Friday, July 5, 2019

Life In the Peloponnese ~ Our Story

Marti, my friend from Kirkland, Washington in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and I regularly meet for morning coffee in the village, Agios Nikolaos in The Mani. It's the place the two of us and our husbands call home these days.


I walk into town for these get-togethers from our Stone House on the Hill. My route leads through the olive groves and along the sea. Seldom am I passed by more than two or three cars or motorcyclists, maybe a fellow walker or someone on a bicycle.

Prior to one of our get-togethers I varied my route following the backroad (there's only one) through the town, meeting up with the village's main road (also only one) along the harbor as I made my way to our appointed meeting place: Hades Taverna.




My circuitous route was so that I could take photos to illustrate an article I was writing for an on line magazine about our life here. Along the way I waved to Freda who, with her son Gregg, run the cafĂ© that also serves as our post office. I then paused near the harbor at the kafenion where a group of village gents were gathered -- most likely just as village gents had been that first day The Scout and I happened upon this place, now more than six years ago.  I'd almost bet some of them were seated in the same chair they've sat in for years.



I chuckled as they bantered with the fellow selling the day's fresh catch. It was Saturday morning - a gloriously beautiful day. Summer's heat hadn't yet ratcheted up into high gear as it has now. I moved on and passed Sofia who runs the village's only clothing store - which is only open in the summer. We hugged and kissed a greeting as one does routinely in European countries and discussed the weather and fashion before proceeding on our ways.



Once settled in with our double cappuccino's (which are served in ceramic cups here with cookies on the saucer)  Marti and I began our debrief of the week's activities and absurdities. My neighbors drove past and waved and called out greeting.  Adam, the plumber from two villages away, stopped in for a coffee and chatted for a bit. We called out greetings and waved to others we knew. We watched the passenger bus that comes through twice a day make the tight corner turn, speculating on whether this would be the day it didn't work.


The editor for whom I was writing the article and taking the pictures had asked me to tell her readers what had brought The Scout and I here and what life in rural Greece was like.  This Saturday was a good example of both what brought us here and what keeps us here:  It was an ordinary Saturday morning in this part of Greece.  Yet, it was extraordinary. 

My article was published this week.  I posted it on FB so many of you have already read it, but I know a number of you are not FB fans so I am sharing it on the blog as well.  The publication, Travel with a Challenge, is published in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and is now in its 19th year. With an annual world-wide readership of 1.24 million, its articles are written for mature travelers and profile a number of alternative travel experiences. You travel enthusiasts out there might want to check it out!

In the meantime, hope you enjoy my article, which can be read by clicking on the link below: 
Moving to the Stone House on the Hill



All the photos used in this post and in the article were taken in our village.

Until next week, safe travels to you and yours ~ and thanks to those who've written on Messenger and sent emails this week about this article and the last blog post.  As always, it means a lot to hear from you. To those who've shared my writings, my deepest thanks! And to all who've reached this point in this post - thanks for the time you spent with us today!

Linking this week with:

Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday






26 comments:

  1. I love your story! I love that you chose to define your path in retirement breaking free of what retirees are "supposed" to do. I have days when I ache to be living in our beloved Porto and then I look at our grandbaby and my heart melts and I can't imagine being anywhere else but here. At least for now. Keep posting your pictures and telling your story. You're inspiring so many!

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    1. Thanks Patti! I know that feeling of wanting to be in two places at the same time as I often think of things I'd like to be doing or people I'd like to be with back in the States and then think how absurd the thought to be wishing away the experiences I am having here. You two are also living a pretty darn incredible retirement!!

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  2. All ya need is love. And we can feel how much you love the place you now call home.

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    1. Yes, as long as we don't deal with bureaucracy, we are all good. And day to day life is quite loveable!

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  3. Yours is a wonderful story, and well told too. I might consider expat life in South Africa in a few years.

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    1. You should give ex pat life a try Gaelyn. If the shoe doesn't fit, you don't need to keep it on. . .(one of the things I tell myself). Go girl, when you are ready!! xx

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  4. Jackie, I enjoyed reading your story about making a new life in Greece, carried by a publisher in Victoria, B.C., just 25 miles from where I'm making a new life in Washington's San Juan Islands. It's a small world in many ways. Keep embracing it!

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    1. It is pretty amazing how life's circles shrink and expand and still remain in tact, isn't it? And you two are role models for embracing your new life!

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  5. Great article Jackie.... Looking forward to the book!! If you need an editor I know someone who might help. Ha Ha. Keep enjoying the lifestyle. Doing what you actually want to do in retirement (not sure what that is anymore) is much better than conforming to the norm.

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    1. Actually, I'd be careful with those offers of help. . .I just may take you up on it. I will certainly be needing to pick your brain as the writing of a book is one thing, the making it readable is another major step!

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  6. Great article Jackie. The rhythms of your life have really changed and with that your brain is working in new directions and learning all sorts of new things.

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    1. Thanks Mary, glad you enjoyed the article. Yes, the rhythms of life do change when you live in Greece and aside from a few instances I think for the better!

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  7. What what an inspiring post Jackie. I love your rich description of village life on a Saturday morning, and the fact of your sense of belonging. I say inspiring because, who knows, one day I might do something along the same lines.

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    1. Oh Estelle, Thanks for writing! I do hope you chase -- and catch -- your daydream of doing something like this one day. And I hope to see your comments regularly here as your daydream formulates and becomes reality!

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  8. But it's not really a challenge living there is, right? Seems like rural life in Greece is a search for simplicity.

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    1. Every day as an ex pat is a challenge; some are good ones (which is why we chose to expand our lifestyle to another country and culture) and some leave us wondering why we ever wanted to do this. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. "Growing olives instead of growing old" -- I love that! Great article, Jackie!

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    1. It is the best description I could come up with! Thanks for commenting Amy!!

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  10. Love those photos! The view is incredible!

    With Love,
    Mandy

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  11. What fun to have expat friends to meet up with. Yes, the Internet can provide us with lots of information. We just got back from a two day camping trip east of Bellingham. It's only an hour drive there but there's no cellular available. It was kind of nice not to feel we had to check our email or look up something. - Margy

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  12. I love hearing about your life in Greece. As you say, it is both ordinary and extraordinary!

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  13. Your post has such a perfect ending appreciating the fact that ordinary moments and simple pleasures make extraordinary days. Life can't get much better than that!

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  14. Life sounds idyllic and you sound very content which is the way it should be. I know you love the Stone house on the hill and when you go back to the States, you get to enjoy the other house too. Having your cake and eating it seems pretty good :-). Life is good! Kemkem

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  15. Life in the Stone House on the Hill sounds idyllic.

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  16. Looking forward for more interesting travel stories like this one.
    meet and greet stansted

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