Showing posts with label boomer downsizing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label boomer downsizing. Show all posts

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Just call us the village people

We are back in the village.
The American village, that is.
The place we hang our hats and settle in when back in the States these days.

Downtown Manson

We've become what you might call 'the village people', preferring this small-town lifestyle to that of the city.

Manson, Washington

Manson, our U.S. village, sits on the shore of the glacier-fed 55-mile long Lake Chelan in the north-central part of Washington State. Manson got its roots as an agricultural town and was once surrounded by apple orchards. In the last decade, though, many of those orchards have given way to vineyards and the Lake Chelan AVA (American Viticulture Area) in which Manson is a part now boasts some 40 wineries or tasting rooms!

Vineyards have replaced orchards here

Little is written about Manson history, I've discovered in writing this post.  A Google search will turn up far more on the notorious Charles Manson (one of America's more famous murderers) than on our little village.  I've learned the population here in 2016 was 1,284. This little unincorporated town got its name back in 1912 when it was named for Manson F. Backus, president of the Chelan Land Company.  It is seven miles from the larger, more well-known town of Chelan. . .where The Scout was born and raised several decades ago.

Wapato Point in Manson

Manson became our part-time home base in the U.S nearly two years ago.  We'd had 30 years of big city suburb life and had been spoiled by the wide open spaces we have in our expat life in Greece. We went in search of  similar wide open spaces in this part of the state when we decided we needed roots back here as well. While there are any number of charming Eastern Washington towns that offer alternatives to the fast-pace of the city, we've landed here.

Strolling in Manson on a winter's day

As we settle in and become more familiar with the village and its surrounding area, we notice how similar our Greek village is to this one. For instance, they each have a single main road through town, which is bordered by small home-owned businesses. The road here is wider but the vibe when walking on it is much the same as Greece: people still greet each other and make eye contact - whether they know each other or not. Seldom do you see anyone pass with their head bent over immersed in their handheld device.  It is just plain-old small town friendliness.

Countryside near Manson

Both of our villages are distinctly - and refreshingly - rural. Each is situated on large bodies of water and surrounded by agriculture. Tourists have discovered both villages and bring a dynamic to them during the warm weather months.  Both are building new tourist accommodations.

For fear of making them out to be Mayberry, USA ( 1960's television show starring Andy Griffith), there is a bit of Mayberry charm about them both.  Take the church bells - you can hear them ring out in both villages. And people still attend worship services. It is a normal part of life.

Businesses display American flags year-round  along Main Street

Patriotism and flag displays are also common traits of the two villages. While the blue and white stripes wave in the wind in Greece, the red, white and blue flags are on display in Manson.

Tasting rooms and a brewery are among Main Street businesses

In winter, both villages slow their pace.  Businesses that cater to tourists take a much needed break, often reducing their hours or closing for weeks on end. (In Greece it is usually to allow the family members to harvest their olives, here it is for a bit of vacation time.)  The places that do stay open become gathering places for the locals.  And even as part-time as we may think we are, we have become 'locals' in this small community.

Sign at a local eatery captures the mood of Manson

'You are back!' the waitress called out a couple nights ago, throwing her arms around me at one of our favorite eateries here.  It was a hug much like those received in our Greek village before we left in January.  It is something we didn't experience when dining out in the Seattle suburb.

Full moon spotlights downtown Manson

In Greece we are often called, 'the Amerikani' and here our moniker is 'the ones from Greece'.

Speaking of Greece our time in the States is coming to an end this weekend.  It is time to return to our other village.  The next time you hear from these two 'village people' will be after we are settled back into our Stone House on the Hill. Until then, safe travels to you and yours ~

Linking sometime in the next few weeks with:

Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday






Friday, October 19, 2018

The new chapter begins: Life at the Lake

“Life is not just the passing of time. Life is the collection of experiences and their intensity.”
                                                    -- Jim Rohn

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River walk downtown Chelan, Washington
It isn't so much about the travel as it is about the time spent in a place. And it isn’t as much about the place as the people who make up your world. Travel, time spent, people and place all contribute to our collection of experiences.

These aren’t new insights for us, but they’ve come to mind often during the month that we’ve spent in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

In the last couple posts about the purpose of this trip – to replant our roots in the U.S. -- I’ve been focused on the 'facts and figures' of ex pat life - making a case for having a foothold 'back home'. Truth be told, though, there's an emotional side to the story as well:

P1090306 This October has been an almost mirrored reversal of our activities last  October when we boxed up our U.S. life and moved to Greece for a full-time ex pat adventure.

Back then we put our U.S. life, in a manner of speaking, into a storage unit; a place we quickly came to call ‘the morgue’. (You can probably see why from the photo). Coupled with our downsizing efforts, it became a  climate-controlled somewhat morbid reminder that we are boomers who have a much shorter road ahead of us to travel than we once did.

While we were eager to pursue our daydreams – a pursuit we heartily recommend – leaving one life for another does pack a wallop of emotions. Closing one door to open another can be tough.

Opening Another New Door

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Wapato Point Lake Chelan, Washington State
But in our case, by closing a door we've opened two new ones! We are now at home in Greece most of the year and at home – for a bit of time each year  -- in Manson, Washington. The door has closed permanently on the ‘morgue’ and we’ve got a whole new lifestyle to live.

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Lake Chelan from The Butte, Washington State
The weeks we spent moving into this new lifestyle had been a good reminder of how blessed we are to have special people at both ends of our horizons.  Long-time friends, those we refer to as our 'friend family' back in the U.S. welcomed us with get-togethers, offers of accommodations and help with moving chores. We had others make the trek to Manson to welcome us to our new life there.

Meanwhile back in Greece we had a cadre of relatively new friends who've become equally special to us, who stepped in to keep an eye on our life there. We were extremely grateful to them and their efforts when the ‘Medicane’ (Mediterranean hurricane) hit our area of the Peloponnese only days after we arrived in the U.S.

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"Life is the collection of experiences" and friendships

”Time is not measured by the passing of years but by what one does, what one feels and what one achieves.”
                                     -- Jawaharlal Nehru

Life at the Lake

There is no doubt about it, we will again be 'living differently' as we plant our roots in both a Greek hillside and a small village in Washington State. While we are eager to return to our Stone House on the Hill, it is good knowing we also have a Life at the Lake.

I promised you a home tour last week so come, take a look at what we've been doing the last few weeks to create that new life:

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The Scout on the front deck - sunset over the Cascade Mountains
We are as settled as one can be after three weeks. Thirteen days after the moving van had pulled away, we emptied our last box. (Our downsizing had worked – we were surprised to have a number of empty cupboards and shelves.) The walls seem rather bare.

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Shelves and not boxes are much better displays of memories
This home – in keeping with our downsizing emphasis – is smaller than our Kirkland home yet it is larger than our Greek home.  It is also a 'boomer home' a rambler built one level. As a result, it feels very spacious. In fact, it feels downright enormous!

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The amazing change - old things do fit in new places
The Manson house is furnished with many inherited items belonging to parents, aunts, uncles and friends who are no longer with us. Others, like the items on the built in shelves, were collected on our travels. All of these were considered ‘life treasures’ and spared the discard or give-away down-sizing efforts last year. Now they’ve come together in new spaces so we have a wonderful hodge-podge of  mis-matched furniture and memories of  people and places; our collection of life experiences.

“Learn to appreciate what you have, before time makes you appreciate what you had.'”
                                                          -- Unknown

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Guest bedroom is ready to welcome friends
We’ve got a guest room and the welcome mat is out.  There are more than 30 wineries and vineyards now in the Lake Chelan AVA so we hope our wine-loving, lake-loving friends will make the journey to see us while we are in residence.

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Using those Greek 'do-it-yourself-' talents we've developed to make our bed
We used some of those skills we’ve developed in Greece to set up the master bedroom. We'd discarded our bedroom furnishings last fall. Using those 'do-it-yourself-skills' we've developed in Greece we met the challenge of assembling an iron bed frame. By downsizing, old pieces got new homes. The rattan furniture in the photo had been in our family room and with no family room now, it went to the bedroom. It was souvenir we bought ourselves and had shipped to the U.S. from Bangkok, Thailand some 30 years ago. We are glad we didn't part with it.

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The Chelan Room - the den
A third bedroom has become a den known as the 'Chelan Room' as we’ve filled it with furniture and photos collected by The Scout’s family who came to this area a century ago.  His grandmother (who may have provided his travel genes) traveled by ferry boat up the Columbia River to arrive in Chelan. For those familiar with the area, they homesteaded an area now home to Bear Mountain Golf Course.

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Washington State's Columbia River
“. . .your soul knows when it is time to close a chapter. . .’
                              -- Unknown

While the quote is apropos, we think the soul also knows when it is time to start a new one. Thanks for being with us as this chapter begins.

As always we appreciate the time you spend with us and we’ve also appreciated all your comments cheering us along in this new twist to the journey.

Safe travels to you and yours and next week - if our travels go according to plan - we’ll be writing from The Stone House on the Hill!

Linking with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Best of Weekend

Friday, September 28, 2018

Stretching Our Horizons ~ Mani to Manson

You are the one who can stretch your own horizon.
              -- Edgar Magnin

I like the idea of stretching our horizons but when it requires a 22-hour day of air planes and airports followed a few days later by a four-hour cross-state driving trip, I’ll admit I was questioning the need for such expansion.

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Lufthansa brought us from Athens to Seattle -

If you’ve been a part of our adventures for any length of time, you know we are American expats who live full-time in Greece. We pulled up roots in the US just over a year ago and set off to ‘live differently’ for awhile. Remnants of our US life went into a storage unit and we set off for adventure.

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Our Stone House on the Hill in the Mani, Greek Peloponnese
It didn’t take too many months though before we started asking ourselves: Do we really want to keep paying for an expensive storage unit in the Seattle suburbs? Do we need a U.S. address? Do we need a place to call our home when the adventure ends?

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The other end of the horizon - Manson, Washington

The answers resulted in the latest stretch of our horizon.  We still live full-time in rural Greece, but also have just moved into a home in rural Washington State.  It is the ‘just in case’ place where our belongings are a bit more lovingly stored and comes with an assurance we have a place to go when the dreaded ‘if’ appears on our current horizon. . .if Greece doesn’t renew our residency permit. . .if health (mental or physical) dictate an early end to our adventure. . .if we tire of ‘living differently’ elsewhere in the world. We've had reports that a 'Medicane' (Mediterranean hurricane is barreling towards the Peloponnese this weekend while we are in the States moving so we are hoping that one of those 'if's' isn't, 'if a storm destroys our home while we are away. . .'

While some might call us prudent others might see us as paranoid.  We simply see it as stretching our horizons once again.  Hopefully to include the best of both worlds.

From one end of the horizon to the other

PicMonkey Collage
Lake Chelan on the left, Messinian Bay on the right
It seems we are drawn to water.  We wanted to be near the water no matter where we landed on earth. In Washington State, our new village of Manson sits on the shores of a 55-mile-long glacier-fed lake. In The Mani, we are in Greece’s Peloponnese – overlooking  the Messinian Bay (where the Aegean and Ionian seas meet).

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Agios Nikolaos - Messinias Mani

We are Village people.  We’ve adjusted to village life in Greece like fish to water. The fishing village, Agios Nikolaos, (Saint Nikolas) and still called by its Slavic name Selinitsa by many locals, has a few hundred year round residents.

It swells with tourists in the summer.

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St. Andrews Episcopal Church - 1897 built of logs - oldest building in Chelan

Manson, where we’ve re-planted our American roots had a population of just over 1,400 in the last census. It is an unincorporated community seven miles beyond the larger town of Chelan, with a year-round population of about 4,000.

Chelan and Manson swell with tourists in the summer.


Groves and orchards Our Greek life puts us smack dab in the midst of the Land of Kalamata olives. In fact our home is in a small olive grove and The Scout has dusted off his orcharding skills (learned in his family’s Chelan apple orchard decades ago) and put them to use in Greece.

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The Stone House on the Hill from our olive grove 
Now, we’ll be returning to that same agricultural area where he honed his skills and be surrounded by those orchards that haven’t given way to vineyards.

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Manson Vineyards
Vino with a View: In the Chelan/Manson area wineries have been sprouting at an amazing rate of speed; they number in the dozens. Apple orchards began giving way to vineyards a couple decades ago and the growth of the industry hasn’t slowed. The photo below was taken at Nefarious Cellars and vineyard which are on the site of what used to be The Scout’s family apple orchard.

It will be fun to be walking distance to several ‘tasting rooms’ – those places operated either by a single winery or by individuals offering a variety of wines – and also easy driving distance to wineries themselves.  Hopefully our visits to Manson will coincide with those facilities being in operation.

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Nefarious Cellars - on The Scout's old apple orchard
Regular readers know we sing the praises of Greek wines, served by the pitcher at restaurants – good quality without pretense and usually so inexpensive that we still are marveling at their incredible low prices. And much of our favorite wine is grown and produced right here in the Peloponnese. (We have been shell-shocked at wine prices in Manson: $10US for a glass would buy us two liters of wine in the Mani!)

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Wine at sunset at the Stone House on the Hill
So our quest to expand our horizons continues as we this week begin moving our things into the house in Manson.  While in so many ways our two worlds are similar, in many ways they are vastly different (I'll tell you about those in a future post). But it will keep life exciting (perhaps a bit disjointed as well).

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They moved us out of our old world and are moving us into the new one
We’ve allotted ourselves three weeks in which to get our belongings organized and all the logistics of establishing a new residence completed.  We’ve not had a lot of down time since our arrival but hopefully by next week the internet will be functioning and I’ll have time to give you an ‘inside’ peek at the other end of our expanded horizon.

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The Scout and the realtor in front of our Manson house
Again, thanks for all of you who’ve come along on this adventure – either in real time or in the blogosphere. We are most appreciative of the time you spend with us and are grateful for your help and words of encouragement.

Until next week, safe travels to you and yours ~

Linking this week with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Best of Weekend

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Changes in Latitudes ~ Changes in Attitudes

‘If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.’
                             -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

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Our Maggie Mae watches the world from The Stone House on the Hill
We are now a few weeks short of our first anniversary as full-time expats. By whatever measure: One year. Three hundred sixty five days. Twelve months. Four seasons. We've managed to make our goal of ‘living differently’ before old age, health or common sense prevented us from doing so.

As I’ve told you periodically throughout the year, our change of latitude -- from a suburban Pacific Northwest city to village life among the olive groves in the rural Greek Peloponnese -- has prompted new behaviors in us both. We’ve developed new skills and been surprised by the resurfacing of some of the long lost talents within us.

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From Seattle suburbs to Agios Nikolaos - a change in latitude
It isn’t the latitude, but it and the way of life, that has prompted most of the change in attitude.  Some of the changes have happened so gradually that I was rather gobsmacked by just how differently we – especially, me -- see things now.

I'll look back on this
and smile
because it was 
LIFE
and I decided to 
live it.
                     -- Unknown

Less is More (than Enough)

A small rectangular glass casserole is my serving dish, baking, roasting and marinade pan.  If I bake a cake in it, I plan my subsequent cooking to synch with when it will be empty. In our previous life I had stacks of such dishes, which I didn’t ever really use but I sure liked knowing they were there IF I needed them. Our tiny Greek kitchen just doesn’t have the space for all the gadgets I once routinely had stored away for occasional use in our U.S. life.

PicMonkey Collage
Old-life walk in closet; new life cubby hole.
Speaking of tiny, take our bedroom closet. Well, it isn’t a closet. It’s more an armoire and a definite downsize from the walk-in closet in our old life. No walking into this one. In fact the bedroom is so small there’s no walking past it either if the other of us is standing at the end of the bed. Our far-fewer clothes co-mingle in this tiny space. Seasonal items get folded up and put in storage bags until they are needed. A small clothes rack holds daily wear. Shoes -- instead of lining the length of a closet – sit together on a small rack.

I remember last year wondering how we’d (I’d!) ever be able to  live – full time!! -- with such little storage and so few things. Now, I wonder why we/I had all that stuff?

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The local junk man collects unwanted metal and hauls it away


It's those changes in latitudes,
Changes in attitudes nothing remains quite the same.
                 -- Jimmy Buffett

Paciencia manana es otro dia – Patience, tomorrow is another day

I’ve concluded, by watching us deal with situations here, that our American upbringing and lifestyle encourages a lack of patience.  We expect a quick fix/repair/response to all problems and situations.

However, Greece – like Mexico where the phrase above was a daily mantra -- is still attempting to teach us to have patience. If it doesn’t get done/fixed/repaired/solved today, there’s always the promise of tomorrow.

And what’s the rush anyway?  We wait for parts to be delivered to stores, we wait for repairmen to appear, and wait for our mail to arrive once-a-week, on Thursdays. We even wait in our car when the driver of the car in front of us stops in the middle of the road, rolls down his/her window and chats with the person driving the car going the opposite direction.

Life continues on and we are really no worse for not getting things done with immediacy.

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Kalamata coffee houses - no rush, no worry
We collected another example this week in Kalamata when we had back-to-back appointments at the dentist and the hair salon. We had them synchronized down to the time it would take to walk between the two places. Then the dentist arrived at work 20 minutes late.  As the first one in her chair, I told her I had only about 40 minutes until my next appointment. Her response, “You want me to call your next appointment and tell them you will be late?”

I was late to the salon, as was The Scout, who followed in the scheduling progression, but we seemed the only two to care about it. The teeth were cleaned and the hair was cut . . .paciencia, manana es el otro dia.

You get time to appreciate things.
Perspective, you start looking at things differently. .
  -- Tupac Shaker

Building a New World

I’ll admit now that I was the one who fretted most about ‘leaving friends behind’. While I wanted to live differently, I also wanted to keep things the same when it came to ‘my world’: I had friends I met for coffee and others for lunch and others with whom I chatted on a regular basis.

We all vowed to stay in touch.

Of course that wasn’t going to happen.

We knew it as we said it.

But several of us do stay in touch by writing long chatty emails (almost as good as face-to-face). Other friends have thrilled us by making the effort to come visit – most by combining a visit to our place with visiting some other destination on this side of the Atlantic. We’ve had quality time with those guests and spend hours in conversation and laughter that we likely wouldn’t have made the time for back in the U.S.

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Off for a morning coffee with my friend
In our new world, I  now have a regular coffee date with a friend here and instead of hopping in the car as I used to and racing to the coffee shop, I walk our twisty road down our hill, through olive groves to a beach cafe. My friend follows a similar route. The walk and the coffee take most of our morning – but, why not? There’s always tomorrow for the things we don’t get done today.

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A new world is built: friends gathering for Easter Dinner 
As a couple, we have new circle of  friends with whom we socialize regularly and to whom we know we can turn to for help if needed. Coffee, lunch or dinner with them can span hours – and again, if something doesn’t get done because of it, there’s always tomorrow.

Chelan, Washington: 48.027 latitude
The Mani, Peloponnese: 36.84 latitude

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It seems somewhat ironic that as our first year comes to a close we are heading back to Washington State to move those remaining belongings from our suburban storage unit near Seattle to our new house in the Chelan/Manson area of  rural eastern Washington State. We’ll be out of the internet world for awhile next week, but I’ll report back on our Northwest moving adventures as soon as we are again 'connected'.

And by mid- October we’ll be back to our hillside home in the Peloponnese to start the next chapter of ‘living differently’.

Safe travels to you and yours. And thanks for the time you spend with us on these adventures of ours and for all the support you’ve given us through your comments and messages. It is good to have you with us, no matter which latitude we find ourselves.  See you soon!

Linking this week with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Best of Weekend

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Expats in Greece: Among America’s Homeless

‘There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.’
                   - Jane Austin

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Looking back - Kardamyli Harbor

Looking back I am not sure when the realization hit, but there’s certainly no doubt about it: by choosing to become full-time ex pats of the sort we are, we’d become part of America’s homeless population. We’d chosen to severe all traditional ties to the Mother Ship.

Now before you start sputtering, but that’s not real homelessness, the kind of which headlines shout . . .let me tell you that it very much is homelessness – just of a different kind. Headlines aren’t interested in this kind of homelessness even though thousands of ex pats -- not just American ex pats -- experience some version of it.

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A homeless boat out of water - Kitries, Greece
This kind of homelessness is brought about by choice. And with its pleasures comes its problems as well. And I have to admit that when we ex pats get together we often entertain ourselves with tales of the latest challenges and how similar they are no matter from which country we hail. Today I thought I’d tell you a few of those tales. . .

‘Just for the record darling,
not all positive change feels positive in the beginning.’
-- S. C. Lourie


How difficult could it be?

That was what we asked ourselves last summer as we put our Pacific Northwest home of 30-years up for sale. We’d spent a lot of effort to obtain our Greek residency permits. We’d also spent a lot of time here over the last few years before deciding to live full-time under the Mediterranean sun.

How difficult could it be to pull up stakes and try something new for a full-time while?

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Step One: pack up old life
So having squished our belongings  into a metal storage unit on an upper floor of a factory-sized building in a Seattle suburb last October, we headed to Greece.
No U.S. home. No U.S. residential address. No U.S. phone.

‘Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute for experience.’
-- Paolo Coelho


Your Address Please?

For those of you reading this in the U.S. let’s begin with a question:

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Kardamyli kiosk: the village business center

How many times in the last week have you contacted some firm, service provider, health care provider, financial institution, store or other-keeper-of-your-information and been asked to ’verify the home address associated with this account’ in order to get any closer to reaching the person or information you were seeking?

While we no longer have a residential address, we certainly do have need to stay in touch with many of the agencies and firms listed above. And therein lies a problem. . .at times.

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Our address is Agios Dimitrios, mail comes to Agios Nikolaos

Ahh, but being the wily sorts we are, we’d rented one of those private mailboxes that offered a choice of ‘box’, ‘apartment’ or ‘suite’ numbers before we left the country. We cleverly picked apartment and thought we’d mastered the ‘game of address’. The first call to a credit card company to register the new address dashed that hope – in a nano-second they knew it wasn’t a residence!

That same private mail service failed us within the first two months of using it by losing dated material, haphazardly forwarding items and as a grand finale forwarding  mail to us addressed to someone else.  Thankfully last January friends stepped in letting us use their home address and forwarding our mail regularly.

So while we have no ‘real’ address we are up to three ‘maybe’ addresses: our old home, the ‘fake home’ mailing service or our friend’s address? Which one did we put on which account? Did we change it. . . if so to what?  It has resulted in some convoluted conversations on this end. If  it involves an automated answering machine, we kiss the conversation goodbye at the start.

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We get our mail in Agios Nikolaos but technically our home is in Platsa, another village

Sometimes we have simply given our Greek address which really puts things in a tale spin as we don’t have a house number or road name, but a very long address all the same. Bottom line, as many of you know, we pick up mail at the village cafĂ©.

In a couple of cases that Greek address has done nothing more than to label us as ‘a foreign address’ and let me tell you red flags fly high when you are labeled with that!

As an example, we sold some investments in one of our accounts and wondered why the proceeds were kept in a holding account and not deposited to our cash account. All transactions were within the same firm we've used for nearly 40 years.  When we called and asked why it was still in a ‘holding’ account we were informed that it couldn’t be deposited as they don’t deposit money from 'foreign' sources. (The money was earned in the US, saved in the US and never left the US. . .Ah ha. . . but "we"  did!
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A fork in the road - which one to use?

Phone number – but which one!

We went from no phone to more phone numbers than we know what to do with. And most of  them don’t help at all when dealing with American financial or health institutions or retail outlets.
We’ve got a mobile phone number that we pay for month-to-month and activate when we are in the U.S.

A few weeks ago we purchased a Skype number with our old US area code that we give to businesses/agencies in the U.S. in case they need to reach us. . .but we quickly add, 'it's a local number for you, but we are 10 hours ahead of you, so keep that in mind if you call’.

For several years, we've had a Greek mobile phone that we use in Greece.  (And that Greek number doesn’t fit on any US forms.)

Even the simple things. . .

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Google Gods know where I live and when my birthday is. . .
Let me tell you – I love Amazon.com.uk and Book Depository, an on-line book vendor also located in the United Kingdom. They don’t balk at our crazy-long Greek address that isn’t really an address and our Greek phone number fits perfectly in their forms.

However, if I try to shop on line stores back in the States (I do that in advance of our return trips back to the U.S)  the Google Gods know where I am now when I am ordering and retail sites like Macy’s and Chico’s come up with my Greek zip code and all items show up in euro, not dollar, prices. A pop up on each site offers deals on shipping and customs charges to Greece from the U.S. (I go in and manually change location and currency).

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Village home in Kardamyli

While the pleasures of being homeless in America – by choice - still outweigh the problems, the reality is that while the acclimating to Greece has been great, the American homeless part has been a challenge.  Not insurmountable, but often-times not for the thin-skinned or faint-of-heart either.  It is something to keep in mind if seriously considering a stab at being an ex pat.

Our type of chosen ‘homelessness’ has made us much more empathetic to the real homelessness that exists in the world.  Just as our experiences with the immigration processes has made us far more sympathetic towards those seeking residency in other countries – not by choice as we did, but by circumstances beyond their control.

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A storage unit that feels like a morgue back in the States
And it hasn’t been our intention to be homeless in America forever.  Living out of that storage unit and a hotel room on our trip through the Northwest last winter didn’t cut it. We are taking steps to change that. . .and if you want to know where those steps are leading, you’ll just have to join us here next week to find out!

Thanks for the time you’ve spent with us today as we looked at ex pat life from a slightly different perspective.  Safe travels to you and yours ~

Linking this week with:

Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Best of Weekend

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