I know that I’ve been postponing this for quite some time. A part of myself refused to say an official ‘goodbye’ to Santorini—thus, I found it difficult to actually sit down in front of my computer and write this last part; the epilogue. Finally, I’m writing this from Almaty, Kazakhstan, somewhere in the midst of the mysterious charm of Central Asia. An encounter with someone here a few days ago reminded me of a conversation I had with G inside the car on my last day in Santorini, when he drove me to the airport.
It’s all about living a life without regret. A life worth celebrating.
“I love my job, I love what I do. I get to talk and meet with a lot of interesting people,” said G that cloudy morning. “But I don’t like money. Really, I hate money. That’s why I spend it. I travel around the world and spend loads of money. I even invite my friends to come along with me. Then I go back here, without money, and start working again. But it’s been an amazing life. You know, if I should die today, I have no regret. The business is running well, I know that my family will be alright without me. My father, my mother, they are doing fine. And I am happy, Hanny. If I die today, I will die happily. I will die a happy man.”
The following week, I received a reply from AP about the thank-you note I’ve written for the great meal and the great service I’ve experienced in his tavern. “Honey, I’m really happy because you’re the proof of all the hard work and efforts we make everyday to be everything-perfect! We see our customers as friends first,” wrote AP. “We’re learning, from generation to generation, to give our best. To be hospitable. And to do everything with love. One baklava is waiting for you, so come again as soon as possible!”
If there’s any secret ingredient to live a life without regret, that must be it. Love. To do things that you love, and to do things that you might not love that much with a lot of love. It’s about seeing people that you love happy and content. It’s about radiating the love inside of you, which in turn will make people around you feel accepted and comfortable. You do not judge. You do not compare. You do not count. You have no fixed plans. You seize the day and grab the opportunity. You never wish that you said ‘hello’ because you always do. You connect. You smile. You laugh. You flow. You love. You live.
- George Katsipis | Villa Evgenia Hotel in Fira, Santorini. Ranked #1 of 25 specialty lodging in Fira by TripAdvisor (that’s what love can do). If you’re at the reception area, look for an owl postcard on the customer’s board: that’s mine!
- Alexandros Passaris | Petros Fish Tavern in Oia, Santorini. Enjoy the tasty grilled fish while admiring the sunset view by the ocean.
- Oliver, Craig, Tim, Maria and Chris | Atlantis Books in Oia, Santorini.
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