Island Wisdom: Life Lessons Learned on Greek Ferry Trips

Island Wisdom Life Lessons Learned on Greek Ferry Trips

Located in the eastern Aegean, Ikaria is one of the world’s blue zones, where people live well into their nineties without chronic illness or dementia. Their simple, frugal lifestyle reveals what’s truly important in life.

Native Hawaiian and cultural expert Kainoa Daines co-authored Island Wisdom with journalist Annie Daly. He shares his elder-approved formulas for a happier, healthier lifestyle—from how to be pono every day to how to malama aina.

1. Patience Is a Virtue

You may have heard the phrase, “Patience is a virtue.” However, many people do not know exactly why it is considered a virtue. Patience, or forbearance, is an essential characteristic that allows you to overcome challenges and hardships in a way that is both healthy and beneficial to others. Patience involves an understanding that a good person should always try to be happy and content with the life they have been given. This means that you should not complain about annoyances, such as traffic jams, a long line at the grocery store, or even a malfunctioning computer.

For philosopher Aristotle, patience was a part of the “Golden Mean,” a character trait that is a necessary component of a virtuous individual. In his book, Ethics, Aristotle defined virtue as an ability to balance the opposites of a situation, and he believed that you could achieve a virtuous state by avoiding both excess and deficiency of patience. Too little patience would be rashness; too much would be inaction in the face of injustice.

There are different types of patience, and research suggests that good mental health is linked to having this character trait. For example, patience over daily hassles like traffic jams and a long line at the grocery store seems to be linked with better mental health. Similarly, being patient with annoying people also appears to be linked to having more hope.

2. It’s Always Better to Be Prepared for Seasickness

Seasickness can be as debilitating for experienced sailors as it is for newbies. That’s why it’s always a good idea to be prepared for this possibility and avoid getting caught by surprise, as it can make any trip miserable.

Among the simplest tips is to look up at the horizon every few seconds to reestablish your frame of reference, and never to lose sight of it for more than five seconds. Smith also recommends staying away from food and drink that gives you indigestion, especially spices, grease, salt or anything that has ever made you feel nauseated. Instead, try dry crackers and plain fruit, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Another essential preparation is to bring antiemetic pills or a patch, which can keep you from feeling like vomiting your brains out. Lastly, try to get enough sleep the night before you set sail to prevent feeling fatigued, as this can increase your susceptibility to seasickness.

If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, be sure to pick up a copy of Island Wisdom, Hawaiian Traditions and Practices for a Meaningful Life by Kainoa Daines and Annie Daines. It’s a beautiful book full of wisdom and insight from locals that will help you discover what it means to be “pono” each day and how to “malama” the land.

3. You Can’t Plan Every Detail of Your Trip

Greek island ferries offer a variety of routes, but they are not all created equal. Some are high-speed vessels, cutting back on travel time. Others are slower boats, requiring longer journeys. Some ferry companies also have different boats for each route, making it important to know which one you’re booking.

It’s best to book your ferry tickets as early as possible. This will help you avoid any last-minute disappointments, as popular routes can sell out quickly during peak summer season. You can purchase your tickets online (recommended), at local travel agencies, or directly from the ferry company at the port.

Ferry schedules change with little notice, so be sure to double-check the information on the ferry company’s website or contact them for any updates. If possible, make your reservations 2 to 3 months in advance to ensure that the ferry times fit well with your trip.

Bringing snacks and water on board is recommended, as food and drinks on the ferries are expensive. Typically, it’s best to bring dry snacks like crackers or pretzels, which are easier to store and less likely to melt if it’s an especially hot day. Water is usually a good choice as well, as it’s cheaper than many other beverages on the boat.

4. Keep an Open Mind

Traveling on Greek ferries is a wonderful way to see all of the islands. Often, they are cheaper than airfare or private boat rentals. Plus, they are comfortable and provide ample opportunities to relax. However, if you’re prone to seasickness, it is essential that you prepare for the journey ahead of time by packing your own snacks and beverages. The food on ferries tends to be overpriced, and you may not have the appetite to eat much anyway if you get seasick.

Luckily, there are a number of different types of ferries in Greece, from high-speed ferries that cut back on travel times to catamarans and hydrofoils. In general, the earlier you book your ferry tickets, the cheapest price you will find. Additionally, you can also save money on food on the ferries by bringing your own meals and drinking water.

For her debut literary effort, Destination Wellness, journalist Annie Daly traveled to six destinations across the globe to plumb generations-spanning wellness traditions. Her book, co-authored with Native Hawaiian Kainoa Daines, aims to contribute to the preservation of local culture and knowledge. Her new book, Island Wisdom, dives even deeper into elder-approved formulas for a meaningful life. HAP recently sat down with Kainoa to learn more about his latest project.