From Greece to Sweden and back: a Kalamata citizen with an international heart

From Greece to Sweden and back: always with Greece in her international heart .. Meet Pernilla Nerhov, born in Greece and raised in Sweden.


It was one of the nice, warm afternoons in Kalamata and we were in a meeting with one of our Greek friends. In the middle of the conversation Alex rushes up, runs across the street and hurls over (literally! It´s how we do in Greece!) a couple of our age.

from greece to sweden and backIt only takes 2 minutes for the three of them to come back to the table and Alex’s female friend says: “Hi to you, my name is Pernilla, welcome to Kalamata”. She speaks Swedish with a specific dialect from the Malmö area !! Felt almost unrealistic.

Both Elias and I laughed and during the rest of the evening the conversation was mixed in several languages: Greek, Swedish, English and Dutch (Wim, Pernilla’s husband is Dutch). And sometimes even Polish (when I speak fast in several languages ​​it sometimes happens).

It is a small word! Elias and Wim have worked in the same building in the small swedish town: Värnamo! I was very happy to meet Pernilla: I knew from before about her work with “Kalamata tours” project. This evening was much longer than we planned and we decided the next meeting with food and vine in Alex house.

I was of course curious about Pernillas story!

“To everyone who consider to move to Greece: “ just do it “, you will never regret it”

You don´t meet a beautiful Greek woman who speaks Swedish with dialect from Malmö very often! But I understand that you have lived in several different countries? You speak several languages ​​fluently?

from greece to sweden and backPN: Yes, it is true! I speak Swedish, Dutch, English, German and Greek

You were only a baby when you moved to Sweden. How old were you when you moved to Kalamata?

PN: I was 42 when my son Ron and I decided to move to Greece and Kalamata

You were staying in Kalamata for 14 years and now is time again? To Wims city Amsterdam?

And is it true that you met him because of the sympathy to the swedish bard Cornelis Vreeswijk?

PN: Yes that´s correct, thank you thank you Cornelis.

Are you moving from Kalamata permanently?

PN: No, no we love both cities so we stay both here and there.

I understand that you know almost everything about Kalamata. Tell us more about “Kalamata and beyond” project.

PN: “Kalamata and Beyond” is the 3 hours long guided tour. Fun and unique one. Kalamata is more than just the sights and the sea. During my tours you can experience Greek life, Greek food and Greek music. A personal tour of the shops, shopkeepers, artists, and people that make this area a wonderful place to visit!

Photos from colorful Choir Parade from the Historic Centre to the Central Square. The same day we met Pernilla.

And also an international city as well. International Dance Festival, International Street Art, International Choir festival med mera. What other projects were you working with in Kalamata?

PN: “B.A.M Birba, Annie and Me”. Me and my two dogs, globetrotters like myself, making interviews with the locals in Kalamata and in the world. Interesting videos about interesting people. Videos are published on B.A.M’s Youtube channel and on Facebook and Instagram.

Was the adaptation from Swedish well-organized reality to, hmm let’s say, the impulsive and flexible life in Greece difficult?

PN: Hmmmm, lets say , 500 years back in time , but I loved and love it. You feel more free and alive living as a Greek in Greece.

What irritates you most when you’re in Greece vs. Sweden?

PN: Actually, nothing . Honestly, I respect the way how the Greeks are living, let’s call it “highest quality of life”.

What’s the best thing about living in Greece?

PN: Sun, sea, mountains, food, hospitality and much, much more.

Any tips for those who consider to move to Greece?

from greece to sweden and backPN: Think twice before you decide to move , it’s an ancient country, not to be compared with any other country in the world.

Do not compare it with where you come from, just let it embrace you. It’s a mythical and beautiful country.

I would highly recommend everyone who consider to move to Greece, “ just do it “, you will never regret it.  

Shortly you will feel and say “ I was not born in Greece , Greece was born in me “.

And as last, to rent or to buy a home in Greece, contact Elwira & Elias, they are very professional in their work, knows the language and the area, but above all, they are very kind hearted and trustworthy .

Thank you so much Pernilla for your time and your kind words about Elias and me. “I was not born in Greece, Greece was born in me”: yes, so do I feel! Elias was born in Greece so he must come to his own conclusion! We both will meet you & Wim soon again, in Kalamata or Amsterdam, bye for now!

Other links