Anthy: Experimental Life Images
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Cyprus, etc.
I work in travel, and I moved to Cyprus in 2011 with my two daughters, after finishing my studies in the UK.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
At first, I just wanted somewhere I could post family photos and, so that my children could see them when they were older. But after I started reading other blogs, particularly those of expats, I began wanting to document my own personal experiences. It was a very tumultuous year, full of new experiences and challenges and I thought it was a good time to start recording things which happened in my life.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
I don’t have any particular favourite, but I do find my posts have improved over the months and I have settled into writing in more focused way. When I began, I had no idea what I wanted to say.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Cyprus differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
It wasn’t much of a culture shock as I have Cypriot heritage and I have been exposed to the culture all my life. I guess what is most difficult to deal with is that it is a small place and sometimes it can get a little claustrophobic - definitely a big change from London. It takes some time to get use to the heat in summer, especially if you have to work during the midday hours…I don’t know if I will ever get use to that!
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Cyprus? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I thought I was fully prepared and that I had a job waiting for me. However, due to the financial crisis which coincided with my arrival, the offer was withdrawn, and as a result I spent 3 desperate months searching for a job, with my funds running out fast. I was lucky and I found another job in the 11th hour. On reflection, I should have been less hasty about moving and paid a bit more attention to the details, having a backup plan in place.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
This isn’t exclusively an expat experience – strange people exist all over the world, and no less in London. But a man in the building next door to mine, whose apartment overlooks my balcony, opens hi kitchen window every Friday afternoon and asks me if I have seen his cat jump out of that window. Apparently he only got the cat last week -- even though he has been asking me this same question for the past 3 months. Yet it never fails to amuse me.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Cyprus?
- Do your homework before hand.
- Make sure you have a plan B if it all goes pair shaped.
- But don’t just sit around dreaming about it – go for it.
How is the expat community in Cyprus? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
No. Cyprus has become very cosmopolitan in recent years, and they have large expat contingency. I am not necessarily drawn to expats, since I have found their lives can be a little insular. I prefer to meet a variety of people and try to keep regular contact with friends living around the globe. One never knows when they may get itchy feet again :).
How would you summarize your expat life in Cyprus in a single, catchy sentence?
Life in Cyprus is busy, easy and very familiar.