If you’ve been anywhere near my Instagram lately, you might have seen a lot of blue skies and a slight overuse of HUJI. I went on holiday! I actually got the recommendation from my hairdresser Michelle when I was moaning about how much I needed a holiday. This is the first time I’ve had a proper summer holiday without tying it into a convention or work event in years, and as you can imagine, I was buzzing to kick my Birkenstocks off and sprint into the sea as soon as I landed.
I’ll admit, it was less ‘Into The Wild’ and more Dora The Explorer on the first day. I massively messed up the journey there, taking us to the wrong port in Athens and causing my boyfriend to have incredible carsickness before a four hour ferry journey. Girlfriend points all round, trust me. Rule number one for visiting Naxos: fly to Mykonos and not Athens. You’re welcome.
Once we arrived and were over the chaos of a twelve hour journey, I felt this huge relief wash over me. We were here! On a beautiful Greek island!! We stayed in this gorgeous hotel called Nastasia Village – all muted green wooden doors and white walls with flowers all over the building. It was affordable, the bathroom was nice and it came with complimentary breakfast. Big fan of a complimentary breakfast.
I’ve never been good at beach holidays, but we properly managed to beach while we were there. We rented a quad bike and drove to this small beach down the coast – I think that was my favourite day. We also lurked around the local beaches, drinking peach iced teas and listening to podcasts. I made my way through many episodes of At Home With, along with starting the Frank Ocean series of Dissect, which is perhaps the most calming podcast that isn’t designed for sleep. I also read two books, something I never get to do! Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love was a relatable memoir that made me super nostalgic for my teenage years, and Holly Bourne’s Are We All Lemmings And Snowflakes was a sweet, poignant novel that did a great job of discussing mental health in an empathetic way. It was really great to read for myself without a work-related motive, basking in the sun and enjoying every second.
We also drove to the other villages on the island, which I would say was great fun but it turns out that was my turn to get car sick. I felt grim the whole drive, especially knowing that Jack hadn’t driven on the other side of the road before. Why isn’t there a unanimous, international agreement on which side of the road we drive on yet? Anyway, once we got to the villages it was lovely, but the journey there and back wasn’t my jam at all.
Let’s talk about food! A highlight of my culinary experience was the Naxos salads we had for lunch every day – it’s a greek salad but with Naxos cheese, which comes in a number of shapes and sizes. We would order one salad and one meat dish between us and the two huge portions would easily keep up full until dinner. There was loads of fresh seafood across the island, along with really good meats and cheeses. We also found a place that served gluten-free pasta by the harbour! It’s a very Mediterranean diet, but I wasn’t expecting anything less. I missed my gluten-free bread (never thought I’d see myself write that) but the other dishes made up for it.
I purposefully tried not to film anything while we were there, but we shot two rolls of film on Ollie’s Olympus AF-10. Greece couldn’t be a better place to shoot, the white buildings create such a great canvas. I really enjoyed the challenge of spotting interesting things to capture, along with trying to get the best pics of Jack and document our trip for ourselves. I think they came out alright, my camera skills are slowly improving!
Naxos is perfect for a relaxed holiday – this isn’t a nightlife island, we’re talking bars and restaurants but no clubs or late nights venues. It’s perfect for exploring, beaching and generally decompressing. It’s a low-key, affordable holiday. I had a wonderful time.