Being an expat is not the easiest thing in the world, but it’s certainly is one of the most interesting and enriching experiences one can have. Alexia moved from Athens to London in September 2012, and is still trying to figure out expat life, armed with optimism, patience and lots of enthusiasm. She explains how she finds life… here and there.
Here: I meet new people all the time and develop great friendships with people from all over the world. I’m more open socially than I was back home.
There: Although I miss them terribly, I’m so happy every time I go back home and see my old good friends and my family. Every reunion is filled with lots of hugs and happiness.
London’s landmark, Big Ben
Here: I explore my new city with tourist-like enthusiasm, taking full advantage of everything London has to offer. Every weekend we do something different and visit a new part of the city. In London, we never get bored.
There: In Athens I feel at home. I know every little corner, where to make the best buys, where is the best restaurant, where to chill out on a hot summer day. It’s refreshing to know a place like the back of your hand.
Here: British weather is famous for its clouds, rain and cold temperatures. The biggest challenge for me was this winter of unending snow and cold. Then again, this made me appreciate every single ray of sunshine: and when the sun finally decided to shine, we welcomed it with lots of picnics and strolls in the park.
There: Greece’s climate is famous for its mild winters and hot summers; the sun shines almost every day in Athens. And when it’s hot, there’s no better excuse to go to the beach!
Here: I love discovering and partaking in British culture, traditions and lifestyle. My family’s favourites are Halloween, fun fairs and tea time with scones!
There: I miss my family and friends during the holidays or on special occasions like weddings and birthdays. Their absence is the hardest aspect of expat life.
How would I resume my expat life after a year? Expat life is getting the best of two worlds while wishing you were in two places at once!
Alexia is French/Greek nationality and lives in London with her husband and baby. She works as a translator, and writes subtitles for films. She likes puddle splashing, red wine & naps (not necessarily in that order) and dislikes not sleeping enough & toddler tantrums.
You can find her blog about life as a mum in London here.