The second most beautiful place in the world, behind Maui, Hawaii, is Santorini, an island in Greece.

I used to talk to my friend, Noah, about how we would go to Greece for Spring Break when we study abroad together during my second semester Sophomore year.

Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for me, I ruined our plan with my surprise family trip to Greece. An actual dream come true.

We spent eight days traveling around Greece with two days of travel - 3 days in Athens, 2 days in Santorini, 2 days in Mykonos, and 1 more day in Athens.

When people have trouble describing a trip they went on because it was so unbelievable, I could never relate because I had never experienced something as incredible. But the clichè words cannot describe the trip, actually, applies in this case.

Athens, a normal, slightly Americanized city, is apartment complex after apartment complex. Most people who live in Athens live in an apartment and have a some type of vacation home on one of the islands. The city was very European with small shops and big commercial stores, but also small cafés and bars on side streets. There was a whole street called “Souvlaki Row” where every single restaurant sold solely souvlaki. Amazing.

The food. Cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, kalamata olives, feta, oregano, and olive oil. Every single Greek dish is different in Greece than in America. Lunch was at 4 pm and dinner was at 10. Needless to say, the time change made me hangry.

The people. Those of whom truly appreciated my efforts to speak their language.

The history. Ruins that age back to before America was even conceived, make you realize how short the history of our country is.

Santorini and Mykonos, the some of the most famous islands in Greece that have the most beautiful views in the world.

Beaches. These were called “organized beaches” - some with black sand, some with red, some with regular, but all of them with umbrellas, chairs, and tables. The water was dark blue, not Caribbean light sea green. But dark, sapphire blue.

The sun. The sunburned and tanned you an olive brown. Not like Florida sun that makes you an orangey shade of tan. But dark, olive brown.

The views. Every single picture I took looked like the pictures from travel websites. Everything on the island is blue and white and with white concrete buildings covering the island and blue water everywhere, each view is breathtaking. The islands are so beautiful that a filter is not required for all the Insta worthy pics that you take.

An unforgettable trip that left me with so much appreciation for Southern European countries, Greece is somewhere that I am 100% sure I will be revisiting within the next four years. With thousands of years of history and the most beautiful islands in the world, I think that anyone would want to visit Greece just as much as I want to go back.