Everything in me was so excited as I landed in Greece. I was ready. Since 2013, I had traveled to a new country every year. But during my divorce, I was financially overwhelmed. I had taken everything in the divorce, including the apartment and the giant puppy. I eventually gave back the car since it was leased under my husband's name, and even though I was more of the provider in the relationship, I was struggling intensely to maintain a two person lifestyle under one income. All the while, I was also trying to leave more stable work to become a full time independent artist. It was an immense struggle that meant I had to take a year off of travel. But having finally come to a place of greater stability, I was ready to explore again and more importantly, find my peace and combine my two identities into one grounded person.
I had booked a week long pole camp in Santorini. We had the entire resort to ourselves and were split into cute little cottages. The resort was surrounded by nothing but hills and nature. We had a schedule filled with pole training all day but plenty of time to sit by the pool as well. I was ready.
I didn't know who I would meet or what to expect, but that was the beauty of it. No one would tell me where to go or what to do. I was completely independent and ready to roam. A lot of people are scared to travel alone, but I thrive in it. My mother had grown up traveling the world. I had lived off her stories. She was also an English teacher for foreign students throughout my childhood so I was quiet accustomed to being around various cultures. I had also gone through intensive training to live in third world countries so I was pretty thoroughly prepared in case of disasters. Once, I had been left in Kazakhstan on my own, that was not a trip where I had planned on traveling alone. However, thanks to my training, it didn't phase me much. All this to say, while some people are scared to travel alone, I love it.
I arrived late at night. A taxi driver picked me up from the airport and dropped be off at the resort. A man met me at the entrance and brought me to my little cottage. People were slowly arriving. I went to bed with such peace and joy that night. I knew I was about to come to such a peaceful resolve within myself and I was so ready. One week with total strangers, training and exploring. Absolutely no boys, bars, parties, work or distractions. I would face myself and all the fears and ugliness within me and understand what the trauma within me had created. But more importantly, I would leave a whole and complete person again.