Old fishing boat with plant on and around it and the sea in the background | Why i moved to Greece from the UK | bucketlistmylife.com

Why I moved to Greece from the UK

I realised I hadn’t written much about why I moved to Greece from the UK. I wrote a little bit in another post about how I came to Greece in October 2020 for a two week holiday, and then I came back indefinitely at the end of that month. But there’s wasn’t much detail about why I wanted to live in Greece. So here’s the story.

The Mediterranean feels like home

To the casual onlooker, coming back to Greece after my holiday last year may have looked like a random or impulsive move. But the truth is, for me, living in the Med has always been on the agenda.

I’ve always known that I would return to live in the Mediterranean. My first job was on a Mediterranean cruise. After that, I lived in Portugal and a couple of different Spanish islands. I loved the weather, the lifestyle and learning the language. My life was wholesome and healthy, and I felt the best I ever have.

Living in the Med never made it to any New Year’s resolution list or bucket list. It wasn’t something I intended to wish or hope for or needed to remind myself of. I KNEW that at some point I would move there. The intention was to go to a Spanish island since I already speak some Spanish and know that I love the way of life in Mallorca, Menorca and Tenerife.

2020 was the year I decided to go big on the 50-before-50 bucket list. Number 13 is Spend the Night on Mount Teide UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve in Tenerife. At the beginning of 2020, I was itching to return to a sunny island so it seemed perfect to go to Tenerife and get this one ticked off the list. I thought I could do a few others at the same time, such as items 28 – 31.

May 2020 – finally moving to Spain

I set aside May as the month to move there. For UK citizens, becoming a resident in Spain was as simple as registering yourself on the roll at the town hall and being handed a residency card. I was grateful that the transition would be simple and straightforward.

In the meantime, I had decided to take a break from housesitting and spend 3 months in London. Before I moved into my new place I had a mini-break in northern Tenerife and returned to the UK on 12th March.

The world went insane on 13th March 2020 and my plans for May were dashed. I hunkered down in a bolt-hole in London and worried whether my dreams to live abroad were dashed by the timing of Brexit and COVID.

I did not do well in lockdown and no one really knew what was going on. Just moving around London to get to my storage locker was a bit of a nightmare. The thought of trying to get organised to move abroad was too much. Plus, although I was finding things tough in London, life in Spain during COVID seemed a million times harder. People had to self-certify to leave their homes and couldn’t go outside without a mask. It wasn’t the Spain I’d dreamed of.

Why I moved to Greece (not Spain) from the UK

When the world started opening up again I spent July – October house sitting in the UK. I had a two-week gap between bookings at the beginning of October and came to Greece for a holiday. I went back to the UK for my last booked sit and knew I would be returning to Greece. (Read about my return and then living in Greece during COVID and second lockdown).

I found out that in July, the process for residency in Spain had changed. With that knowledge and my holiday to Greece in October, the signs were starting to point me towards Greek residency instead of Spanish. That’s why I moved to Greece from the UK, and not Spain as I’d always imagined.

Autumn in Greece turned into winter and then into spring. On the 1st January 2021, the clock was set for my 90-day limit in the Schengen area. As soon as I arrived in Greece I had been looking into the requirements for becoming a resident. For a while, it looked as though I wouldn’t be able to manage it but at the 11th hour I pulled it off (with a little help from my friends).

About 3 weeks before my 90-days were up I was connected with a Facebook group that opened up the possibilities for me. Suddenly the energy ramped up and it was full steam ahead to get everything together in time. It was a real rollercoaster of emotions but absolutely worth it.

Moving to Greece to create the life I love

Mediterranean life is so good for me. It feels wholesome and healthy and real and true. I love the food and how fresh and local produce is. I love being able to help myself to fruit off the trees for that matter! One of my favourite things at my last house was going next door to feed the cats and picking a bowlful of lemons off the tree. Standing underneath it, breathing in the citrus scent was just heavenly. I love swimming in the sea and feeling the sun on my face. I love the balmy summer evenings and that businesses are open into the night. I love the simplicity of my everyday decision-making here.

In Spain the laidback island culture of manana, manana could be frustrating at times. And in Greece, the level of bureaucracy can be the same. Sometimes I miss the hyper convenience of London: getting anything you want delivered to your door in an instant, or just being a short tube journey away from whatever you want. But overall it’s a romantic adventure that I’m massively grateful to be able to enjoy.

So, that’s why I moved to Greece from the UK! I’m really looking forward to seeing what the Greece years bring. It’s certainly a good chunk of time to tick off number 8 on the bucket list (Greek Island Hopping). I feel like that might have become a bucket list all of its own – to visit every inhabited island! Let’s see.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *