Even though Classic Journeys’ guest and frequent traveler Achilles is Greek to the core, his younger generations had never been to the homeland. So he enlisted the team at Classic Journeys to arrange a few days on their ancestral island of Lesbos, so the grandfather could reveal their origins to his family. 

Achilles tells his own story beautifully. “My wife and I enjoy taking our family on visits around the world. We’ve decided that for one of those trips it would be cool to show them where my mother was born, and Classic Journeys helped us make that happen.” 

“My mother was born in a little town named Andissa on the island of Lesbos. When she left the island to come to the United States, Andissa had a population of 5,000. Today it is less than 1,000. My mother was sent to the United States because her family could not afford to provide for her and her older sister at home. Thanks to the planning that Classic Journeys helped us do, we explored the village, had lunch in the town square and found my mother’s childhood home. Almost all of the buildings, including my mother’s house, are well over 100 years old. There is a wonderful old tree that sits in the middle of the square, surrounded by benches and old men chatting. Quite different from the way our children and grandchildren live, in New York and Connecticut. 

We spent about a week on the island of Lesbos. A special place was the petrified forest on Lesbos, one of the largest in the world. Our favorite activity was to explore different little beaches. In my opinion, the ideal beach has warm water, soft sand and a taverna; where I can sit and have Kefthedis (Greek meatballs) and a beer while my grandchildren swim. We found that special time by returning to our family’s roots.”

Achilles’ family returned home with a deeper understanding of their Greek heritage and of each other. If you want to explore the land of your ancestors, give us a call at 800.200.3887. We’ll be happy to see what discoveries we can help unfold for you!