They say that three is a sacred number. Pythagoras, the famous Greek mathematician, deemed it the perfect number: strong, harmonious, wise. Throughout history, most good things — all memorable ones — come in threes.
Amy planned and executed a dream European vacation around three diverse cities in one beautiful country. By dividing up their trip into three legs, Amy was able to see the scope of what the land had to offer. The history of a city, the splendor of a beach, the stillness of a pastoral countryside — three slices of one culture creating the perfect juicy experience.
Three Cities in Greece
As 50 loomed on the horizon, Amy Higgs decided it was time to expand hers. Throughout her 30s and 40s, vacations consisted of taking her son to Disney and other kitschy locales. But 50 signaled something epic and independent, so a journey abroad seemed fitting to celebrate a half-century of breathing.
Amy had always been fascinated by Greek mythology and Mediterranean food, so Greece was where her wanderlust pinned itself — and in order to celebrate a monumental birthday right, you have to invite your girlfriends. “I had only traveled abroad once before. Just before the pandemic in 2019, I took my 27-year-old son to Ireland, but there had never been time for solo international travel before that. I decided I was going to do it whether or not my friends could come with me. I knew it might not be realistic to ask them to join me on such a big trip, but I just put it out there,” Amy said. But they came, of course.
Since Greece is around the size of Florida and consists of an incredibly diverse landscape, Amy enlisted My World Travel, a Louisville-based, female-owned travel consultant company to plan her trip. “They were an absolute godsend! They handled the flight, hotels, restaurant reservations, tours, and gave me excellent recommendations,” Amy says. Unlike travel agents who are typically free of charge but receive compensation by booking through specific hotels and tour companies, travel consultants are paid a flat-rate by the consumer and plan your trip without any corporate kickbacks.
Amy’s consultants recommended that she divide the two-week trip into three legs: three days in Athens for antiquity, Santorini for four days of upscale, five-star Grecian Isle luxury, and four days in Crete to feast on their breathtaking beaches. This itinerary allowed her friends to join her at various parts of the trip without having to commit to the time and cost of 12 days in Greece for a birthday party.
“Each place was so different; I was able to experience the full scope of what the country has to offer. Athens has rich history and the most beautiful orange and olive trees. Crete had the most beautiful beaches — I’d love to go back and explore more there. My favorite, though, was Santorini. I wasn’t sure which of the 38 Greek islands I wanted to see, but Santorini was the picture that I had in my head, with the white architecture and blue domed roofs. I knew if I didn’t see it, I would regret it,” Amy explains. And it did not disappoint: luxurious five-star dinners that included complimentary desserts of baklava, chocolate mousse, or gelato. All four of Amy’s crew were able to commit to this leg of the trip where they felt like Kardashians reveling in the surprisingly affordable luxury there. They hiked six miles from Fira to Oia, getting to truly see the villages and cliffs of that picturesque setting, all together for four days of festivities.
“It was stunningly beautiful — 75 degrees and sunny the whole time,” Amy says. “Everything was much better in Greece. The chicken gyros are crispy on the edges and moist in the middle, the Greek yogurt is sweeter, and instead of chips at the corner convenience store, they have racks of vacuum-packed olives!”
Amy’s 50th birthday voyage has motivated her to see the world. “Next, I want to go to Japan. My son loves Japanese culture and now that I’ve done this and found these amazing travel consultants, why not!”
By Megan M. Seckman | Photos submitted