Life is very different since I moved to Athens, Greece at the end of 2014. People, especially the Greeks, thought I was crazy for moving right before and staying during an economic crisis, but it was a very easy decision for me to make. I had been searching for a new adventure and once I fell in love I was one hundred percent in. I may be the financially poorest I have ever been but I am also the happiest I have ever been – rich in life.
The Greek life is a slower life centered on the earth, family, tradition and celebration. Most people are originally from islands and villages where families live sustainably off the land completely. Merchant stores close all day Sun, Mon/Wed after 2:30, Tues/Thurs for a few hours in the day the Greek “siesta” and all Orthodox holidays so people can be with their families and honor their spiritual traditions. The schools do not feed the children lunches but instead they are off earlier in the day to go eat home-cooked meals with their family. My favorite time is August when everyone rushes to the islands leaving the cities dead.
The different and beautiful thing is life is not centered on work. People do not spend most of their waking day, week, month, year or life working or commuting. People take weeks off work in the winter and summer. Life is about family, friends, the islands, celebration, cooking, eating and drinking and, if you’re Greek, probably smoking, too.
Of course, not everything is perfect here. I already mentioned the smoking. There have been many downs between all the highs in my transition. It was tough to adjust the scheduler in me when no one plans and nothing starts on time because people are usually late. Not to mention everyone shouts. Maybe I do not make as much money as I would if I lived in states but I don’t need as much here. Maybe I would be able to see my family more but it is so beautiful to be able to expand my family here.
I am happy where I am, with a rooftop view of the sea to the west and to the north, the Acropolis. I have much more exploring to do here in Greece and thousands of more islands to see – literally, there are 6,000 islands of Greece (but only 227 inhabited.) I love seeing people from home when they come to visit. If it sounds like I’m trying to sell you on visiting Greece, it’s because I am…
Sending you love on support on your journey that I hope brings to you Greece someday,