In early May, my wife and I traveled to Greece to explore Athens and the islands of Santorini and Crete. This trip was our “babymoon”—we are expecting our first child in early August and wanted to get one final international trip in before the baby arrives.
If you have the opportunity to take a babymoon, I highly recommend it. We got our last pre-kid European travel fix, hiked, ate amazing food, and took the time to relax and talk about our next adventure, having a baby.
I always find plenty of inspiration with travel, both for my life in general and for my design work in particular. And the inspiration I found on my Greek trip can be boiled down to one word: simplicity. So much in Greek life celebrates the beauty of simplicity. Their meals, their architecture, their general way of life—everything seemed to follow a formula, where there was a simple base with a bold accent. The brown rugged landscape with a pop of bright pink flowers, the traditional meals with a splash of zest, the whitewashed villages with a hint of blue.
The food: green beans stewed in tomatoes with feta crumbled on top; spinach and rice drizzled with olive oil, with feta crumbled on top; scrambled eggs with tomatoes on buttered toast and (say it with me) feta crumbled on top. The quality of the fresh ingredients made it unnecessary to add frills.
And the architecture: I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I felt inspired just walking the narrow cobblestone paths in towns or hiking to a vantage point where I could see villages in their entirety. Santorini consisted mostly of clusters of whitewashed houses and churches with accents of a vibrant Mediterranean blue. From a design perspective, that blue color was so effective because of the amount of white space it had to support it. And it was consistent throughout the island—each village had its own unique attributes, but the vibrancy of the blue against the white buildings could be found everywhere.
Overall, I feel recharged, inspired and ready for the next adventure of being a parent. This trip taught me to relax and appreciate the simple things. It’s easy to get caught up in a stressful routine where time passes too quickly for you to absorb anything.
I’ll be thinking a lot about simplicity in my upcoming design work—and in my approach to parenting. Quality versus quantity, and not overcomplicating things that are beautiful at their most elemental. This will serve as a good lesson as we welcome a baby into our lives.