Monday, April 19, 2021

Expats in Greece ~ Carpe-ing the Diem

 Carpe diem - seize the day! Make the most of your time.  

Agios Nikolaos - our village in the Greek Peloponnese

A fellow Pacific Northwest traveler and writer friend, a few weeks ago observed that The Scout and I had made the right decision in 'Carpe-ing the Diem', seizing the day. He was referring to our move to Greece back in 2017 for an expat adventure in the Peloponnese before age and health prevented us from doing so.

Greece remains in lockdown

His comment was coincidentally made on the one-year anniversary of our first lockdown in Greece, (after the World Health Organization proclaimed COVID-19 a full-blown pandemic in March 2020), and while we were back in Washington State for the first-time in more than a year.

Back in Washington - travel in time of Covid

His observation has remained a little 'niggle' that surfaces every so often when I ponder if we really have been carpe-ing the diem or if we've sort of been lulled into complacency in this adventure by our seemingly endless Covid lockdowns. 

One of the reasons for living on this side 'of the pond' was to expand our travels and that certainly hasn't happened in the last year thanks to Covid limitations and in the year before as result of our residency permit renewal process that kept us in Greece.

Heading home to Greece

Many friends, both in Greece and the U.S., expressed surprise that we we came back to Greece after our month-long stay in our other world. Why would we leave a place where we could go anywhere we wanted, anytime we wanted (without texting for permission) and dine inside or outside restaurants, gather with friends. . .all the things we are still forbidden to do in Greece? 

Well, it just might be because we aren't yet done with this adventure. And really, in our minds, it isn't an adventure, it is simply a new place and new way of living. . .a good way to carpe those diems we still have left. 

A rather routine traffic jam in expat life

Our lifestyle in fact, really isn't that novel these days as the latest statistics show that we are among nine million Americans, a few hundred more than make up the population in the state of New Jersey, who are living as expats scattered about the world. 

We text for permission to leave our homes

Now that we are back in Greece and in our fifth month of our current hard lockdown - the second one in a year - I am looking at us with a more critical eye. I do think we have become somewhat complacent, maybe even numb, in our Greek village world.  

The village has literally become our world in recent months as travel restrictions keep us within our own municipality.  Our travel 'adventures' have become: Should we go to the grocery store AND get a cappuccino, (both allowed by texting '2' to the government) or save the 'to go' coffee until later in the week? Should we take the garbage to the community dumpsters now or wait a day to have another outing to which we could look forward? 

That daily humdrum was shaken up when we decided to go back to the States in March. Getting Covid vaccinations were high on our to do lists there and admittedly we -- like thousands of others -- are seeing the world a bit differently with the jabs completed. (Our expat friends here are still awaiting word of when they will be able to get shots here.)

So many places yet to visit. . .

While freedoms we enjoyed in the States were a great change of pace from here, it was really the trip to the States and back that got us thinking about the need to reactivate a quest for seizing each day.  Boarding an airplane, flying over countries that we want to visit someday, going through the motions of traveling again. . .that's what got us thinking, 'carpe diem!' 

The year that was and wasn't - Kardamyli beach

Luckily this year, that both was, and wasn't, as I prefer to think of it, may well be coming to an end.  Today permanent residents with roots in a number of other countries were allowed into this locked-down country without the need to quarantine if they can show either a negative Covid test or certificate of vaccination.  The removal of the quarantine restriction is a definite move forward.

Headlines tell us that French President Macron is talking with the White House about ways Americans will be allowed into France in coming weeks. In the Middle East Qatar Airlines is working on a type of vaccination passport.  Greek workers in the tourism sector are the next group slated to get vaccine here. 

There is not only a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, but the faintest of pulse beats as well. And that means only one thing: time to carpe diem!  

Greek islands that need to be visited. . .

It has been too long since we walked or drove aboard a Greek ferry and set off to explore new islands. That birthday trip to Morocco is now three year's delayed, and it is time to revisit those plans. And there was the talk of staying in a Bedouin camp somewhere in the Middle East last year and we can't overlook some of those cruises that were tempting us when the world seemed to quit spinning a year ago March. 

And we even have kicked the wheels in motion for some major changes at The Stone House on the Hill.  Yes, indeed, it is time we got back into the role for which we are known: carpe-ing the diem!

So how about you? How do you plan to seize the day as Covid releases its grip on your part of the world?  Leave a comment or drop us an email as we would love to hear from you! Thanks to all who responded to our call for comments on our last post!!

Our Covid world. . .not such a bad place!

Before I sign off this week bear with me as I have just a bit of 'blog housekeeping' to do:

I've been notified by Feedburner (the service that sends our this post as an email to many of you) that they will be discontinuing that service the first of July.  In the next few weeks I will be searching for a new 'distributor' and in a perfect world I will move you all to the new service with little disruption.  However I have a 'niggle' about this whole process so it could be a challenge. 

If posts suddenly disappear from your inboxes, please DO NOT assume I have quit writing the blog.  In the event you don't receive a post from me at least a couple times a month, please let me know by writing me at: or if you are on FB, send me a message there.  Many thanks in advance for your help and your patience!

I plan to be back in two weeks with a new travel tale and do hope you will be as well! In the meantime, carpe diem!

Linking soon with:

Through My Lens
Travel Tuesday
Our World Tuesday
My Corner of the World Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday


  1. Thanks for another good read. Always enjoy your articles. Hope the restrictions lift soon and you can both get out and about again. Missing you xxx

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! We are hoping that by mid-May we have some new freedoms. . .stay tuned!

  2. A really good read. We all miss the travel more so now. Am still waiting for my call to be vaccinated. Wish me luck!

    1. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it! Fingers crossed that you are vaccinated soon and that you have little or no side effects!! Keep commenting and let us know how it goes!

  3. I always love to read the latest story about your life in the Stone House on the Hill. That keeps me in touch, at least virtually, with Stoupa, Ag Nic and the Mani.

    1. Ingrid, glad it keeps you in touch at least virtually. One of these days you will be back and I look forward to sipping a cafe or krasi with you IN a local taverna AT a real table!! ;-)

  4. I've actually felt thankful that I have been "stuck" in Saudi Arabia during the pandemic. The Saudi government has taken it much more seriously than the US did. I got fully vaccinated in January, and my husband will get his 2nd dose soon. Saudis have been restricted from international travel for about a year now and while we are anxious to travel - we've been here since Oct 2019 - we are not willing to take any risks and continue to do what we need to do to stay safe. I've lost 4 family members to covid (2 in Saudi and 2 in the US), and I've lost count of others that I know who have died or have had the virus. I do feel like my life has been on hold but if people would follow the protocols, we could be done with this thing once and for all.
    Glad you got to go back to the US. I could have gone, but I didn't want to leave my hubby alone all this time - and I wouldn't have been able to return. Good thing we enjoy each other's company! Stay safe.

  5. Europe and Greece still seems to be a distant future even though most countries are trying to get tourism up an running again

  6. We have just added a sunroom to the house, thrown 2 parties with fully vaccinated friends, gone to church, seen movies in theaters and gone indoor-dining and shopping. Every day is a step forward on reclaiming freedoms once lost.

  7. We have just added a sunroom to the house, thrown 2 parties with fully vaccinated friends, gone to church, seen movies in theaters and gone indoor-dining and shopping. Every day is a step forward on reclaiming freedoms once lost.

  8. We have just added a sunroom to the house, thrown 2 parties with fully vaccinated friends, gone to church, seen movies in theaters and gone indoor-dining and shopping. Every day is a step forward on reclaiming freedoms once lost.

  9. That's certainly a tale and a vicarious thrill. We're based in San Diego but have been taking short road trips throughout the pandemic and now, post vaccine, will get back to diving with a trip to Roatan. So much to be grateful for and so much more to do.

  10. It has certainly been a most unusual past few months. I believe everyone has had their lives turned upside down. We can only hope and pray that the future will see a return to more normalcy and we can all seize the day.


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