Photo by Jc Romero on Pexels

We travel the world to discover. Discover the natural beauty, awaken our taste buds, feel the adrenaline of the unknown. We discover the world to see in color.

There is no longer the option of “I don't see color”. We want to see color because it is those skin tones that have a story. My olive skin displays my Mediterranean heritage, my Greek ancestors, the history of my grandmother’s mother that left Ireland in hopes of living a better life. There is no threat towards my existence and that is a privilege.

I want to see the colors and understand…

I was wrong

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When I first heard the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) I thought it was something only soldiers or people that had been in combat experience. Little did I know that I would also be diagnosed with it, someone that was nowhere near a war zone.

PTSD is a mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event that you either witness or experience.

As a Social Scientist and Human Rights specialist, I worked in various humanitarian settings. From living in Sri Lanka post-civil war and having tanks stationed outside my apartment, to the grossly overcrowded refugee camps in…

Photo by Ines Álvarez Fdez on Unsplash

“The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”- Jacques-Yves Cousteau

I step backward on the edge of the boat. I hold my mask and regulator so it does not fall out of my mouth and next thing I know I’m in the water. Not just any body of water. I am in the Coral Sea, home of the Great Barrier Reef. As I slowly and carefully sink to the bottom of this majestic palace, I pinch myself just to make sure I am not dreaming. Can this be true? Am I actually living…

and I feel guilty about it

Max van den Oeteelar via Unsplash

I know what you’re thinking. How dare she write that coronavirus helped her anxiety when the entire world is suffering in one way or another. Well, not to worry because I already feel guilty about admitting it.

These past two and a half years have been filled with great pain, loss, and trying to understand who I am, which of course woke up the big monsters inside me: depression and anxiety.

As a teenager, I went through severe depression and I thought after surviving it then that I had put it behind me.

Having worked in the humanitarian field for…

Source: Burst

When I walk into the grocery store first thing I notice are the watermelons. Even though they are such a big fruit, they are hidden in the corner behind the onions as if trying to be discreet.

Growing up in Greece, we were always taught that choosing a watermelon is an art one needs to master. You need to pick it up and knock on it to see if it sounds fresh. When I was young I always thought knocking on a watermelon was such a silly thing to do. …

It took a neurological disability and good friends to redefine how I think of strength

Image by Nicole Ak

I was twenty-one when I first fell to the ground and was unable to move for forty-eight hours. When my body hit the floor falling like a watermelon crashing into the ground, my glasses smashing into my face, my friends thought that I had passed out. I do not remember any of this but once I gained consciousness, I was unable to talk, walk, or move. I was unaware of my surroundings and had no idea who anybody including myself was. Apparently, the only thing I did blurt out was the high-risk advice of “do not take me to the…

Nicole Ak

Social Scientist - writer - advocate - traveler- music aficionado

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