I have moved many times. I have lived in Nafplio, in Thessaloniki, in three cities in Romania, in Athens. Athens was something I could not bear any longer. When my life stopped satisfying me, I thought it had been high time I made my dream come true. My dream was to live on an island, to see the sea on a daily basis, to be able to enjoy nature and calmness and to work efficiently. I wanted to feel that my life is good and complete, the feeling that I do not live in order to work, but that I live in order to be able to do what I love and to give back to the community.
Daily life on a big city with a population larger than three million people, with distances which can make even a marathon runner feel tired and with a pace that can get on the most patient person’s nerves is not simple. Neither pleasant. My job was essentially my whole life. I would teach for six hours every day at a language school an hour away from home. When I went back home I was working as a translator. Of course, there are people who work longer hours and maybe they are on the road for more hours every day, too. However, this pace was not my cup of tea. The absolute absence of a social life was not suitable for me. It can be said that is it difficult for a person to have a social life, though, when they start working at 11 am to finish at 1 in the morning…
So, a year ago, I decided to quit my job and move to the place I always used to go back to find some peace and quiet, Poros. I had already made some calculations and I knew I had enough savings for six months before finding a job on the island. Then, I quit a job I loved and I sadly had to say goodbye to some of the best employers and colleagues I have ever had – all of them accepted my decision and supported me when I announced I would not be with them in the school year to come. On the other hand, I was excited about packing, decluttering, and spending a whole summer at Nafplio, my hometown, and Poros.
When I moved to the island, I could not believe that I was actually doing what I had previously read on stories about people who had decided to drastically change their lives. Also, I could not believe that the view I was looking at was a real thing and not a giant post card. At night, the sky was full of stars which could not be seen against Athens’ lights. Balconies were full of flowers and neighbours who said good morning in a friendly tone. It was the first time I was able to work outside, in my balcony, smelling the jasmine and finding unknown to me cats under my bed; it was the first time I knew I had enough time to finish work, cook, read a book, do the laundry and go to a cultural event all in a day!
Maybe all the above sound overly enthusiastic, a little fake or too much, but it is not like that. Since August, the quality of my life has significantly improved. I volunteered at an educational and cultural centre I now work at (hooray!), I read a few books, I became a member of both a book and a cinema club, I travelled and now, apart from my job, I am enrolled in two online courses, I am translating a theatre play and I started painting again.
I have been living on the island for ten months now. It is maybe too soon to say much, but I can tell I would not easily change the life I have right now. It is a fact that I work hard, but I have enough time for myself, I meet amazing people, I walk, I enjoy the unbelievable beauty of the surroundings and I think that now I finally feel that I am living the life I always wanted to live.
I am now sure that in case someone turns a dream they have into a life goal, they can manage to achieve this goal provided they try hard enough. No matter the hardships we face, there are opportunities where one wants to see them, when there is a will to work hard and not to quit.
Greetings from Poros, then!
- Tourist website for Poros island, here
Contributor: Anastasia Karouti
*The article was first published in flowmagazine.gr.