A new beginning

Every beginning starts with an end. My life as an expat is coming soon to an end.

7 years in 2 different countries, Bulgaria and Poland; boxes with souvenirs piled in the garage and dusted suitcases filled with memories waiting to find their new home.I started off this journey in my late 30s, it took me more than 5 years to sit down and finally start this blog.I always had in my mind to begin writing. My career as a tv journalist ended abruptly in November 2015 when my mom was diagnosed with terminal metastatic lung cancer. With no second thoughts I decided to leave my job and take care of the woman who had given me the most precious gift, my life. In March 2016 my mother passed away, a few months later we moved to Sofia, Bulgaria. Two years later when I was about to say that we had finally settled down we moved again, this time to Poland. For the last 7 years I have been a full time mom, a privilege I did not get to enjoy when I was desperately trying to combine career and family life. I guess I wanted to live to the fullest the time I got to spend with my girls.I worked as a volunteer for their school’s Parents Organisation, started as room parent and ended up as PTO President. The feeling of offering back to the community that helped my family feel home away from home gave me so much satisfaction that for a while I betrayed my first love, which was writing. Every time I thought I was ready to sit down and start my blog a rollercoaster of mixed emotions took over my thoughts.Someone though had once told me that “old habits don’t go away that easily” and the truth is that the journalist’s passion, to observe and write about this world never left me , not even during my darkest moments when I felt that creativity had abandoned me for good.Insecurities, living far away from home and middle life crisis sometimes can be the worst advisors for new beginnings. But there comes a time in your life when you say “it’s now or never”.

I see this blog as a second chance to revisit my country.I left Greece when I was 17 years old.I spent my student years in Italy and in the UK. I lived 9 years in Athens and then left again. This time I am going back, and reintroducing myself to my Greece with the excitement of a foreigner who is getting ready to live in a new country and discover new hobbies, traditions, little hidden gems in the city, local artists and products. Our everyday life, routine and responsibilities make us forget the magic that every country has to offer.I want to return to Greece and preserve the expat’s passion and curiosity, I am ready to make new friends, to have new disappointments, travel to new places, read again about the Golden Age of Pericles, and the Minoan Civilization, taste local dishes, go fishing in the Aegean, learn new recipes, engage again in my children’s school, take long walks at the beach with my dog, meet expats who will be having the same concerns I had a few years ago.”Will l fit in?”, “Will I call this place home away from home?” I guess home is where the heart is and when you are a heart traveller you always find your way home.

To all the heart travellers out there who try to find their home,

Let’s figure our way home together!

xoxo

Maria

When you know that you will be back- Christmas in Athens with the family!

Have Ithaka always in your mind.Your arrival there is always what you are destined for.But don’t in the least hurry the journey

ITHAKA BY C.P CAVAFY

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