Articles,, Travel, Writing

My Greek Odyssey

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others”


As history students, we subconsciously fall into a cycle: memorize, regurgitate, and delete. Intrinsically, much of the information from our elementary history classes is lost, yet one civilization strangely remains in our memories, Ancient Greece. This civilization’s contributions in politics, arts, and more outweighs any other ancient society. Due to Greece’s rich history, the land itself if riddled with remnants and traces of the past, ancient superpower.

My first experience with connecting to the past is connected came as a byproduct of a hike in Sparta. My heart began to pulse and my hands began to shake, and entire existence felt obsolete, yet eternally connected with the environment and people around me. I finally felt the magic and beauty within the lands of Greece that had been thrown at me via mundane textbooks for the past seventeen years of my life. In one single instance, I could sense the barriers of the time continuum caving in. This all hit me as I reached the end of my twenty-minute hike to the top of a secluded mountain shrine and church site near the modern city of Sparta. This mountain will forever have a place in my heart, for it allowed me to experience rather than read history for the first time in my life.

Through my eight days in Greece, I traveled around the entire countryside, up mountains, along coasts, and through large metropolitan cities. No matter where we were there was this weird whisper within my head. It kept asking me; “What could be under all this soil? Is there something waiting to be found?” After days of suppressing this voice, I finally caved and allowed myself to want to search for the answer. My pursuit to find the answer to my whispers within Greece has allowed me to discover a passion of mine, archeology. Some people are meant to write history, but Greece has allowed me to see that I am meant to discover it.

For those out there wanting to travel, all I can say is do not think, just act. One can find the most surprising thing waiting for you hiding within the unknown.

“Experience, travel – these are as education in themselves.”


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Emma Lembke is a student at the Altamont School and a member of the Springboaders teen leadership group of GirlSpring.

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