so of course i’m absolutely in love with paros, and exploring it and getting to know the area, the people, the culture, the beaches (!!), and all the sites has been absolutely wonderful. but quite honestly i still feel like i haven’t really clicked with anyone from my HISA program (well, except for the teachers, but they’re too chill not to click with!). i constantly want to push myself and see what i can do on my own, but they all seem to want to stick together and stay in the “safe tourist zone”. which is fine by me, i have no problem with that, but since it’s not exactly what i want we don’t all tend to spend tons of time together. well, they do, i don’t. again, i know that i’m studying abroad for myself, to learn about myself and be on my own, but sometimes i wish that just one of them felt the same way so that we could then click and blaze our trail of “together but still learning about ourselves on our own” -ness. so anyway, the past few days have been slightly confusing for my psyche with all this going on in my head: happy that i’m here, proud of all that i’m doing by myself and without help, but sad that i don’t have someone here to gush about it with or just lounge around with at night. and tonight, when it all kind of came to a tipping point, my amazing friend konrad seemed to know exactly what i was feeling and exactly what to say. so thanks konrad, you’ll never know how much your words helped. i’m so lucky to have you in my life : )

konrad: You really are am amazing person; I’m not entirely sure I’ve told you before, but you truly are amazing. Reading your blog always brings a smile to my face and reminds me of the times I spent with friends I made in Australia; and I know you’re going to have just as incredible adventures and memories for the rest of your life.

me: thank you so much Konrad!! I’m actually finishing up another post right now. I trekked to find an empty and isolated beach today! reminded me of something that you would do lol. I love it here, I’m exploring and learning to rely on myself so much. the other kids in my program just don’t seem to get it, or even want to go off on their own. I’ll never understand that. thanks again Konrad, I really needed to hear it. cause quite honestly I’m not connecting too much w the other kids..

konrad: Oh Kears…don’t worry if you’re not connecting too much with the other kids. They’re probably just at the point in their lives where all they want to do is have an excuse to go out and party (and Greece is certainly an excuse for that!). But never fear that you don’t quite connect with the others, because even though your Greek adventure includes them, it’s not about them and it’s certainly not those kids that are going to make or break your time. It makes me smile again that you thought of me when you trekked out to find an empty beach…now there’s something I wouldn’t have minded in Sydney once in awhile! It’s an incredible feeling to explore and learn to rely on yourself when you’re abroad; not many people understand that, but it really is something special. So “no worries!” (lol) about the other kids; the adventure is yours and no one can take that from you. wink

me: ohmylord you’re amazing. all of that is exactly what i needed to hear. all they wanna do is drink and lay at the closest beach and then drink and then sit around on their computers and go to the grocery store. ugh. granted, i am intaking a healthy amount of wine while i’m here, but that’s not all that it should be about. i guess i’m just shocked that they’re not thinking like that. like you said, this is for me, not for them. and hell, i’m having the time of my life exploring on my own! it’s nice that it’s a small enough island that it’s safe for me to do that. hell, some of the shop owners even know me by name already. it’s spectacular here, you would love it. i’ve got some spare room here if you decide to buy a ticket!! lol

konrad: Don’t tempt me! It sounds purely amazing! I’d love to show you some places in Aus sometime if you ever find yourself in that part of the Southern Hemisphere. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember that it’s your adventure and it’s easy to let others bring your day/week down a little, but if I know you like I think I do, you’ll always bounce right back.

me: oooh i’m sure that eventually i shall! and then you’ll just have to fly over with me and show me around sydney and the beaches and EVERYTHINGGGG! and oh i know that i will, it’s just that in the moment i sometimes forget that. thanks for helping me remember it