I was drenched in sweat.

And in the middle of nowhere. Without water.

My stepdad and I were hiking up a steep hill in 100 degree weather.

Around us, nothing but trees and the occasional sheep.

And we were blissfully ecstatic. Smiling like little kids.

It was our first day on Mount Athos, an independent republic of orthodox monks in the Mediterranean.

Although technically a peninsula, you can go there only by boat. Oh, and you have to be a man. Woman aren't allowed in.

We'd just gotten dropped off in Karyes, the capital, and were now on our way to our first stop: the monastery Iviron.

"This place is magical" I thought to myself while dripping with sweat.

"It's radiating energy. Lots of good energy".

Transcendence. That's what I was feeling.

We got to bathe in infinite energy and soak it all up.

That 3 hour hike without water I was talking about? It flew by like this. *snap*

And the water we finally got once we'd arrived at the monastery: it tasted like heaven.

(Photo by Aleksei Алексей Simonenko Симоненко on Unsplash)