I’m Marie Goff – travel blogger photographer writer speaker
I began a new chapter in my life after retiring from a long career in the military. I became Marie Goff -travel blogger. Now I’m on the go with a passion for travel, meeting new people, and seeing new sights. I jumped wholeheartedly into it. It’s the only way to do it! Learning new skills is a lifelong endeavor, and sometimes it’s overwhelming. My passion for it keeps me going!
The support of my friends and family keeps me going too. The help of other writers, photographers, bloggers, travelers, and speakers is crucial. Even museum curators, librarians, and other knowledge professionals become lifelong mentors. Travel guides and companions are a must. Without them, I could not even get to some of the places!
I’m incredibly grateful for the talented people at T2H Advertising, Kristin, Jeff, and Katie. They welcome my ideas and share their own in a warm and professional environment. I couldn’t do it without them!
Once I started writing, photography followed. I bought a Sony a7III and started learning the ins and outs. Read about my first photography trip and the equipment I rented in Learning Photography with the Professionals – Expedition to Jordan.
Writing and photography inspire new and exciting ways of seeing the world.
My stories highlight beautiful landscapes, cultural richness, and rare encounters with wildlife—all of it, with awe-inspiring images.
Part of the magic of the journey comes from the people you travel with and the people you meet along the way.
My husband, Eddie, is my best travel companion! He does research and planning for road trips and lots of driving. He also researches new equipment and proofreads my stories.
Critical thinking, desire to learn, and adapting to change are the most vital takeaways from my liberal arts college days. I attended Lander University in Greenwood, S.C. It was there that I got my first taste of travel abroad too. With a small group of students and a history professor, I traveled to Dijon, France, for summer courses. Along the way, we visited England, Germany, and Switzerland. The trip fueled my passion for travel!
All of the information on this site is my own, except where I highlight others. Sometimes, I invite guest writers, photographers, and speakers to share their stories.
I’m blessed to travel, see the world, and share experiences. I hope they inspire your next journey!
Thanks for joining me at Travel Notes and Storytelling!
Marie Goff, travel blogger, photographer, writer speaker
Learn more at Marie Goff.
Travel Note:December 6, 2022
There's no denying the striking beauty of the Aegean Islands. For that reason, millions of people visit them each year. Even way past the peak season, some areas are crowded. For example, in Mykonos and Santorini, getting a picture clear of other people was almost impossible. Even with crowds, these islands are too beautiful to miss! But if you want to avoid crowds, many other beautiful islands exist in the Aegean Archipelago. And you may want to consider visiting several that are geographically close. Some of the islands we visited are in different parts of the Aegean Sea and not close together. I found this comprehensive guide helpful, Chasing the Donkey, Aegean Sea Island Guide.
In addition to the aesthetics of the Greek islands, it's also important to look below the surface to understand the culture, the controversial issues, and the impacts of world events. The after-harvest festivals in Samos are good examples. The Feast of Agia Marina in July and the feast in honor of the Dormition of the Virgin in August, and others, are accompanied by traditional food, music, and dancing. Consider these within the context of the historical and religious traditions of the islanders when wine production was vital as the source of income. As an interesting side note, the Catholic Church of the Vatican uses the sweet wine of Samos (exclusively) for the holy mass.
The term "chasing the donkeys" brings up a hot-button issue. In the past, before modern roads and transportation, most locals in Santorini would have had one or two donkeys and likely would not have survived there long without them. These important pack animals continue to provide services in some areas there.
Ancestors of today's donkeys and mules helped to build islands such as Santorini before modern means of transporting goods.
But now, with so many tourists riding for pleasure, the potential to tax the endurance of these iconic animals is high. The herd we saw in Santorini looked very well cared for, and it was also exciting to get a glimpse of them.
Finally, the significant impact of the migrant crisis, which began in 2015, continues to have a substantial effect on the Aegean Islands. Over one million migrants and asylum seekers fleeing wars in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan started making their way to Europe. As for Samos, just five miles from the waterfront is a refugee camp that houses approximately 1,000 refugees, some in crowded barracks surrounded by fences and some in tents or no shelter outside the fence. When desperate refugees began arriving on Samos, sympathetic islanders recall doing everything they could to help, providing blankets, clothes, and food. Overall, there are over 50,000 refugees in Greece. It's a lingering, complex situation with no sign of resolution soon.
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