Greece might not be in 20-year-old Jemma Hadley’s bloodline, but it’s certainly in her heart and as of recently also etched on her body forever.

The young woman’s fascination with Greece started at a very young age.

“My Year 4 Greek Australian teacher, who also happened to be the best teacher in the world, used to love to tell us stories about the country of her ancestors, encouraging us to explore Greece’s culture as well as history. She was the one that introduced me to the ancient Greek philosophers, Greek mythology and history and got me hooked on those books that ‘transported’ me to a different world, a world that I immersed myself in as a child,” remembers Jemma, a ‘hopeless romantic’ who used to spend countless hours reading, looking at pictures and dreaming of all the places she wanted to visit in Greece.

“I remember I was obsessed with Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty,” she says.

The young girl’s dream came true in September when she took her first overseas trip alone.

“When I arrived in Santorini, it was love at first sight. I had seen pictures of the island in books and on television, but I never expected it to be like that. The view of the caldera was just breathtaking. It was nothing like I had ever seen before. I loved the wild scenery, the natural beauty, and the hospitality of the islanders that were so welcoming and kind,” says Jemma, who spent her days hiking, exploring, mixing with the locals and indulging in delicious traditional Greek food.

“In all seriousness, I had the best ‘frappe’, the best baklava and the most delicious Greek salad and souvlaki I have ever tasted. Those are my greatest weaknesses and I would have them any day.”

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After spending five nights in Santorini, the young blogger decided to get a tattoo on her arm that would remind her of her first overseas trip, particularly of the place she had wanted to visit since she was a young girl.

“I am not religious. If anything, I am fascinated by the 12 Greek Gods. Nevertheless, the blue dome church with the three bells is just a gorgeous piece of architecture that you don’t see anywhere else in the world. I decided that it would be the best way for me to remember my unique time in Greece. As for the olive branch, it is obviously a Greek native plant that stands for peace and forgiveness, so it felt right to also add that on to my Greek design,” she explains.

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Jemma is already planning her next trip to Greece to celebrate turning 21.

“I can’t wait to go back. I regret only spending 12 hours in Athens and not visiting the ruins and the old city, but I am saving my money now and hopefully my next adventure isn’t too far away,” she says.

“Greece is definitely a country blessed by the Gods and I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to experience it.”

You can read more about Jemma’s Santorini adventure on her travel blog: