplicated way, who still have that kind of faith despite losing everything, and who are still open to love what they do and do what they love.

2 thoughts on “Crete, Greece: Love in the Time of Corona

  1. I live in London too and am envious that you got to travel cos goodness knows I’ve lost my sanity many times! And you’re right, you can’t let this horrible virus dictate your life!

    • Thanks for reading and for your comment! We all need a break from this madness, because we don’t know until when everything is going back to normal, I doubt it will be soon. This may be the new normal now. I hope not though…

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