Naxos knows how to greet visitors. Its most lauded landmark is visible even before setting foot on the island. Standing on an islet near the Naxos Town harbor is what looks like a giant picture frame—actually the Portara, a marble doorway and the only remaining part of a temple, begun in the 6th century BC and never completed, that was dedicated to Apollo.
All of these places have their own starkly desolate beauty, and Greece’s Nea Kameni is no exception. Visible from Santorini, the uninhabited volcanic island looks like a black mass. Up close, its nuances come into focus.
There’s one travel article that really needs to be written. It’s a column we’ve had on the back burner for quite some time and it’s titled “Why ‘Don’t Worry About Money and Just Travel’ is the Worst Advice of All Time.” Unfortunately, the piece recently published by Time.com under that same headline is not at all what we had in mind.
If only its author, Chelsea Fagan, had attempted to address the title question her story may have stood as a useful tonic against some of the more irresponsible financial advice that sometimes passes for lifestyle wisdom these days. Instead, she chose to use most of her 1,100 words to rail against a single rich blogger’s privilege. Entertaining, perhaps, in the way that watching a temper tantrum can sometimes be but about as illuminating.
Worse is that rather than tearing down the travel finance myth her title promises, the article instead enthusiastically perpetuates another, more common, myth: that only the very rich can travel. Reading Ms. Fagan you’re left with the impression that there are only two economic classes in America. On one end of the financial divide are wildly wealthy trust fund kids represented by travel bloggers who want for nothing but self-awareness. On the other end are huddled masses living lives of complete immiseration. That’s it.
Before embarking in 2010 on what turned out to be a four-year-long, coast-to-coast U.S. road trip, we couldn’t possibly appreciate–or even comprehend–the stunning beauty of our home country. The diversity of its natural wonders is perhaps unique in the world. So on this, the 239th anniversary of a revolutionary experiment in democracy, we celebrate our nation’s founding by reminiscing over just a few of the remarkable scenes we had the pleasure of seeing during our journey from sea to shining sea.
Happy Birthday, America. You truly are beautiful.
Santorini just might make for the perfect holiday. Not only is it easy on the eyes, a stay on the Greek island can be as active or as leisurely as you’d like. Go sailing, take a hike, explore ancient ruins, or do nothing but sip wine and gaze at the sea. Even after spending six days there, it was one of the few places I didn’t feel ready to leave when the time came to pack up and move on. The bulk of Santorini’s visitors dock for a day, barely scratching the island’s surface. But linger if you can. You certainly won’t regret it.