SAIL AWAY TO SANTORINI BY LIZE OKOH

Barka de Sallah to Jaunters all over the World.

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Everybody has that one destination that seems like a dream thus never leaves our bucket list because we make no attempt to ever visit the place. Its Santorini, Greece (Argue with yourself).

How do we describe Santorini? Hmmmmmmmmmm… It is a beautiful island southeast of Greece’s mainland. It is basically the remnants of a gigantic volcanic eruption that destroyed the early settlements there. For every other explanation, please embrace google, Calvary Greetings brethren!

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The most fascinating thing about Santorini is the Architecture (Look at God!), its unbelievable. I have had a crush on it since I watched the Sisterhood of the travelling pants years ago.

Anyways, Lize of www.sewafolie.com took the plunge and finally went to Santorini by herself, here is her account of Santorini.

My name is Lize Okoh, I’m from Nigeria and still find it home. you can find details of my website HERE. I’ve been to the UK, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic, Morocco, France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Santorini (Greek Islands), Tenerife, Ireland, Netherlands, Italy, Monaco, Canada and USA.

I’m an occasional traveller. I simply travel when I need the break, or to treat myself.

How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)? Savings

What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you? The first international trip I remember was when I was about 7 years old. I travelled with my family to Portugal and Amsterdam.

Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how? Yes, the first time I travelled to Morocco, it wasn’t what I had expected. I hadn’t thought much about it in order not to ruin my experience, yet I wasn’t expecting it to be so advanced, beautiful and unique. I guess that was because of the poor representation of Africa we’ve been fed. My views have totally changed.

Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling? I haven’t really had any bad experience that I can remember now, but I’m sure some disappointments would have occurred at some point.

Do you have any funny travel stories? Perhaps the time I and  my family missed our flight. Then this year we almost did again, so I decided to run like Usain Bolt to get to the right gate and hold the flight. I couldn’t bare seeing my sister cry again if we missed it. The first time we did had been sad but seeing her cry had been funny. She thought the trip was cancelled!

 

Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why? I haven’t been to anywhere that I’d describe as “worse” but I’ll say being pestered in the souks of Marrakech is very annoying. I love Morocco and will go again, but I think I’ll be giving Marrakech a miss altogether.

Where is your favourite place in the world? I haven’t found it yet! However, my recent trip to Santorini was a dream.

Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it? I don’t have anything written down but there are some things that I’ll like to do. Like bungy jumping, sky diving, travelling to Cuba and many more countries, follow a prolific artist on tour and capture the moments and write about it in a visual book format, and so many others. P.S I’ve already done sky diving 🙂

Can you imagine life without travel? Nope, and I hope I never experience it.

Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers? Plan well in advance. Think about what you want to get out of the holiday- adventure, relaxation, wild nights? then organise accordingly because you don’t want to go home with any regrets. Save up so you can enjoy your time away, finances is the worst thing to stop you from enjoying your holiday, but also be penny wise. So look for flight or accommodation deals. Most importantly, be safe.

What has travel taught you? I’ve learned a lot about myself and others while away. I say that the last test in other for me to commit to a relationship will be going away on holiday together. If you can both survive it without killing each other, you’ll be fine. People’s true nature come out when they are away from home and not in their comfort zone. Travel has also taught me about other cultures and be tolerant with people of different backgrounds.

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Tell us about an interesting person you’ve met? On my trip to Morocco in January, I met a young lady while I was travelling from Casablanca to Marrakech. We took the train together and became fast friends. throughout our stay she was hospitable, generous and friendly. Having met her during the trip was wonderful and we enjoyed it more.

What do you think about Nigerian tourism and what do you think we can do better? I think Nigerian tourism was non-existent until quite recently, and with the likes of Globe Jaunters Nigeria and Chiamaka of Social Prefect highlighting its beauty we can see that there is more to discover and learn about our country. I can’t wait to explore it more!

Tell us about Santorini..from scratch;how long did it take you to plan?For me planning starts from deciding what type of holiday I want it to be, like I said earlier. I wanted my Santorini trip to be for relaxation so I wasn’t particularly interested in going to see lots of touristic sights and tours. So planning from that standpoint was easy. I needed to only book my flight and accommodation and take everything else in its stead.

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I had a few friends(most of my friends aren’t as interested in travelling as I am) I had told about wanting to travel there and it was the usual “our think about it/tell me when you’re ready/how much will it cost” wahala. When I began to find deals, 1 friend dropped out as she didn’t want to spend that much on a holiday. Then another friend couldn’t make the dates. Remaining 2 friends. 1 was still thinking about it and the other fully interested. So we looked at different comparison sites and deals. When I had narrowed down the choices, the friend who was fully interested began to back pedal because of finances, bills she had to pay, etc. After that I was fed up and decided to go alone. It was going to be the second time that I really wanted to go to Santorini and friends were holding me back.

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As I began to plan, i even got more excited to go alone because I remember the first trip I took to New York, I had been alone and had enjoyed the independency a lot! But I decided to give the friend who was still “thinking about it” a heads up. So the very day I had planned to book, she responded and said she was in. I emphasised that I wasn’t waiting to book because the prices were getting more expensive for June due to it being the start of high tourist season. She agreed to book the next day and so we started looking for deals and accommodation that we’d both like. It took a lot of searching and calculating budgets to finally find one which we loved. Our budget was a maximum of 500 pounds for both flight and accommodation. We ended up paying around 450 pounds or so.

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We found out that booking flight directly from Easyjet was just a bit cheaper than using the deal sites we had found, and the same was true for the accommodation so we used booking.com to book that.  We read the reviews of the hotel and were pleased with it. We ended up staying at Kamari which has the black sand beach. Our hotel was Kafouros Hotel, just a 5 minutes walk from the beach so it was perfect!

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I would have preferred the great views of the Aegean sea at Oia or Fira, but the hotels which offered such splendid views were about 1000 pounds a night!! Gheez, way out of my budget eh? And the ones that I could afford were too inland to offer any good views so staying by the beach was our best bet.

As I stated earlier, I wanted a good relaxing holiday, so the day we arrived I and my friend slept until the evening when we went for a walk on the beach and had dinner at one of the restaurants there. The beach is lined by lots of restaurants all uniquely decorated and designed, it’s truly a dream. Bougainvillea flowers were everywhere and I loved all the colours. We mostly slept, eat and took walks around Kamari, but on the third day decided to stop being lazy and enjoy what other parts had to offer. So we took a short bus ride to Fira and then later to Oia which had the most amazing view. We ended the night sipping champagne on a rooftop while watching the sunset beautifully.

At Fira, we found a tour company and booked a cruise tour which took us to a volcano, hot springs where we were allowed to swim in open waters and then finally to another island opposite Santorini. There I had an early dinner of seafood, rice and wine.

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I was also able to take pictures with stunning backdrops for my fashion brand Ofio. On the sixth day, I returned to London wishing the trip wasn’t over.

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It was a great trip, and I hope to explore other Greek Islands in the future, but definitely I’ll be returning to Santorini maybe for my honeymoon. Future hubby had better start saving to pay that 1000 pounds a night fee. I’ll be worth it! 🙂

 

 Cheers..

 

 

 

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