An Interview With a British Lass in Greece

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Blog | 5 comments

Once again, I have stumbled across another free spirit. Bex, as she describes herself,  is an unconventional British lass with a degree in International Relations, the wrong side of 35, who finds herself living in the unconventional country of Greece. Expatriates are flourishing all over the world. Read her interview.

No photoshop needed!

1. You have been leading a life full of international adventures for quite a few years now. We’d love to have you tell us a little about where your journey has taken you. What prompted these life choices?

Ever since a child, I’ve always loved the sights, smells and differences of foreign cultures. I loved studying geography at school and every year, my parents would take us to foreign lands. My first solo trip was when I was nineteen: a year on a Working Holiday visa, backpacking around Australia.

I soon realised living the conventional 9-5, Monday to Friday, settle down, have kids and a white picket fence with a Labrador dog was not the life for me! I tried it: the nine-to-five job bit, and even though I was living the ‘socially responsible’ life, I was miserable…I could literally feel my soul imploding.

A stint working for various airlines at London Heathrow airport helped as I could go to many different places cheaply, but not enough. So in 2004, at the age of thirty, I took myself off for a four month volunteer teaching placement in Sri Lanka, followed by a trip back ‘home’ via New Zealand, the South Pacific islands and across the U.S. The experience teaching whetted my appetite to obtain my first degree in International Relations (at thirty one years old), then undertake a Teaching English as a Foreign Language qualification and now I am in Athens, Greece. I intended to stay only one year for the experience and move on, but my love of this country has kept me here, 4.5 years later!

Greek sunset

2. What are the biggest rewards of living abroad? Any downsides?

I love living in a foreign culture. I watch and read the international news about my adopted country, Greece and it really angers me to hear what is put out there! The biggest reward for me is knowing the inside of a country, really getting to grips with its culture, the people, the food (yum!) and knowing the TRUTH, not just what is put out by the not-so well meaning media.

Downsides? Of course! I don’t always wear rose tinted spectacles: it’s difficult living in a culture where the language is difficult to learn, things work a LOT slower than my home country, the UK: there is definitely a no-rush culture to things in the Mediterranean. The public sector is notoriously slow, there doesn’t seem to be a system in place for anything to really function correctly. It can be frustrating, but in an odd way, things work. But for me, the good outweighs the bad. I’m a firm believer of the saying “If I don’t like it, leave rather than complain.”

Ancient history abounds

 3.How do you support your endeavors?

I have a job teaching English here and whilst the salary is low (I can only get part time work), I don’t need a fortune to live on: I share a place with good friends and the Greeks always seem to want to feed me! I get involved with charity work, maintain an Award Winning blog and am writing my first novel – all this takes up my remaining time, oh – and I go to the occasional island too. 

4. Where do you see yourself five or even ten years from now?

That’s a hard one! I used to believe in life plans but since I’ve been in Greece and have been ‘on the road,’ not conforming to life’s expectations of a late 30’s gal, I have a much more lasses fair approach to life now. Experience has taught me that things can change in an instant. I believe in having personal goals, and my goal(s) at the moment is to get my novel finished and published and to develop my site so that it is an invaluable source of information for expats who decide to make the brave move away from their own country.

5. Do you have any advice for others who would are seeking adventure and personal freedom?

Don’t let family, friends or society pressure you into living the life THEY want you to lead. Once you become strong enough to take that first leap by getting onto a plane, you’ll immediately meet like-minded people. Like attracts like and remember, you haven’t failed if it doesn’t work…you’ve tried something others wouldn’t dare. Hold your head up high and GO FOR IT!

 Bio: An unconventional British lass with a degree in International Relations, the wrong side of 35, only just the right side of 40, Bex finds herself living in the unconventional country of Greece.

I’ve travelled to, lived and taught in various places around the globeSri Lanka, Cambodia and even helped teach English to the crew of a container ship travelling across the Atlantic Ocean!

I’ve worked at LHR airport, dealing with high profile passengers as well as understanding the logistics of aircraft travel, organised people’s lives through my role as P.A. to various individuals and returned to full time education in my early 30’s! All experiences have helped to shape who I am today. I’m working on my first novel.

Follow me on my site, Facebook Page and Twitter.

 

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5 Comments

  1. Thanks for featuring me Teresa! It was an honour to be asked to feature as a guest post. I love sharing my story and inspiring others to break out and do the same.

  2. She’s really a cool lady! I hope more ladies will have the courage to travel in many places like her… 🙂

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