Saying Goodbye to the Greek Islands With Grace

Ferries are a crucial part of Greek island hopping. But they’re also a symbol of change.

Students fumble with life jackets and buckle them as the ferry lists. Stiff British upper lips purse, and even a hardened journalist feels her eyes fill with salty tears.

1. Say goodbye to your loved ones

Goodbyes can be hard, but they don’t have to be. Whether it’s a ‘See you later,’ “Good luck,” or one of the many shades of goodbye in between, a farewell can be thoughtful and meaningful. A heartfelt goodbye can help ease the pain of loss and remind your loved ones that you will always love them.

You can say goodbye to your loved one by reminiscing on your favourite memories together, sharing stories that make them laugh or cry and making sure that they know how special they are to you. You can also let them know that they will always be in your hearts, and that you are proud of the time you spent with them.

Often, it is the simple gestures that mean the most. Foot rubs, stroking an arm or shoulder, kisses and gazing into someone’s eyes communicate compassion, love and gratitude in ways words alone can’t. Bringing loved ones together to participate in a scattering ceremony can also be a wonderful way to say goodbye and can offer closure. This can be especially powerful if the person who is going to pass away has been in long-term care or had a terminal illness. Choosing a beautiful location that has special meaning to your family and friends can make the experience more meaningful and provide comfort for all who attend.

2. Take a moment to reflect

Once you’ve said your goodbyes, it’s time to board the ferry. Either a horn will sound or the ferry staff will signal to the first car in line that it’s time to load up. Once you’ve exited your car, make your way to the passenger lounges and settle in for the ride. It’s best to get a spot toward the back of the ferry, which has better views and a minimal play area for children.

As you settle into your seat, take a moment to reflect on the beauty and charm of the Greek islands. It’s easy to forget just how pristine these heavenly isles really are. So, be sure to take a few moments to enjoy your last views of the crystal-blue waters and white-and-gold houses.

The islands of the Cyclades are a top choice for many travellers because they’re picture-perfect. Whether you’re visiting Santorini, where you can gaze out at the blue-and-white cliffs, or Lindos, with its well-preserved medieval walls and Crusader castles, you’ll find yourself in awe of this beautiful part of Greece.

3. Remember the good times

While ferry rides can feel long and monotonous, there are plenty of ways to make your ride more enjoyable. Rather than scrolling through your phone, read a book or take some time to appreciate the scenery. And if you’re traveling with kids, consider bringing easy-to-carry books that will keep them engaged throughout the journey. Just be sure to bring a book or two with a good storyline so that your little ones don’t fall asleep during the trip!

Learning a few Greek phrases will help you immerse yourself in the culture, and Greeks are always appreciative when travelers attempt to speak their language. Besides saying “Eukharisto” (pronounced eff-kha-ri-STOE) a million times a day, learn how to say hello and goodbye in Greek too!

Whether you’re chatting with your Greek friends over coffee or bidding them farewell at the end of a soccer training session, a few words of Greek will go a long way. If you’re going to see a friend for dinner, you can say bye with a smile: (Kalispera)!

By learning how to say goodbye in Greek, you can make connections with locals and feel like a part of the island community. Just remember to use the word Adio only when you won’t see someone again in a while, as kalispera is more appropriate for everyday interactions!

4. Say thank you

The Greeks are very hospitable and often express gratitude for people who visit their establishments. This can be done in many ways. Shaking hands is a common way to show gratitude in more formal situations. Waving goodbye is also a popular gesture. Some people will even wave with a white handkerchief, which was a traditional way to say goodbye (before disposable napkins). It is also common for servers and other employees at restaurants and cafes to say “Ei-sto mera” – See you later. This shows that the business appreciated your visit and wishes you well on your next trip.

When leaving a friend’s house, you may say “Kali hkta moro mou” – Goodnight babe. Adding the word “mou” personalizes the goodbye and shows that you care about your friend. This is also a casual goodbye that is usually used among family members and close friends.

The Greek islands are a unique place to travel. Although navigating the ferry system can be intimidating for first-time visitors, with the help of this easy-to-learn lesson and these top ways to say goodbye in Greece, you’ll find that your island hopping experience is one that will last a lifetime.