Live · Travel

Moving Abroad – Part I

Born to be a traveler

Over the years I have not only traveled to quite a bit, I have also moved to quite a few places. Moving seems normal when you are from a small Greek town with no university and not many career prospects. However, most of my high school friends moved away to nearby cities to study and came home every weekend to have mom do their laundry and refill their fridge with homemade food. Eventually, they would find a spouse and take over their father’s business or find a job in that small Greek town and move back there. Nothing wrong with that, but I always wanted something different. I wasn’t an adventurous traveler yet, but I had become obsessed with the idea to see the world and even the thought of having to do my own laundry couldn’t deter me.

It’s been 16 years since I left my home town and it’s actually difficult to remember how many times I had to move for short or long term periods around Greece and abroad first for my studies and then for my job. My last stop has been the longest since I stayed here for about five years. Honestly I thought, that was it, I was about to spend the rest of my life here in the place travel guides promote as a major tourist attraction with the moto “you’ve been here in your dreams”. Yes, Halkidiki is a dream place but this is another story for another post.

During the past five years

Though the economic crisis had already began in Greece, me and my spouse seemed to be doing fine in this place. Both working at the areas of our expertise in a promising region with great resources so the first salary cut backs didn’t seem enough to bother us. After all life cost here is really affordable and it’s only 20 minutes drive to the nearest international airport so we could still have a quality life and keep up with our plans on seeing the world.

living_in_Halkidiki_Greece
Halkidiki-the place I called home for the past five years

 

Less than a year ago, and needless to explain the reasons, we decided that it was no longer to our best interest to stay in this “paradise” so we started examining our options. Very soon we realized that our best chances lie on moving abroad while Greece is struggling for reformations. Thus we had to come up with a good plan and I would like to share with you it’s key points.

Here is what you need to do and know before you decide to move abroad

1. Why move…

I think all reasons to move to another country are valid. Did you fall in love? Great!  You found a great job? Cool!  Eventually the only answer to the question ‘why?’ I could come up with was ‘why not?’. We are not giving anything up, we just decided on a new path in our lives and that is good enough reason for us to do it. Personally I’m a big fan of going with your gut, it usually directs you to the right destination.

2. …and why not to

The only exception of reasons to move is to get away. While wanting to get away when things get tough, just remember that you take yourself with wherever you go. So make sure you are okay with yourself, because being stranded in a foreign country with just your own company for the time being is tough enough; make sure you like yourself and to have your emotional baggage sorted.

stay_or_leave

3. Nothing is forever

Admittedly selling everything and giving up your entire life is not the easiest thing economically or emotionally. But something you have to try it, just so you can cross it off your list. When you make a decision to move sometimes it feels more monumental than it actually is. Yes, there is often a lot of work, effort and tears involved, but just remember that nothing is forever or irreversible.

4. Field research

How do you decide on where you want to live? Do you check it out before or do you just go? The answer here depends entirely on your personality and situation. For me and my husband career prospects and quality life style is what we are looking for. Other than that, I am a bit of a planning freak so I like to know my facts before I land somewhere. Keep in mind,  being somewhere on a holiday is hugely different from living somewhere. Do a bit of basic research beforehand to eliminate the chance of finding yourself stranded with a one-way ticket in a place you hate. Regardless of where you go, I can guarantee you that there will be enough surprises and adjustments, so check the basics beforehand.

5. Pack your life

A lot of times, I got by with just an extra piece of luggage on the plane. Many airlines will allow extra baggage for smaller fees if you sign it up before your departure. If you have more to ship like boxes or furniture and a bit of time at hand, I recommend a proper cargo company who will get you a space on a container ship. Regardless of which option you chose, get rid of your books and everything you could replace at a smaller cost of that shipping it. The first few times I had to leave my ‘library’ behind it actually broke my heart a bit, so I decided that I will rather have an allocated book room once I’m all grown up and have a my own beach house

To be continued…

Moving Abroad – Part II

 

Images: collage of personal pics and www.visit-halkidiki.gr images

Inspired by travelettes article

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Moving Abroad – Part I

  1. I really LOVE this post! Thank you! WOW – your photos are gorgeous! What a stunning place! 🙂 I have moved quite a bit too – growing up in NYC then making the move to Paris 14 years ago. Moving to Paris had been my dream since I was 4 years old and I am so happy here! Packing up everything and moving to a new dream destination is such a fabulous experience! Everyone should have this incredible experience at least once in a lifetime in my opinion! 🙂 My mom did the same – moving from NYC to Tuscany 12 years ago! XO

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So you can really empathize huh? I completely agree with you, everybody should have this experience at least once…it’s a mind opening procedure. Lucky me I was raised by culturally open parents who supported my decisions from a young age, probably it’s not a coincidence you can trace my family line from Alexandria-Egypt to Marseilles-France and from NYC back to Greece…it runs in our blood :p by the way…Paris and Tuscany? Great choices! My parents moved out of town too six years ago, they bought a beach house with a huge garden filled with olive and lemon trees! XO

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That sounds amazing! Must be fun to visit your parents there! 🙂 Our family is so mixed too – as far back as we can trace every marriage was between 2 people from different countries and I continued the tradition by marrying a Frenchman! 😉 So funny! The travel bug must run in families! Lol 🙂 XO

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree more with you! when you move abroad and turn your life into a journey filled with uncertainty, you grow up in unexpected ways. You learn, you broaden your horizons. You unlearn, and after coming down and embracing a few lessons, you start growing in humility. You evolve 😉

      Like

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s