How to Get Lost

Demetri, PhD Serifos

Rather than talk about where this perfect white marble beach is on the map of Serifos, it may be more helpful to discuss how we ended up there.  First of all, we were invited to Serifos by one of my best friends, Demetrios Peloponisios.  Demetri is a PhD in Serifos — as someone who’s spent every summer in Serifos for the past 30 years, he knows everything about the island and its hidden beaches.  He is rightly conflicted about the impact of tourism on his island, and we tried to tread lightly as guests.

Demetri intentionally parked our car down the road from the trailhead to the beach, so as not to reveal the trailhead to passing visitors on the island.  The beach is about 20 minutes from any of the bigger towns on the island and is quite convenient in terms of commute.  Fortunately, the hike down to the beach is hidden, precarious, and not passable without hiking footwear — no kids, fat people, old people, lazy people, paddle ballers, jetskis, or plastic beach rafts.  The rock perch above the beach evoked the spirit of Serifos — rugged, slippery, filled with ankle twisting divots, and ripe with headbanging stalactites.  The payoff was sublime — a pristine, quiet, private, and visually spectacular swimming hole, complete with an earth cooled lounge.  Each of the attributes of our favorite beaches were combined to form a perfect beach that I could not have imagined, even after hearing Demetri describe it a hundred times over the past decade.   It had the privacy and crystal clear water of Culebra, the spectacular visual character of Northern California, and the invigorating, refreshing, rehabilitating swimming water of Emerald Isle.  As Demetri pointed out, no architect or designer could fabricate an environment like this — it is a marvel of nature and one worth preserving.  The only catch is that the only way to preserve it is to keep it a secret as long as possible.

How will we find these hidden spots as we travel the globe?  The type of places that make all of the logistics of travel worth the time, money, and effort?   First, we are planning to visit places where we have good friends who’ll make a similar effort to show us the best of what their home has to offer.  Second, we have to spend more time in each of these places.  Finally, we have to earn the trust of our hosts and guides, and maintain that trust by not revealing the places that are for locals only, or ones that would be spoiled being on the beaten path.   Thank you for showing us the way Demetri, it was life changing.