Moving abroad: first time to Sweden, next time to Greece

Are you to thinking about moving abroad? I moved twice: I was born in Warsaw, moved to Sweden 1991 and to Greece 2017. Was it easy? Absolutely not! However, I do not regret my moving decisions and I hope to inspire others.

I also hope that, specially women 50 plus, can find strength and courage to change their lives too.  And I know plenty of women like me! I was recently interviewed by Katharina Wallenborg who is one of those women. Read my interview below and check out her blog with several women from different countries who share their own stories about life changes: Womens portraits fifty plus. Enjoy your reading!

A place in the sun or moving abroad story

Who has not dreamt about changing life when it feels like there is no end to the rat race and the days are always the same? One thinks about taking the plunge and to do something completely different. And why not relocate to a warm beautiful place? Some do just that and one of them is Elwira Kotowska and her Greek born partner. They moved to the sun only a few years ago. The two of them changed the grey and rainy Göteborg/Gothenburg in Sweden for the Mediterranean life in Greece, and they have not regretted it once. Even if you are totally fine with where you live and have already found your dream living and enjoy what you are doing, this is still a nice and inspiring story.

You and your partner moved to Peloponnesus a couple of years ago, started your own business and now you are residents there. Would you say that you are living your dream?

EK: Yes, absolutely! We may have passed the first stage of love to Peloponnesus, but we are still not regretting our decision. We are not working less than before, but we have more freedom. After 8-9 hours work we use to go to the beach for a swim, or just sit and watch the sunset. Neither of us miss the sound of the cars, the trolley cars, the ambulance and so on.

Both I and my partner still have consulting assignments in Sweden, Elias 100 percent and I 30 percent. The rest of the time I work with Hus i Grekland/husigrekland.se, which is an agency of dwellings, but we also arrange events, meetings and classes, that are held in Mani.

At the moment I’m running four web pages: husigrekland.se, houseinpeloponnese.com, domwgrecji.pl and sepeloponnesos.se. Since I also have some photo assignments I did this portfolio: kotowska.se.

For many years you lived in Sweden, but you are from Poland, where you grew up and lived in your early adulthood. How come that you moved to Sweden and what took you further to Greece?

EK: I moved to Sweden because I was searching for a place where I could be independent when it came to politics and culture. I think that I partly found what I searched for. But it was in a dull context: bad weather in a prefect society. Greece offers me sun 360 days per year and it also gives a bit of a rebel feel that I like.

Here people don’t ask about citizenship, just if you are Greek in your soul. And I am! Even as growing up in Warszawa, I was a free thinking and rebellious person.

If you would compare those three countries, what are the differences and the similarities?

EK: First thought is: we are only humans and that is independent of where we are born and regardless of conception of life. We are good or bad, forgiving or not forgiving. Then we have different opinions and principals about for example what to eat or what to believe. But we are basically the same I would say.

We may be from Poland, Sweden or Greece. For me it’s really no difference. But, in Greece I can be more open with who I am and what I think. Even if I’m not always political correct, it’s still fine. It’s easier to be an individual here.

You have moved to a new country twice in your life, first time as a young adult and now in midlife. Was it easier this time?

EK: On the whole I find that it’s easier when one is “more grown up”. My self esteem is higher and I don’t feel that I always need to fit in with norms or roles. My earlier experiences have also made me stronger and as long as I am myself and I’m open, I find new friends and acquaintances.

As a young mom I also had to see to my children’s well being and they had their schools. Now it’s only my partner and I to care for. I can be more flexible and experiment more now than compared to the first time I moved.

Seems as you are getting on very well in sunny Greece. Do you think you will ever leave your new country?

EK: One should never say never, but the simple answer is: I will never leave! Take a look on my favorite places. Why would I want to move?

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