IJM International Trip - Argostoli

Waking up to picturesque mountains and the clearest blue skies along the waters of Greece was surreal. The air felt so clean, the view so crisp; the muddled feeling that succumbs one’s everyday life was instantly refreshed and far-removed. The island of Kefalonia, Greece was stunning in every aspect. The buildings, like many we’ve seen in Europe, were painted in the prettiest pastel colors which gave even more life to the blue water and characteristics of living along the coast.

“Argostoli was the prettiest place I’ve ever been. I learned that if you order “grilled cheese” in Argostoli, you actually get a slice of grilled cheese instead of a sandwich like in the U.S. Weird, right? I thought it was really funny. It’s definitely a memory we’ll never forget.”
-Fallon Farr, 2017 International Pre-Teen

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The girls and I spent a lot of time shopping and going into very unique stores by the port. We bought some very pretty, handmade dresses specific to Greece, with gold embroidery and handmade leather sandals! The young women helping us find our dresses were so kind and beautiful. I was in awe at how their kind, humble personalities added on to their natural beauty. I found that to be a common theme with the people in Greece. 

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Haley went on an excursion that took her around a majority of the island and through a cave that held a large part of Argostoli’s history. The waters were ice-blue, and the little boat that she rode really gave her this antique, adventurous feel that you can’t get anywhere else. Mrs. Jess took a photo of the water and could have sworn she captured a photo of one of the friendly spirits inhabiting the lake. So far we can say that the allegations of Greece being magical aren’t far from the truth. 

“One of my favorite memories was driving along breathtaking cliffs on the edge of the Greek Island, Kefalonia. I specifically remember being amazed by the deep blue of the Ionian Sea and counting wild, mountain goats on the cliffs as we passed by.” 
- Haley Pontius, 2017 International Miss

Khloe, Ava, Fallon, and Sullivan went to this beautiful beach on the island and spent the day swimming and playing in the sand. Those girls had been longing for some beach time the entire trip and they were ecstatic that they got the chance to swim in Greek waters. 

“My favorite port was definitely Argostoli because I went swimming in a beautiful beach and the water was clear as bath water. I had so much fun!!” 
-Ava Colindres, 2017 International Princess

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I had the unique opportunity to ride a paddle boat in one of the lakes later that afternoon, and it was beyond peaceful. While on the paddle boat, I was surrounded on almost all sides by Argostoli’s mountains, and with my favorite music, I spent some time pondering life and taking in the breathtaking view. It really is incredible you know, how in this little corner of the world, so far from where the craziness of life resides, I could feel a sense of rejuvenation and appreciation for how incredible our Earth is. Man needs Earth, Earth doesn’t need Man. We should care for it as it cares for us.

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Back on the boat later that night, we had dinner at one of the ship’s fancy restaurants. Dinner was probably one of our favorite parts about the ship because of how great the service and food was. Our waiters new our names instantly from the first time we told them, they were engaging and funny, and the food was fine-dining delicious. On this night, the wait-staff did a little parade where they played music and sang a song as they gathered on the stairs of the restaurant. It was such a fun display of appreciation for the hard work the staff of the restaurants did for us. Our servers from this trip have a special place in my heart for how kind they always were and how they ensured that we had the best experience possible. Here are a series of pictures from some of our nights at dinner. On the second night of the cruise, Mrs. Nikki surprised me with a cake from the restaurant to celebrate my birthday that passed right before we left for Europe. It was such a wonderful surprise, and I was extremely happy to share that moment with my sisters.

Lessons of The Day:
- Travel!! I cannot stress enough how important and impactful it is to travel. You will see so many beautiful, breathtaking places. You’ll never regret your decision. 
- Spend time putting together a playlist of peaceful, relaxing music for those moments of solitude. Traveling by yourself and being surrounded by nature can help you think through life and possibly lead you to solutions to your current obstacles. 
- Take things in. Breathe. Engrave the moment in your memory. Stop and look at the world’s beauty
- People are so kind- the cruise really reminded us of that. 

Thank you for reading about our day in Argostoli! This little island is definitely on my list of places I have to revisit. If you ask any of the queens, they’ll all say that Argostoli was their favorite. Something about those waters mystified us. If you’re ever looking for rejuvenation, visit Greece. To read more about the International Queen’s cruise this fall, check out the other editions of the 2017 Travel Series written by yours truly xx. 

“Spread Love, Choose Happiness”,
Ariah Alba
2017 International Teen
 

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