I asked my lovely friend Kate from All Things Women Share (Instagram: @allthingswomensharebykate) to write a guest blog post for Kitchenoflion. As she’s currently an expat in Greece, I was hoping she could give us some insights in what it’s like to live there, especially during these difficult times. She tells us about the Mediterranean “laid back” attitude and how she learned to slow down and be more mindful. So now without further ado, here’s Kate!
“When Lisa asked me to write a little blog post for her page this whole concept was supposed to be around vegan food options in Athens. However, lockdown stepped in and I was unable to discover or review any good places, so I thought I would share something else I picked up and am still learning while living in Greece.
So, just to give you a little background info, earlier this year I was approached with a job opportunity and taking it meant I had to relocate to Athens, Greece. Living in a Mediterranean country was always on my vision board, so I could not say no to the offer. So, I moved to Greece in the middle of August hoping to make some valuable experiences during my stay. I always admire the laid-back southern lifestyle, where people take their time and always try to enjoy the moment instead of rushing around. I always wanted to learn more about the lifestyle, especially the ability to be more relaxed in general and not rush and plan everything. For someone who always plans her next move, I thought this could be a great opportunity to learn to let things go a bit. Earlier this year I could experience what it is like to lose the ability to plan anything really because of the pandemic, and I felt like moving here was a next step to improve myself in this aspect. Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with planning, I love it too and it can be very useful. But when you are constantly in the need to control everything that happens around you it can negatively affect your mental health. This is something I always struggled with and I try my best to let go of this habit.
Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with planning, I love it too and it can be very useful. But when you are constantly in the need to control everything that happens around you it can negatively affect your mental health.– Kate (@allthingswomensharebykate)
The irony is, in Greece you have to let go of this mentality. The whole environment is very laid back and chilled. If there is a problem at work, people don’t stress about it. They just say, “It is okay, we will sort it out, don’t worry,” or, “Oh, that happened before, don’t stress”. For instance, when I started working my computer system broke down and I needed a replacement. With my western mentality I was very worried and I wanted to have a solution as soon as possible. But my Greek manager told me not to worry, just chill out and enjoy my time when I don’t have to work, so I did. In the end, it took more than two weeks to replace my computer and for my Greek management that was no big deal—unlike me they did not care too much about how long this took, because after all I did get a new computer!
When you live in Greece you have to get used to people saying, “later, no rush, relax” a lot. That is just a fundamental part of Greek culture. For someone coming from a rushed, work oriented part of the globe this might be very strange at first, but I can tell you that after living here for about three months now I am getting used to it. I am learning the pace of letting things go, taking my time and enjoying the moment. That is so far the biggest lesson of 2020 anyway, so what better way to master this than living in Greece.
When you live in Greece you have to get used to people saying, “later, no rush, relax” a lot. That is just a fundamental part of Greek culture.– Kate, @allthingswomensharebykate
The next challenge for me is to find the balance between careful planning, being organised and the laid-back lifestyle that I picked up here in Greece. I aim to keep the positives of being focused and goal oriented but also being able to enjoy the present and don’t always rush around chasing my goals. My habit of always trying to control and plan everything comes with a cost; I forget to live in the moment at times and worry about things that are absolutely beyond my control. Learning to only focus on things that I can control is my goal for the rest of 2020. With a second lockdown in place I think I will have plenty of time to practice!
In addition, here are a few pictures I took when I slowed down to enjoy the moment and nature!”