Friday, May 13, 2022

Living a Mediterranean Lifestyle

There really is a 'Mediterranean Lifestyle' and it has taken me until now to realize that we really are  living it!

Sailing under the Mediterranean Sun

Now, I am not sure I would have believed that lifestyles could be so different until we moved to Greece from our home in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, but I can assure you that our lifestyle here is a far different one than it was there. 

 Hydra Island - a place to relax

The Mediterranean lifestyle has been described as one in which we 'more consciously take our time' with all things; one in which we never complete all tasks at once. We find that being retired fits that same description and lends itself well to this new expat lifestyle in the Mediterranean region.  

As many of you know from my earlier writings, the seeds of living a Mediterranean lifestyle were planted way back when I first saw the 1964 Walt Disney movie, 'The Moon-Spinners' which was set in Greece.



Back then I only dared hope to visit Greece one day, I certainly never dreamed of living a Mediterranean lifestyle! That would have been simply beyond imagination.  

Now that we are living it, one of the nicest things about it is that everyone lives it somewhat differently. There are no set rules and guidelines. Yet, while researching this post, I laughed out loud when I found that someone has actually written a how-to-do-it- guide titled, 'Mediterranean Lifestyle for Dummies'.

Really? Do we need guidelines?


Now, really! You  don't need someone telling you how live your life once you've been inspired to strike out and live a bit differently.  I've found that a far better source guidance, at least a source of inspiration, is The Mediterranean Lifestyle Magazine, TML,  for short, as it is filled with travel, culinary and lifestyle inspiration to make you feel like you are here even if you aren't. (Being totally transparent: I do contribute articles to the publication, but I was reading it long before I was writing for them).

In fact, I think the editors, Elena and Melisa Koyunseven, have pretty much summed up our life in Greece with their Seven Principles of the Mediterranean Lifestyle: 

TML 7 principles of the Mediterranean Lifestyle

1. Eat healthily

Roadside fruit stand in early March


With an abundance of olive oil, fresh fruit, nuts and vegetables at our fingertips, literally year-round, it is easy to eat healthily in Greece.  

Fresh fruit and vegetables combine in this salad

One misconception about Greek eating is that we have a diet rich in seafood. We don't. Fish is scarce and can be costly.  Friends dining at a new taverna in the village had one member of their party order the 'fish of the day' for her meal without asking about weight or price. They were flabbergasted when the waiter brought a 2.3 kilo, or 5 pound fish on a platter and the cost for that fish was 200 euros!

Our friend, Captain Antonis and The Scout 

Thankfully we live in a fishing village and have other restaurant choices for less expensive fish, but still don't order it often. We seldom cook it at home.  Recently though we received a generous gift of an Amberjack Tuna from one of our fisherman friends, Captain Antonis.  And that made a most tasty meal.

2. Spend time with family and friends

The Scout with two of our four fur-kids

As expats we've made numerous new friends and have created a fur-family at our Stone House on the Hill. And we find time spent with family and friends is simply happiness on earth.

Friends gather for Easter dinner

Seldom does a week go by that we haven't joined friends for dinner, drinks or coffee somewhere in the village.  It seems easier - more spontaneous than in our other world - to get together, and once together we may spend hours together.  Life is less structured, less formal and moves at a much slower pace here so no need to rush through meals or get-togethers.

3. Find More Time to Relax

Princess demonstrates relaxation techniques

Again we turn to our four-footed family members as role-models in relaxation.  We follow suit as a day without a nap -- or at least an hour or two lazing around reading a book -- is almost unheard of  in this lifestyle. And we never fail to pause and enjoy our surroundings - after all, that is why we moved here!

Pausing to enjoy our surroundings


4.  Laugh often

Selfies on a walk home from the village - instant laughter

This is such an easy principle and expat life is conducive to laughing: at ourselves and our bloopers, at the difficulties of understanding a different culture, for so many reasons, and sometimes just because we are having such a good time!

Expat stories always good for laughter


5. Enjoy Life and the Simple Things in Life

These two are village harbor icons 


A morning stroll to the village, an errand that turns into an outing, watching day-to-day routines in the village ~ all add up to simple pleasures and make for a most enjoyable life.

Finding a small fresco tucked away in a church wall


6. Be Productive

Springtime trimming burn in the olive grove

Growing olives has definitely kept us productive - but we also participate in a number of volunteer activities that help the community, keep us involved in local life and assure that we are leading a somewhat productive existence here - perhaps, even more so than we were doing in our other life.

American expats impromptu beach cleanup

7. Stay physically active

Olive harvest day - off to the press to become oil


The rural lifestyle here offers endless opportunities for hiking, walking, biking, swimming and other outdoor activities. Also working in the garden and the grove definitely keeps us physically active. Olive harvest is a workout - don't ever let anyone tell you differently!

Hikes on the kalderimi - great exercise!

We often say we feel younger, maybe even more alive living where we do and being a part of this rural slice of the Greek Peloponnese.  The Mediterranean lifestyle agrees with us ~ 

How about you? Are you living the Mediterranean lifestyle where you live? How would you describe your lifestyle? Tell us in the comments below or send us an email. 

As always, thanks for being with us today and hope to see you back again soon.  And to our new subscribers, many thanks for signing up - it is great to have you with us!

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