not gonna lie, i was pretty pumped from the beginning to be spending my 20th birthday somewhere in greece. however, as things in the beginning were a tad bit rocky for me, a sense of worry set in. it’s my damn birthday!! what if it sucks!? oh no!! no need to worry about that though, the weekend was the perfect mix of intense birthday shenanigans and chill time to take in all the beauty that is santorini. (it was actually my second time to the island, but i was in awe again just the same)

friday was filled with glorious ferry rides to the island followed by me sitting panic-stricken in a shiesty van driving up a steep cliff to get to the town. once we had arrived and settled in though things were better, the heights just freak me out when i’m smashed in a bus driven by a crazy old greek man. my lovely friend, hannah, and i ended up getting put in a 2 person room for the weekend and we wasted no time tossing our stuff down and heading back out to explore.

we roamed around all the back streets in search of a good place to eat since we were starving. taverna noussa ended up being the perfect little place with a high up view of the street, cute waiters, and delicious traditional greek food. score! then we were off to window shop our hearts out and continue walking around until nightfall, when we walked to a sushi place for a late-night meal with barry, the HISA director and a professor there. i love how ironic it is that neither of us even like sushi and yet there we sat, all dolled up, trying to order the simplist chicken dish we could find on the menu. it ended up being pretty basic but it was well worth the walk for all the good conversation.

on the way back into town we took the cliff-side route since the sun had set and the view was supposed to be amazing. ohmylord was it gorgeous! you could see all the twinkling lights up high around the island and all the little lights from boats in the port and out at sea. the entire atmosphere of the walk back was spectacular: perfect sea breeze, not too hot, easy walking, a stellar view, and good friends.

a gorgeous sunset in santorini

then the three of us were off to the bars for my birthday! we ended up getting celebratory drinks and stayed out far later than we should have, but alas, that’s what birthday celebrations are for eh?

hannah and i about to head out for birthday celebrations!

when i awoke on saturday morning the rest of the group was getting ready to leave for a 4 hour hike from fira to oia, which i had decided FAR in advance that i was not going to be a part of. heights already scare the shit out of me, i don’t need to be on edge for 4 hours straight during my birthday weekend and spend the entire hike about to burst into tears and freak out. so alas, i did not go. i spent a bit of my morning dealing with some moral/religious/faith kinda stuff (long story) and was pleasantly surprised when, in the midst of my brooding, madeline showed up at my doorstep saying that it turned out that the hike wasn’t her thing either, when was i leaving for oia cause she was joining me. just the distraction i needed from my far-too-intense morning!

thankfully i had already mastered the bus system on santorini during my last trip there with a lovely group of gals in may. madeline and i found our bus and headed off on the 20 minute drive to the picturesque town of oia on the northern end of the island (it was only 3.60 euro there and back!!).

we spent about 6 hours total wandering around and taking in the views, snagging desserts from various bakeries (it was my birthday weekend after all!), snapping lots of pictures, ambling through famous bookstores, and eating up on rooftops feeling like we were at the top of the world. it was exactly the kind of chill go-with-the-flow day that i needed; a day for me to take in all the beauty of santorini and not have to worry about anything else. it truly was spectacular!!

roaming around oia in my chill linen dress : )

one of the many breathtaking views at oia

sunday started off with a trip to an archaeological site in akrotiri followed by lunch on the beach (where else!?) and a few hours to roam around before we headed back to paros on the ferry.

bad lighting, but an awesome ancient village!

in all, it was the most amazing birthday weekend thus far. the only thing that could have made it better would have been my best friends from back home and my family being there. but then again, that would have changed the whole atmosphere and it wouldn’t have just been me roaming around with madeline doing our own relaxed thing. like i said before, it really was just what i needed: a little mini-vacation just for the heck of it. well worth it! i can’t wait to see what next years birthday will bring though : )

i’ll never get tired of ferry rides here in greece