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Greece Expat Forum for Expats Living in Greece Have you made Greece your new home? Are you thinking about making Greece your new country of residence? Have you got a second home in Greece? Join our Greece Expats forum and discuss food, meet friends, talk property, finances and much much more.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 2nd October 2011, 09:19 PM
wka wka is offline
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I've noticed very happily increased posting on the Greece forum lately - including some new faces

I thought I'd just start a little intro thread, anyone who wants to say a little about themselves it would be nice to get to know each other a little better. So pitch in if you like. I'll start:

I'm American, married to a Greek (he's a teacher), and we live in Thrace which as you know is in the far northeastern corner of Greece. It's actually one of the most beautiful areas of Greece - which I did not expect when we came here. After living in the Cyclades for about 16 months and before that in Athens for about a year, I thought southern Greece was the "way to go." I've been really pleasantly surprised by the pace of life and the folks up here in northern Greece. The food is amazing, prices are significantly below southern Greece levels, and people are so so nice! When we first moved here, I couldn't believe it: people everywhere laughing and smiling! People we didn't know on city streets talking to us! After Athens and the islands where I didn't get a lot of smiles, it feels very warm and welcoming here.

We were planning to stay here for the long term. Now we're not so sure... with some of the recent changes, it's becoming more difficult to plan for our future. But we have at least a few more years here before we consider if we'll move (either somewhere in Europe, or back to the US). I sincerely hope we stay; it will come down to a financial decision though, in the end.

I think it would be fun if we could get to know each other a little better around here... thanks in advance to anyone who posts
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Old 3rd October 2011, 07:36 AM
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I'm new!!

Wka great to hear your story! Would love to hear more!

I'm 23 years old and began traveling to Greece 4 years ago. I met a man close to my age named Kosta and we've been best friends since. I go back twice a year for extended visits and absolutely love it. I always stay in Athens- only twice gone to the islands. Once I missed Greece so bad, I flew there for the weekend. Which is a long way to go (I'm from Vancouver Canada) but I couldn't get more time off.

My parents have both passed away, and I have nothing keeping me here, so I'm moving to Greece. I was getting very nervous about it because of the difficulties but I've decided that if it works out, it will be great. If not, I will rebuild my life here. I don't think I could be happier to be leaving this country and heading to the place where my heart belongs...
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Old 3rd October 2011, 08:42 AM
wka wka is offline
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BP44 - welcome to the forum :-) I think it is easy to get overwhelmed by all the paperwork and bureaucracy but if it's your dream you WILL find a way to make it happen. I decided I wanted to live in Greece when I was 14 or so (based on reading some silly books, of course)... but I didn't even actually make it to Greece on a visit til I was 18 haha. I did something similar to you- took trips as long as I could get time off (or afford!) until I married the love of my life and got to stay It was ALL worth it.

Because of your age, I just thought maybe you could look into coming over as a student. There are a number of college (and non) programs that run here that accept N. American students and some even provide scholarships, housing, food, etc. Some of them are broad based, others just do Greek language, but it's a legit way to get a longer term visa (1-2 years) and it can lead to other things. Just something I thought of because to be honest, that's how I started. I had a student visa for 8 months the second time I came to Greece (first time was just for 6 weeks when I was 18 but that time I was a student too, in fact).
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Old 3rd October 2011, 03:21 PM
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I am relatively new, have joined a few months ago but I wasn't that active (so far!). I have put that I'm from the UK, even though only my husband is (sometimes I make an inquiry on his behalf). I am from Serbia, where we live at the moment.
I've lived in Thessaloniki for several years, studying and working. Since I graduated Greek philology and worked as an interpreter, I'm pretty comfortable with the language, maybe even more than with English.
Greece is the inseperable part of my life and my personality, I have friends and family there (mostly Northern Greece - Macedonia and Thrace) and I just can't stand being away from it for a long time!
My husband and I were thinking of moving there, but with the situation now we're not so sure... still it is an open option for us, because even though I have a good job now, my heart is there...



Last edited by Akay; 3rd October 2011 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 03:27 PM
wka wka is offline
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Hi Akay, hope to see you posting around more. :-) I can understand your reluctance to move in this climate but I'm sure some day you'll get the chance to do it. It sounds like we have a pretty similar story actually.

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Old 5th October 2011, 08:30 PM
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Hi everyone!
I' ve recently found this nice forum for Greek expats and welcome the idea of briefly introducing ourselves. I am currently not living in Greece but in Bulgaria where I come from. My husband is non-Greek and has been living in Greece for the past 8 years and I've been visiting him every few months there. I like the culture and architecture of the country, but I'm really worried abt the difficult economic situation it has been in for the past year or so (actually years). This is the main reason I'm still hesitating whether to move to Greece at all. Actually, if I move, it would be to be together with my husband and also because I hope he can get a EU family member card (which I know takes more than 6 months to be issued or may even take a year). I still have a few more months to decide, as I got a job here in Bulgaria and feel it's too risky to quit and go to Greece where I might not find anything (I am a teacher of English). I am trying to study Greek, which I know is vital if I want to stand some chances of getting a job in Greece.
So that's pretty much it. I've been reading all the posts on the forum and have found some useful info for expats-wannabes, so keep up the good work, you're really very helpful!

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Old 28th October 2011, 06:26 AM
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I kinda already did this on another post..but I hadn't read this yet. Great idea wka!

I have a similar story to wka. I first came to greece as a student in 2000. I stayed for a semester and couldn't shake the feeling I had to come back when it was over...so I did just that, but came for 1 and 1/2 years instead. I transferred to a Greek American university (Deree) and continued to transfer credits home to my home university. I graduated in the US finally (took me five years total) and by that time was spending christmas breaks, spring breaks...shoot, I even flew over for friend's namedays when I could swing it. Having a serious boyfriend for 4 yrs helped a lot, but my love for the greek way of life is ultimately what hooked me. It just got under my skin in a way that made it impossible for me to be fully happy anywhere else. (I know I am preaching to the choir on this forum - but few people in my life actually "get" that...and it seems that it's a huge part of all of our stories.

I decided to further my education in Italy in 2004 and got accepted to design school. Though I studied, worked and lived in Italy for 4 full years...I still spent every summer, break and long weekend in Athens...as much as I could. I eventually met my current fiance in 2007 and the rest is sort of history. I left my job in Milan to spend as much time as possible with him in Greece...which meant moving home to the US for 3 month stints at a time, to stay legal in the EU on the tourist visa. He asked me to marry him this summer and now we are planning the wedding of our dreams. (courthouse first...this winter, church wedding in 2013).

He is a firefighter in the first station in downtown Athens (behind syntagma) and works a lot, its been a scary time. I am a designer (graphic and interior) and have been successfully freelancing since 2008. He grew up on a farm outside of Nafpaktos and I am from Portland, Oregon, but definitely a city girl. We live in Nea Smyrni now...though have talked about moving to the "village" one day. We are ridiculously happy and excited about the next step. I'll be back in Greece for good in Jan 2012.

That's us. Fun to share thanks for reading.
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Old 28th October 2011, 10:54 AM
wka wka is offline
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Welcome EriEli - it's good to "meet" you! The area around Nafpaktos is SO beautiful... you are lucky! I grew up on a farm in the US and my Greek husband is a city boy so we are the opposite. Once you get your permit it will be nice not to have to buy all those plane tickets... been there, done that! Just be careful or you'll end up like me : I stopped going back to the US as soon as I could legally do so. I just get an email from my aunt yesterday that said "Will we ever see you again?"

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Old 28th October 2011, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wka View Post
Welcome EriEli - it's good to "meet" you! The area around Nafpaktos is SO beautiful... you are lucky! I grew up on a farm in the US and my Greek husband is a city boy so we are the opposite. Once you get your permit it will be nice not to have to buy all those plane tickets... been there, done that! Just be careful or you'll end up like me : I stopped going back to the US as soon as I could legally do so. I just get an email from my aunt yesterday that said "Will we ever see you again?"
WKA.. My family says the same thing to me, because I keep telling them I am never coming home. The few family members I have keep saying "Will we see you again?" .. Yes, when you fly to Greece to see me. Haha..

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Old 28th October 2011, 07:55 PM
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wka and backpacker44!

I certainly can relate. Now that we are preparing for our wedding/talking about starting a family etc...my family is definitely having a harder time relating. They used to think my knowledge of the greek language and my time in Greece was interesting...and at least a great conversation topic. Ha, now they are starting to realize it's a "forever" kinda deal and they all freaked a bit. My Dad (who lives in brazil half the year as it is) refuses to call my goodbye party and goodbye party...so we are calling it a "see you soon party" and my mom has become an internet junkie - trying to learn greek and searching for vacation rentals. She even calls me in the mornings.. "kalimera!" Haha.

I guess it's a one way road - either you convert the family to greekaphiles or leave them behind. Living with your heart and mind in two places is pretty much impossible.

Backpacker44 - I have heard that there is a HUGE greek community in Vancouver. Have you checked it out much? I have a lot of friends in Greece with relatives and contacts there. And I am always seeing ads for greek pop stars on tour there...Remos, Vandi, Rouvas... the usual suspects. You should definitely try and rub elbows with the Greek community in your city...they might have contacts for you in Athens. You never know. At the very least, you may get to practice your greek some. This is a very hot time to bring up greek politics with anyone...everyone seems to have an opinion...could be a great icebreaker. Just a thought!

Happy Oxi Day ladies!

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