The plan was to stay a few days in Athens, explore the Acropolis, the National Archaeological Museum and eat a gyro in a cute little taverna overlooking the Parthenon. Then, we’d hop on a plane and head to the beautiful islands of Santorini and Mykonos. I had envisioned the steep cliffs with whitewashed buildings and resorts overlooking the mostly submerged caldera in the southern Aegean Sea. I had dreamed of this destination and had planned for months, as this was going to be our first vacation abroad. But then…something change.

This happened:

                                       img_4641This is Murphy.

We got him in July and we had planned on going to Greece in September. He was just the sweetest. A fluffy bear boy with the softest ears you’ve ever felt. He was so well behaved, didn’t chew on anything that he wasn’t suppose to and turned into my world. img_4640

I swore I would never have a dog, but after a couple of years of my husband planting the idea in my head, I finally gave in and decided it was okay to have some responsibility. I took him to doggy daycare, made sure he got daily walks and bombarded him with mountains of love. I missed him while I was at work and couldn’t wait to get home to love on him and smell that sweet puppy breath.

How in the world would I ever leave him to go to Greece?

I was lucky that my in-laws agreed to watch him while we were gone and I didn’t have to make the hard decision to board him at the local kennel. I knew he’d be in good hands, having fun all day long and would be fine. But would I be fine?

After lots of thought, I finally decided that I just couldn’t be away from him for 1.5-2 weeks. So this dream vacation turned into a quick European getaway. We left on a Friday night and came home Wednesday. We had a great time, made lots of memories and went back in time exploring the ruins of Greece. Murphy was fine too, but after we got home, I had to have a pep talk with myself. I knew I could never do this to myself again: Skimp out on life, miss out on making amazing memories and let fear drive my decisions.

These are the reasons to always choose to travel:

Life is short, too short and sometimes it sucks

Life is unpredictable. There are a million things that can go wrong and there’s a lot of assholes out there that can really rain on your parade. So if you find joy in something, go for it, invest your time in it and don’t let anyone (people or your furry friends) steer you away from your dreams.

In life, you’re the pilot

You only have one chance to make it right. I am definitely a worrier and tend to have the “what if” conversations in my head more than I’d like. Sad things happen in life, but what if the saddest thing that can happen is a life unlived because of fear of what might happen? I don’t want to live that way. I want to make those memories, take those pictures and tell the stories.

You learn to live in the moment

 Traveling teaches you to take in the moment of awe and make the most of it. These are things you can do in everyday life too. Perhaps we would appreciate the little things that happen everyday if we chose to be a resident of the world and learn to live fully no matter what the circumstances.

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I’m sure Murphy misses us when we’re gone. Although I think he does just fine with Mimi and Pa. He sleeps on a queen size bed, gets lots of bones and doesn’t even miss out on wet food Saturday just because we’re gone.

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