PALAIOCHORA, Greece // After a year of travel Adam and I decided to rent our first car abroad. We are on the island of Crete with tame traffic and a thousand cheap rental cars available. We checked out a few places and asked tons of questions about insurance, road signs, gas prices, where we could return the car, what was covered, what if we crashed, and on and on and on. We went for it and booked it for pick up the next day. They drew up a contract when we arrived this morning and it was no extra charge to add me as a driver so we did it. She gave us a map and directions to Palaiochora. We walked outside and around a small dark grey car, we have since named “Bravo”, to check out damage, nothing worth noting. Then she opened the door and staring at us was a standard car. Adams eyes almost popped out of his head. They only have standard cars for rent.
Today, I am grateful for my parents who forced me to learn stick shift before I could get my drivers license. I am thankful for the hours on hills my dad made me stall out and play with the clutch. I am thankful for driving around my hometown and killing the engine at 4 way stops and having to learn to calmly restart the car and that everything was fine. The song played at my wedding during the father-daughter dance was none other than Alan Jackson’s, "When Daddy Let me Drive” which was oh so perfect for today. I confidently got behind the wheel and we drove safely to our destination with no problems with that song playing in the background. It's funny how little pieces of knowledge we have picked up over our lifetime have been used on this trip. Our sailing license, being scuba certified, webpage design, the rock climbing classes we have taken, pottery throwing, and my knowledge of driving standard cars from way back, all were used at some point over the past year.