If you are an expat (especially from Cyprus or Greece) ,you might relate to some of my thoughts and feelings about living abroad in your 30s.
For the first time for years, I’ve visited home feeling myself and eager to catch up with friends and people I haven’t seen for years (including the coolest lecturer I ever had and probably the best psychologist at least in Cyprus, if you live in Cyprus and need any advice or support, message me for details!), meet my little prince, my gorgeous godson and explore my homeland, something I haven’t done for years. And it felt amazing. I had the most amazing time (still one day left!) but I missed my second home too.
Millomeri waterfalls, at Platres, just stunning.
If you live abroad, you probably know the feeling. Being back home feels amazing and sometimes I wonder whether I should move back at some point in my life. But then change my mind after a while and you probably understand why.
Being single in your 30s and living abroad is not easy for a small, close society to comprehend. Most of my friends are married and/or have kids and if you are not married you must have heard hundreds of times “You are getting older, you are almost 30, your cousin/sister/random people you don’t even remember/etc are married with kids, when are you getting married?”, “When are you moving back?”.
I’d like to have children at some point, but even if I get too old and that doesn’t happen, it’s not the end of the world. The most important thing in life is to be happy and enjoy life!
It’s difficult for others to accept that living abroad and having goals other than getting married and having a family is possible. And I understand that. This is the how they grew up and for them that is the ultimate goal. But it can become frustrating being given ‘advice’ by everyone, even people who I don’t really know on what to do with my life.
After a week back home, I caught up with my best friends (sorry about the rest, I promise I will make it up next time!), met amazing people including probably the only 30 year old (ridiculously multitalented singer) who has a different mindset to most (guess what? he lived abroad for years!), spent quality time with family and even squeezed some time to go on day adventures. But it wasn’t enough. I could use another week or two. Then again, it never really feels enough. I will always miss my family and my friends.
On the other hand, I don’t think I can move back here permanently. I now have a second home which I miss dearly when I’m here. I miss my friends, my colleagues, my own space, my own life.
I now have no ties in Southampton or even the UK. I can move anywhere in the world, literally anywhere! And of course never say never. I have no idea how my life will evolve and where I might be this time next year.
But Southampton feels like home, even with all the changes in the last couple of months. And I can’t wait to go back and try new things, catch up with my friends, have my first mini holiday with Shebz (I missed you!!!) to initiate the celebrations of me becoming 30, make changes which I decided for once, and just have fun!
The lesson I’ve learned? Don’t get upset or take into serious consideration what other think is right for you. You know best, so trust yourself!
And the best advice I’ve received, from my 80 year old grandpa after I told him I broke up with my partner of 7 years (he easily forgets so he politely asked about him) “Are you happy? That’s all it matters!”
Love you all! x