Ever since I was a little girl, going to Greece with my family has been a big part of my life. Going to the beach everyday, trips to islands such as Cephalonia and Paxous, going to Monasteries and enjoying the most beautiful food in the world! However, going to Preveza every year wasn’t just about the beaches and the amazing food, it brought me closer to my family and from time to time, as a young woman would do, I imagined how wonderful it would be to be going to Greece with my own husband and children one day!

This year on 5 June I arrived in Preveza with my beautiful boyfriend and future husband Michael – and what an overwhelming holiday it was! I always dreamed of the day my grandparents, who live in Greece, would meet the person I’m going to marry and finally they met Michael. Tears and joy flowed at the airport as Grandma reached up to kiss a six-foot Michael as she kept saying ever so proudly how tall he is!

Back at Despotiko, our village, Grandpa was preparing lamb in the oven and was waiting for us in his best suit! Everyday Michael and I would wake up to the warm sun and sit with my grandparents and eat breakfast and then by lunch time we were off to the beach! Our two favourite beaches in Preveza were Liyia and Monolithi. We would sit at the beach until the late afternoon and we found ourselves so many times staring down at the water and saying to each other, “How beautiful is this!” We would sit and discuss our future plans and how we want a big family trip with our parents to Greece next year and how one day we want to be bringing our children on holidays to Preveza and we would laugh at the thought of having little children running around the beach and our parents chasing after them while we sit and enjoy the sun.

At night we would eat at our favourite tavern, I Treli Garida and after that we would walk up and down the paralia over and over again just looking at the water, the boats, the bars and cafes that were full of people enjoying another beautiful summer night and I would be thinking, “I never want this holiday to end!” We visited Parga a couple of times and we loved it there. We would walk up to the Kastro, looking at the tiny shops on the way up and stop to light a candle at the little churches. What an amazing place! We spent a lot of time during our holiday painting things at our house in the village and adding our little personal touch to the home we always want to return too! I will never forget the nights Michael would light the barbecue and sit outside on the veranda eating, laughing, sharing stories and I could see the happiness and love in my grandparents eyes.

When it was time to say goodbye after one month it was one of the hardest things to do. My grandparents taught me how to love and be grateful for everything your parents do for you, they taught me to have faith and good health and that everything else will come. And even though they will be gone one day, I will always keep their home open by going there every year and sharing everything that they have given me with Michael and our family.

I just wanted to thank our parents for making this trip possible. They brought us up to love Greece and love our culture and we are the couple we are today because of them. And a big thank you to my dad who taught me to never give up on any vision and dream that I have. Going to Greece with Michael was a dream that came true this year. Our trip was filled with the most beautiful unforgettable memories and we cannot wait to return next year! I would like to finish off by thanking Michael for simply being the person he is and making this trip everything it was!