Living one year in Crete

Summer came to an end and that means that we have been living one year in Crete. We left Athens exactly one year ago and moved to a little place called Paradise. We have lived through our first fall, winter spring and summer. 365 days in our little house in Souda-Chania. Three months of endless rain in winter and four months of endless sunshine in summer. A year went by so fast. We haven’t had the time to blink our eyes and we did a tour around the sun again. What happened this year? How did it go for us to fit in our new place, our new hometown?

I am trying to remember what was the first thing we did when we arrived here in Crete. And I keep on landing back on that first time we went to the beach one afternoon just for a couple of hours after Michalis job and after finishing up the moving in the house part. So much happiness to just being able to say: lets go to the beach just for a couple of hours because yes, we can! It wasn’t the best beach of Chania but we felt so free to just watch the water, lie on the beach and read our book. One of the main things that changed our daily life routine is the beach. We didn’t come home from work and said lets relax in the couch or go to the park or the city center for a walk. No, nowadays we say: Are you in for a little dip at the beach? One year after arrival we still say the same thing. We do believe that this is such a luxury to be able to go to the beach every single day if we want to.

What changed as well is the amount of free time we have on our hands now. In Athens Michalis had one hour of route to go to work, here in Chania it just takes him about 5 minutes (okay we live very close to his job 😉 ). But it made us realize how important it is for us that our jobs are at a short distance of our home. How much time of our lives do we lose just going to our jobs? Now all of this time can be used to spend in a more creative way, in a more satisfying way.

Fooooood! This is really something that we have to emphasize a lot. It is amazing what countryside/island life can do for your food supply. The amount of fresh vegetables and fruits is crazy. Every single day there is an open market somewhere around Chania where you can just get an abundance of local and seasonable food. I have to admit to myself that in Athens I didn’t cook that much. Athens has a richness in nice and cheap places to go eat at so why cook if it is just ready and available down the street? Here in Chania I started cooking with fresh food and it makes one happy for sure. I took the time to research myself into nice Greek vegan recipes (and there are a lot!) and went nuts on cooking my own food.

Next on our list of changes: We started our own business during this year in Crete! We started our own brewery! If the question pops up in your mind if it is less difficult to start a business in a smaller city, then the answer would be: YES! It doesn’t become suddenly the easiest process but just the fact that all the offices you will need are within walking distance makes it a lot more doable! We will write a separate article about all the steps we undertook to get where we are now. If you want to know more about our product check our site www.lafkasbrewery.com.

We finally did what we wanted since I moved to Greece: start our own beer. Is it the amazing amount of beautiful sceneries here in Crete that gave us inspiration? Is it the good food that gave us the strength to launch ourselves? Or did we finally have extra time on hands and started? We personally think it is all of these things but also just taking the courage to jump into the unknown and just throw ourselves out there. Living in Crete is definitely a big plus of course!

With all the above you will think that island life is all about sunshine and rose petals everywhere around us. If we wait a bit longer we will see only rainbows and unicorns all over the place. No, don’t get fooled by it! Every medal has two sides. Also the island life has some harder parts. The thing we are most amazed by is the fact that we survived winter. If you ever want to experience the island life in another way, come for a visit during winter in Chania. It is raining a lot, there are not that many people around and you spend most of the time indoors. Joke’s on me, trying to escape the Belgian rain.

We love our island life but we do miss some things back in Athens: The abundance of museums and cultural place, the walks through the historical city and calling Acropolis your home, the fast pace of the big city life, the quick availability of food, … Lets say we come to a conclusion that wherever you will live in this world, it will never be the perfect place but what you can do is take all the advantages and make just the best out of it for yourself and your life goals. Chania is called home now but Athens will stay a big part of us. Small proof: we just jumped in a plain to pass the weekend as ‘big city life people’ and are enjoying it profoundly!

Wishing you all an amazing weekend!

Aurelie

PS: Here is a little video I made of our summer in Crete. We had plenty of visitors and just loved exploring the island all together. Have fun and maybe it will inspire you to come and visit us!?

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