I know what you may be thinking, when have you managed to travel to Greece in the last year? Obviously, my tales of Heraklion took place before the global pandemic, in fact, I was lucky enough to be able to go on my trip in early 2020, just before the world became mad.
In the last year when I haven’t been able to travel, I have had a lot of time to contemplate my last trip to Heraklion. Now, I have been to many places around the world but for some reason, this trip seems to have stuck with me. Perhaps it’s because usually my holidays are overshadowed by my plans for my next one and since I have had almost a full year to focus on the memories of my last holiday and look back at pictures, I feel as though my view on travelling has completely changed.
You may be asking, how can a holiday to a little Greek island change your view on travelling? Well, let me tell you.
A habit that I had picked up through years of travelling is going all-inclusive. In my opinion, all-inclusive just saved me a lot of time and a lot of money. I am also an extremely picky eater and so I am very guilty of travelling around the world and still needing to eat your typical American food. I also liked the idea of being able to drink as much as I want within my resort, but with no extra cost, which I can admit I often took advantage of.
When I booked my holiday to Heraklion, I did it at the very last minute and with an old friend from school. This friend is a little bit more adventurous than me and she insisted that instead of going to some swanky all-inclusive resort, we instead stayed at one of the smaller hotels in the area in order to enjoy the culture. At first, I was hesitant, but as soon as I saw the cheap price tag on the hotel I was quickly persuaded.
At first, I was expecting to hate just staying at any old hotel without a pool and no all-inclusive service, but I quickly found that I absolutely loved it. On the first night, we actually went to a restaurant that was across the road from our hotel. At first, I was worried because I didn’t know the language and I didn’t know what any of the food was. The owner of the restaurant could clearly sense my confusion and he introduced me to many tasting platters. We became good friends and we ate some delicious food that I would not have had at my all-inclusive hotel. On that night I swore to myself I would never go all-inclusive again and I would instead immerse myself in the local cuisine and enjoy experiencing new things that I can remember.
Venturing out of my hotel
Admittedly, when I go to a brand new country, I am guilty of doing the tourist thing of staying in my resort, aside from the occasional venture to a local shop or something similar. This time around because I wasn’t at a resort, I had the opportunity to travel around and really get to know Heraklion. I went past the standard tourist destinations and I even got the opportunity to try out motorcycle rental in Heraklion, Greece which allowed me and my friend to travel past the confines of public transport and really get to know the area.
Something that I haven’t experienced before is actually making friends while on holiday. Usually, when I spend time in the resort I will keep to myself and try to avoid speaking to people that aren’t staff. When you are exploring a new place, you don’t really have much choice but to speak to new people. I got lost several times and couldn’t read the signs and so I had to ask for help from strangers, once I had asked for help, these people actually took me to the location by themselves and I managed to build a friendship with them.