Happiness is not a goal – it’s a by-product of a life well lived.
-- Eleanor Roosevelt
A year ago this week we packed our bags and headed to San Francisco, California. A short jaunt compared to our usual travels: an hour and a half flight each way, a couple nights stay and we were back home in the Pacific Northwest.
Such a tiny little trip with such a huge impact on our lives.
|The Stone House on the Hill - middle row, far right|
The application process – as you long-time friends and readers know – was a lengthy endeavor and so focused on it were we that we wouldn’t allow ourselves to ponder the possibilities that having it in hand might bring . . .
Pursuing the Possibilities. . .
“We need much less, than we think we need.”
-- Maya Angelou
|Rainbow over the Mani|
While I often encourage 'pondering possibilities and chasing daydreams' in my writings, there comes a time in life when you’ve either got to act on them or file them away and get on with the status quo. We knew in our hearts and heads, that for these two boomer-aged adventurers, it was time to act.
So here we are. . .now what?
“Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.”
-- Pearl S. Buck
|Afternoon coffee break at The Stone House on the Hill|
It has taken a year for the dominos to fall into place and for us to settle in to this new lifestyle. Although we returned for full-time living last fall, the reality of being based here didn’t hit until we returned from our six-week visit to the U.S.
The few days we spent in the Northwest, tagged on to the start and finish of our Hawaiian timeshare life, were interesting. We loved seeing friends there. Time didn’t allow us to see all that we’d have liked, but time is limited when one travels. We lived in hotel rooms, each stay being only a couple miles from what was once our home.
It was unsettling to be in an area we know so well and to slip into the old rhythms and routines: running errands, making appointments and shopping with such ease, yet feeling a bit of an outsider to it as well.
|Wild flowers carpet the olive groves in February|
|A New Chapter at The Stone House on the Hill|
With the logistics behind us it is time to really live in Greece. The Scout is mapping out travel options in the Peloponnese and further afield on this side of the ocean, we have a stack of books to read (we continue to avoid owning a television) and the seed packets I stuffed in my suitcases when we moved last fall need to be planted. Our days are full. We sleep soundly at night.
|The Stone House on the Hill from the olive grove|
We’ve got a year to enjoy this life before we get back on that Road to Residency and begin our next journey: renewing our residency permits.
“At some point you gotta let go, and sit still and allow contentment to come to you.”
-- Elizabeth Gilbert
|Sunset in Kardamyli village|
Linking this week with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Travel Photo Thursday –
Weekend Travel Inspiration
Best of Weekend
Hope we will finally meet you this year.Your have made your stone house a stunning home.And the way you take those pictures from Mani explains the way you feel about this region and Greece. Be blessed and take care.ReplyDelete
I think of you every time we drive to or from Athens - I do hope we get an actual face-to-face meeting sometime this year; I would love it!! Happy spring ~ Jackie xxDelete
You could stop and give me a call Jackie!Just let me know you are passing by!Delete
Yay!! I love your Eleanor quote too. :-) And I especially loved reading about your life, about what you're doing and planning. It makes me smile to picture you scribbling in your writing journal and planting those treasured seeds.ReplyDelete
Well my plans all sound good but somehow the days seem to just go so fast here - especially after doing the 'chores' that all I want to do is curl up with a good book . . .so we'll see how far I get with the journals and learning Greek! Have a great week Down Under! xxx J.Delete
Beautiful images. I'm glad everything has worked out so well for you.ReplyDelete
Well so far so good, knock on wood. . . Thanks for the visit!!Delete
I am so envious of your little house in GreeceReplyDelete
Keep daydreaming Molly and you too could have a little house in Greece or some other destination you've dreamt of! xx JackieDelete
What a beautiful series. Glad you're enjoying your new home, and I'm always glad to see you visit at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2018/02/preparing-for-next-exhibit.htmlReplyDelete
And it is always nice to be a part of the image-in-ing linkup! Hopefully I am back on track and will see you all again next week!Delete
Beautiful! What is not to like about Greece.ReplyDelete
I suppose the cynics out there could find many things to not like, but I prefer the positive! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!Delete
This is an absolutely wonderful post. I love what you said about time for action or as l like to put it, put up or shut up. So many people stop short of walking the walk because it is scary, but regrets suck more l think. Like you, I am really feeling Valencia where we currently are. It's hard for me to believe it will be a year in like 2 weeks. I've often said l felt like Goldilocks with regards to Spain. Malaga didn't fit, Seville was awesome but after 2 years, we were okay with leaving. Valencia feels right to both us. So much so, apart from 2 trips (Athens and Prague), I haven't made any more travel plans for the year. We will travel around Spain (famous last words) and discover our backyard. I have started survival Spanish classes and we are moving, but will remain in the same neighborhood. I am looking forward to reading about your life in Greece. Not sure if problem is my side or yours. Sorry if multiple comments.ReplyDelete
Oh I just read yours about your year! Love these ex pat stories and how our lives have become intertwined via the blogosphere! Keep in touch!Delete
I love Greece! It was the first country I had visited on my own.ReplyDelete
My first destination on my own was Hawaii and to this day it will always be one of the most magical places we visit!Delete
Such a change -- and such an adventure! I just visited with a friend who moved to Italy and she said it took about a year to feel "at home." She still speaks only a little of the language. But oh how fun! I love your last photo especially of the sunset. Enjoy, enjoy!ReplyDelete
Thanks much Sharon for the lovely comment. We had been easing ourselves into this lifestyle but the reality didn't hit until we returned 'home' in February. It really IS home! And wouldn't trade the experience for the world.Delete
“Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.”ReplyDelete
-- Pearl S. Buck
Hear, hear!! Such wise words, aren't they? I know that you have come to really appreciate such a statement, Jackie, from your wonderfully heartwarming words and beautiful images of your adopted country.
Like you, living the simple life (walks in the countryside, amid masses of wildflowers, views to the sea, FRESH air, SUNLIGHT, organic produce, hospitable folks, the scent of lemon and orange blossoms, church bells, birdsong, goats' bells - did I mention SUNLIGHT?), all of these things are everyday gifts. We are truly blessed, my friend.
I know you will get to your writing journal in due time, but for now, pat yourself on the back for having started and keeping up THIS one!:))
Poppy, you have listed everything that I simply love about our life here! And this week we have the sand of Africa coloring our world gray - but I even love that! Look forward to your blog posts, so keep them coming!Delete
Yes go to that sardine festival and then blog about it lol. You are after all our Peloponnese correspondent!ReplyDelete
While I was feeling bad about missing it last year, turns out they didn't hold it. Village leaders couldn't agree on a venue. . .or so the story goes! ;-)Delete
Suddenly, I told myself, "Why didn't you make Greece part of your Euro itinerary this year?" We are going to Austria, Germany, France, Spain," and Portugal from October to November. I've wanted to see your Stone House on the Hill in person. But I guess I will wait til we are invited!ReplyDelete
Beautiful house and beautiful views! I love reading about all your adventures. I hope to relocate to a new place one day. #TPThursdayReplyDelete
How wonderful to make your home in such a beautiful country! I'm glad it's working out so well.ReplyDelete
Hi Jackie. It's been so interesting learning all that you've gone thru to establish residency status in Greece. I can see why you've made the effort, as it would be hard to beat the wonderful view you have from the Stone House on the Hill. Enjoy!ReplyDelete
Reading about your residency process and the steps you've gone through has been interesting. Looking at the pictures in this post, it's easy to see why you went through the work. Enjoy the year.ReplyDelete
I've enjoyed following your posts about your love of Greece and making a way to become a Greek resident at your lovely Stone House on the Hill! Maybe I'll come visit someday and help with the olive harvest! (Love the quotes you've included, too!)ReplyDelete
I always enjoy reading about your life as expats in Greece. I have never been to Greece, but I hope to be able to visit soon.Your lovely photos certainly make me want to visit sooner rather than later!ReplyDelete
I love following your progress. It is so inspiring.ReplyDelete
Interesting story of your journey to life as an expat in Greece. How did you come to choose Greece as your new home? I visited the Ionian Islands several decades ago and loved it. I always supposed I'd return to Greece but haven't, though I can see a trip back somewhere in my future.ReplyDelete
I've loved following your very inspiring journey!ReplyDelete
Life is all about the small joys, isn't it Jackie? I think that your picture of the coffee cup on the wall overlooking the valley and houses below sums up that thought perfectly. I can't believe that it's been a year already since you set off on the first step of the expat odyssey and know that you'll say the hoops that you needed to jump through and the cumbersome bureaucracy really were worth the effort. It's rather disconcerting too, to visit a place you once called home and find yourself a bit of a stranger despite the familiar locations. That happens every time we return to the US now (we're going on 6 years of living outside the country) and it's always good to return home to Portugal.ReplyDelete