Hello, and welcome to Living the Greek Dream.
I’m Emma, a 30-something writer, mum, dog lover and immigrant to Crete, Greece. We emigrated in July 2016 – bad timing giving the Brexit referendum, but by the time it happened we were committed. The house was sold, a property here secured, and our furniture shipped.
Emigrating to Crete had been a long held dream. We first considered it back in 2005 when we came on honeymoon. Both my husband and I had visited Greece multiple times before that, but this felt different. In 201o we returned on holiday. Once more it felt like home and in 2011 I left my husband, two young children and the dog to work here for a few months to get my AΦΜ (tax number) IKA contributions (equivalent to national insurance) and bank account set up, ready for our planned move in 2012.
Then the economy crashed and, regretfully, we decided not to move. We didn’t want to be stuck in a situation where we couldn’t afford to live here, and couldn’t afford to get back to the UK. With the age of our daughters, we thought we had missed our chance as we didn’t want their schooling affected. But still we dreamed…
Somehow – I can’t remember how – in December 2015 I found out that there was a European school in Heraklion, Crete. One half of the school was taught in English and it largely followed the British curriculum (well, the one before the Government decided to change it again in 2015). Suddenly, it was an option again and, after much deliberation, we decided that if we didn’t do it, we would always regret it. Maybe it won’t work out here – we are realistic – but at least we will know.
So, here we are. Trying to live the Greek dream. How’s it going so far? Well, it’s been both amazing and really tough. There’s been highs and lows. But we’ll keep persevering. In this blog I want to share some of our experiences, the good, the bad, the perplexing, and the downright frustrating. And, hopefully, maybe help others who are considering making the leap.