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Exploring Chios, Greece: The Mastic Villages

The island of Chios is most widely known for its production of mastic.

Since I myself had no idea what mastic was before arriving on the island, I will let Wikipedia explain: Mastic is a resin obtained from the mastic tree. In pharmacies and nature shops, it is called Arabic gum (not to be confused with gum arabic) and Yemen gum. In Greece, it is known as tears of Chios, being traditionally produced on the island Chios, and, like other natural resins, is produced in "tears" or droplets.Originally a sap, mastic is sun-dried into pieces of brittle, translucent resin. When chewed, the resin softens and becomes a bright white and opaque gum. The flavor is bitter at first, but after some chewing, it releases a refreshing flavor similar to pine and cedar.

There are three villages on the island that are key to the production of goods made from mastic. We had a chance to visit these UNESCO-protected villages on one of our days trips. Each village had its unique character and all were charming. The lovely residents hung out in the town squares, gossiping and laughing over their cups of afternoon coffee while we were being tourists and taking tons of pictures of every street!

Village of Pyrgi

This village attracts many tourists because of the uniquely decorated houses. Through scratching plaster, geometrical patterns known as "Xysta," are engraved on the outside of the houses throughout the village.

Village of Olympi

Beautiful paintings on the doors of the village show the local villagers working with the mastic.

Village of Mesta A gorgeous church in the town square and a perfect time for lunch break - a Greek salad and red wine of course!

You are not stuck - you never were. You are playing it all out marvelously and have played your parts perfectly to arrive in this exact moment. Even if it may feel as if you should be elsewhere in the storyline, that is also part of the script you put together. But your next act is yet to be written. Your next act is still a blank canvas, teeming with possibility waiting to be made manifest. You are the director, the observer, and the actor. Yet as long as you identify only with the actor, you will keep re-playing familiar scenes, forgetting that life abounds with more choices than meets the eye. Take a short break daily from all the roles you play, the costumes you put on. Quiet those outside voices and go within..back to the space of nothingness from which everything emerges. From within this much deeper world you can dream, imagine, and explore the possibilities that you want to bring to life for your next act. You have nothing to lose but your limitations. Dream big...but once you awaken, live even bigger. ❤SO

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