Mamma Mia On Crete

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Writing a book is like birthing a baby.   Except the labor has been over two years long.  There were moments I literally screamed, “I CAN’T DO THIS!” but it was there inside me demanding to be born.  And I knew that the labor would produce a happy ending.  A beautiful reflection of my soul.  Or at least I hope so.

Things are moving fast now and I’m “pushing” to the end of this project.  Manuscript edits are completed, as well as cover design and back cover text.

And I have a name picked out:

Uniquely Crete:  Life Redefined on a Greek Island.

Now the big push for book release this summer.  Then comes the hard work…announcing to the world that my baby is out there for everyone to see…and love.  Of course, I’m fully aware that not everyone will see my baby in the same glowing light as me.   But I don’t care.  I’m a proud (and exhausted) mama.

More to come on that later….

As I was writing this travel memoir I had so many flashbacks to my years of living on Crete and many opportunities to revisit this island both in my mind and in the flesh.

Sunset at the Venetian Lighthouse at Chania, Crete, Greece

On one of my recent visits back to Crete, I sat down with a friend who immigrated there from Zimbabwe when she was just 22 years old.

Meet Jeannie – a modern day Mamma Mia.  An entrepreneur with a flair for hospitality.

Jeannie always had a heart for the sea and dreamed of living by the water someday.  When she turned twenty-two, she packed up everything she owned, immigrated to Crete and started looking for a job in Hania. She cleaned hotels, waitressed, cooked and was a self-proclaimed “jack-of-all-trades.”

“I pride myself on being a very positive thinker.  I could be mopping floors and be thinking about new ideas for my next venture.”

She married a local Greek when she was twenty-four, but even when that ended in divorce, she stayed “because of the love of Crete, not a man.”

Never one to sit still, Jeannie took odd jobs, eventually landing in management positions at various resorts.  Her newest venture is managing and promoting the Clio resort hotel outside of Hania.

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When I lived on Crete, the Clio was a tired deserted-looking hotel in an absolutely stunning location.  I remember thinking, “This place just really needs some love.”  Jeannie thought the same thing.  Only she did something about it.  When the owner announced he was going to close down the Clio for good, Jeannie approached him and said, “Take a chance on me.”  (Cue music from Mamma Mia.)

Today, the Clio is a vibrant but quiet retreat with spotless rooms and view to die for.  There’s no better place to view the sunset.

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Jeannie’s secret to success?  “Believing! I focus my attention on what I want to do, see the  opportunity and take it.  I don’t hold back. I’m always looking forward, not back.  And when I hit a snag, I get through with prayer. I believe my difficulties are what make me strong and that I am a winner with God on my side.  My confidence comes from deep inside because I believe.”

Great advice for a writer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wander, Linger, Savor

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This blog is dedicated to the idea of slow living specifically as it relates to travel in all forms. When I moved to the island of Crete, it didn’t take me long to appreciate the art of slowing down. And after five years of living in the Mediterranean, I fully embraced the practices of wandering, lingering, and savoring both at home and on the road. If you want to read my writing from my time in Crete, you can see my writing on Cretan Chronicles.

There are times when it’s appropriate and unavoidable to pick up the pace of life. Working on a deadline, preparing a meal for last minute dinner guests, keeping up with an active toddler, racing beyond the speed limit because you’re late for that hair appointment you scheduled two months ago and it’s in jeopardy of being rescheduled.

Ok, that last one is just a product of bad timing on my part.

Which is precisely my point. Most of us lead hectic lives because honestly, we choose to. We cram so much into one day, that there is no wiggle room for the unexpected bumps and/or joys. Realistically, we can’t slow down every aspect of our lives. Only a hermit or a monk would be successful at that challenge. But we can be intentional about the things that are important to us.

I would submit that there are specific activities that should never be rushed if at all possible. Like cooking, praying, spending time with loved ones, and my most challenging “take your time” enterprise – travel.

On this blog, I hope you will be encouraged to wander with me to some surprising out-of-the way places, linger over some unexpected happenings, and savor the delicious moments of the journey.