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Exploring the path to retirement...finding our way
to a new way of living with purpose, meaning and joy.

Helene & Zaf

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Helene and Zaf's Pile of Boxes from Moving

I THINK IT WOULD BE BETTER OVER THERE

We moved into our new home back in September and spent a couple of weeks opening boxes that were placed all over the house. Keeping track of the box cutter was a chore! It was, nine out of ten times, forgotten under the endless wrapping paper and a couple of times we thought it was thrown away as we bagged it all up. I can’t begin to tell you how high the empty boxes were – they were a bigger mess when flat than when they were full.

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STRAND OF GREECE

THESSALONIKI

A five-hour drive north from Athens is the city of Thessaloniki. We purposefully set out on a Sunday morning, for our first time there this past summer, when traffic is typically minimal and coupled with the lock-down restrictions for citizens, who are not permitted to go from one province to another, the road was practically empty. With two pit stops along the way, we arrived in the late afternoon.

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Elderly Woman with Groceries in Greece

THE ENDURANCE OF THE GREEKS

The strength of any country is its people. The ability and stamina to carry on is inherited in the Greeks. Evident in their struggles to overthrow invading armies, occupation of foreign powers, wars, economic turndowns, and day to day living that is simply called life.

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Blue Chairs in Greek Tavern

The Beautiful Tavernas of Greece

Tavernas and Kafeneeos are the center of Greek life. They are embedded in Greek culture and history.

This is where people meet for a quick cup of kafe or to linger over a meal. No matter how small a village is, there is always a taverna or two. They date back to ancient times when men would sit and philosophize about life, politics, weather, and the like. In many places, especially in rural areas, rooms are attached for those who don’t want to venture far from the village square.

When we arrived in Athens, we were eager to have Greek food…alas, the city was in lock-down and the only thing we could do was get it delivered. If we ventured out, it was take-away. Delicious nevertheless, but the menu options were limited.

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CROPS IN – LET’S EAT!

On our recent retirement journey throughout Greece, we enjoyed delicious meals everywhere we visited. The freshness of the food did not surprise us. Food to table is how the Greeks have eaten since the beginning of time. Many take their home-grown products to the open-air markets (the tomatoes are outstanding!), which take place in almost every city and town, and some grow them for their own use!

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Greek Dish - Everyone Loves Greek Food!

EVERYBODY LOVES GREEK FOOD!

I started to write this blog about the amazing, delicious Greek food we enjoyed throughout our retirement kick-off journey throughout Greece and there is so much to say and show I’ve got to do it in two separate blogs!

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Photograph of Vouliagmeni from The Personal Collection of Helene and Zaf

MY GREEK COUSINS!

Throughout our travels we made some stops at places – basically a night out, a drive through or a few days stay while we were waiting to fly home. These come to mind as I reflect back to our journey throughout Greece. The best part of being there were the family members we visited with and sharing the experience.

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Photograph of the Beauty in Kalamata

KALAMATA

Ever eat those delicious black olives in your Greek salad? This is where they come from. Those olives are called Kalamata Olives, so there you go!

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Photo of Mikro Horio in the Mountains From the Personal Collection of Helene and Zaf

MY TWO VILLAGES

There was no way we would come to Greece and not go to the place where my parents were born and raised. To me, this is where I feel most connected to this land. So we packed up and hit the road.

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Evia Greece Pier

EVIA – KAVALA – THASSOS

After an overnight ferry ride back from Crete, we drove about an hour and a half north of Athens to the island of Evia. We settled in our hotel outside of Eretria and planned our excursions. This included plenty of down time relaxing around the pool and on the beach as well as hitting up other popular towns, Kavala and Thassos.

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Photo of Cretan Mountain and Beach From the Personal Collection of Helene and Zaf

CRETE

Majestic.  That is how I described Crete on our previous trip to this island and

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