For the last couple of weeks I decided to immerse myself in the Greek culture instead of simply writing about it. I left my cell at home and held back from Instagramming every beautiful moment. I didn't want to announce my technology break nor did I want to set a timeline that would be looming over me, I wanted to just let it happen. Think about it.... when was the last time you turned off your cell phone, put away your laptop and stayed away from the internet? Honestly, it's been far too long for me!
What I learned from the Greeks
Time is not relevant: They leisurely sip their frappes instead of frantically rushing to the next meeting.
History runs deep: It's totally normal to hang out in a 14th century church and go into a cave that was discovered over 2,000 years ago.
Eat, eat, eat: The very first day I came to the village I was given half eaten holy bread from my 95 year-old neighbor and that was just the start of endless gifts.
Silence is okay: There's no pressure to start a conversation with your neighbor, they can sit for hours listening to the birds and watching the people in the bustling village of Avdou.
You reap what you sow: It's not cool or chic to eat organic local fruits & veggies but the only way of life they know.
How To Detox Your Mind
Put your computer away 2 hours before bed. Staying away from that bright computer screen for a couple of hours before bed can be very beneficial for sleep. The artificial computer light can reduce the levels of melatonin in the body which is an important hormone in your body responsible for sleep (and many other activities).
Meet up with a friend (in person). A recent study has shown a possible negative correlation between the amount of time a person is online the feeling of wellbeing. Just a simple reminder that nothing replaces the energy and love felt with direct communication.
Get out in nature! Nature provides countless benefits to the mind and body. A study found that people exposed to natural environments vs. urban environments had better directed focus afterward. Hmmm, maybe taking an extra 5 minutes to breathe the fresh air outside is easier to justify.
Living the village has shown me a way of life that has been long forgotten in the United States and I have made lifelong friends I will never forget.
Next stop, Bulgaria!
Photograph by Jared Duhon