About us

We’re Matt, Steph and Primrose – AKA Mr and Mrs Sidestepping-Normal (and Baby Sidestepping-Normal!)

This blog was originally started to document our simple life in sunny Crete, but has recently changed since our arrival back in the UK and the tragic loss of our newborn son, Arthur.

The Greek bit:

It all started in 2018 when we were in our late 20’s and early 30’s and decided to quit our predictable, boring lives in the UK to live an alternative life with more focus on having time to enjoy the simple things.

Our Greek renovation project…

We’d previously led very normal lives, had very normal jobs and lived in a very normal town in the south of England.
We felt extremely fortunate to have the lives that we had, but could also see our futures mapped out before us with no real option of living differently.

We could have easily gone down the route that was expected of us (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that) but we started to ask ourselves if there was more to life than living for the weekend and paying off the mortgage. Why are we expected to trade 30 years of our lives for a roof over our heads?

We started to wonder what would happen if we minimised our outgoings and had no mortgage and therefore didn’t have to work so much. The time that we had previously spent working would be free to spend doing the things that we wanted to do.

Having made the move to the Greek island of Crete, we began to create our vision. We were mortgage free and had two properties, one of them being a little derelict ruin which we were renovating as a holiday rental. We led a frugal life but had our freedom and time, which to us are the most important things.

After two and a half years of Greek adventures, we found out the wonderful news that we were expecting a baby. With the prospect of our family growing, we decided to move back to the UK to recreate our Greek lifestyle near our friends and family.

The English bit:

Shortly after arriving back in the UK, our baby boy was born. Very tragically, due to a catalouge of errors, he was starved of oxygen and we had to say goodbye when he was five days old. The loss of Arthur has set us on a new path and we’re on a quest to do as much good as possible with our lives. Every penny and ounze of energy has been ploughed into a four acre site that we’ve named Arthur’s Patch.

Arthur’s Patch…

Recently we’ve had our second baby, Primrose, who is helping us to heal. We’re learning to live with our loss and creating Arthur’s Patch is our medicine. Arthur’s Patch is about creating a place where nature and people can thrive and heal together. We’re at the beginning of a new chapter, so stick around to see us plant a mini woodland, establish a large pond, build a vegetable garden and orchard, create a children’s play area , plus many more projects along the way.

We can’t wait to share what we are doing,

Matt, Steph and Primrose

149 thoughts on “About us

  1. Hi There….Love reading your Newsletter and found it most interesting….sounds an idealistic lifestyle to me. Glad you are both enjoying life to the full.
    Best Wishes and look forward to next Newsletter
    Joan King.

    1. Hello! Thanks for your message. We’re glad you enjoyed the newsletter. We definitely can’t complain; we are having a great time over here. There are plenty of challenges, which keeps things exciting!

  2. Hi both, great to meet Matt today on the Happy Wanderers walk. He mentioned your blog page and I managed to remember its name. Anyway great to read about people doing things differently so best of luck and I hope to see you again!

    1. Hello! Thank you so much for taking the time to look up the blog; it really means a lot. You can definitely depend on us to do things differently! All the best.

  3. Wow how exciting and so pleased you are doing this while your young. Will be following with great interest. BRAVO XX

    1. Thank you. It’s great to have support from people. There’s always something new and challenging to deal with!

      1. Stormy weather here so reading your blog is adding brightness to the day ?
        Cannot wait for Tuesday!
        Take care

        1. Hello! Glad to bring a little sunshine from Crete to your day. Thanks for your message. Take care. x

  4. Hi Matt and Steph,
    Glad to see things are progressing with walnut cottage. Jason and I are back in July. Hopefully we’ll see you both then for a catch up.

  5. Hi, I’ve recently seen you both on that TV programme, anything with Greece in the title I’ll watch! Well done for taking the plunge.
    I love Crete and have been three times in recent years with a mission to steer my life away from Brighton and wage slavery.
    I’m hoping to drive my van and dog over this summer, would love to meet you if possible on my quest. Whereabouts are you though?
    All the best,

    1. Hello! We originate from Brighton area too! Yes, when you’re in Crete then give us an email and we’ll happily meet up for a coffee and a chat:) We’re in Panormos area, not far from Rethymnon.

  6. Life. is short.The most important thing is family.You will never regret your choice.There is no more better and beautiful place than Greece.You know you will be happy there.

    1. Hiya! Yes you’re so right, this life will be over within a blink of an eye. Being further away from family and friends has put everything into perspective for us. Material possessions and money mean nothing, people, animals and nature mean everything. Thanks for your message, all the best.

      1. Yeah guys am with you completely on this. I saw your story on Mail Online and saw your newsletter. I will keep track of you both. I share something with your sense of purpose and adventure. You both are bold and determined. Good luck and enjoy the sun.

  7. U done well ,I’m from greece live in uk the last 10 years honiestly everyday I’m thinking to come back ,greece is only one ,and the most important is that u said THE FREEDOM only u and me we understand what means wish u well I will follow u my brother and sister soon xxbravo

    1. Hiya! We’ve swapped countries!! It sounds like your heart is still in Greece:) Yes, until you have experienced that true feeling of freedom, then it’s hard to explain – you know exactly how we feel. It’s lovely to meet you (virtually) thanks for joining us on the journey:)

  8. Hi Matt&Stephanie
    So happy for you both my Crete is a beautiful place to live my husband and I moved to Crete last April 2wks after getting married we love it here we are only renting long term but have no plans for going back to England unless we have to we wish you a long and happy life here in Crete
    Best wishes

    1. Hi Paula and Ken! Thanks for your lovely message. It sounds like you’ve fallen in love with the Greek lifestyle too! I’m so pleased for you both. We’re with you – going back to England doesn’t appeal at all! All the best.

    2. Hi Matt and Steph,
      Just came across your write up on living in Crete, it is just so uplifting. I have recently moved to Greece with my son and husband from SA (left South Africa due to crime and other political crap )and we have been faced with lots of obstacles in Greece too to the extend that i feel perhaps i should go back because i knew how to do things in SA, but your experiences made me realise that we have made the right decision and we should just battle it out for a better future.
      Thank you for your positive message.
      Many regards

      1. Hi Merz,

        I’ve had several messages from people just like you, explaining that they too have left SA because of the crime etc.

        Although living in a new country is tough at times (we feel it too) on the whole, it’s worth it. All challenges can be surmounted, nothing is out of reach. Things are getting easier for us all the time. We’re gradually making friends with our neighbours and learning how things are done here.

        Feeling part of a community really helps, which is part of why I set this blog up. Leave me a comment here whenever you want, I love to know how other people are doing ?

  9. How wonderful, wish I had done it when I was younger. I do enjoy the television series and look forward to receiving your news. The best of luck!

    1. Hello! Thank you! Glad you’re enjoying the programme – who knows what we’ll be up to in the next episode! All the best.

      1. Hello saw you and your hubby somewhere a couple of years ago I think it was and thought what a wonderful thing to do .I wrote your e mail down and thought no more about it I have just been doing some clearing out at home and come across your e,mail and I thought I would send you a message to see if you are still living the dream in Crete.i can see you are still there and enjoying it.how do I get on your newsletter.love sandra webb x

        1. Hello! It was lovely to find your comment here. Where did we meet you?

          In the top right hand corner of the blog is a box that says ‘subscribe to our newsletter’ if you enter your email address into the box, you will be signed up. If you have any problems, I can add you manually from this end.

          We’re fine thanks, still living the dream. Things have been tough this year because there’s hardly any work. We can survive on very little, but things have got quite dire. Thank goodness my husband had the option to head back to the Uk to top our funds back up. I feel grateful for everything, I think a lot of people are worse off.

  10. Greetings from Saint Helena Island South Carolina. You picked the best island (I have been to Crete four times) and just love it. Wish you two the very best and enjoy your life. It is so short not to appreciate it.

    1. Hiya, We’re agreed then…Crete is the best! Thanks so much for the lovely message. All the best to you too.

        1. Thank you ? It really is a special place with special people. I’m so glad we ended up here.

      1. I’m glad that you have fantastic time in Crete. I’m curious though, how did you manage to stay more than 3 months in Greece, did you get the citizenship? I’m Greek American and I wish to retire in Greece someday.

        1. After three months you are required to apply for a residents permit. We have obtained our five year permit. When it is time to renew, we hope to gain our permanent residency.

  11. Welcome to beautiful Crete. You’ve chosen the best place. We packed up and come here long time ago. We love the Cretans and the wild landscape. Just love it. If you live a simple life you dont need much. Go into the mountains and breath in and just take it all in. Wish you many happy years.

    1. Absolutely, the simple pleasures are the most wonderful. I cherish my morning walks with Dora-dog with the backdrop of mountains and olive trees. All the best to you too:)

  12. Hi Matt and Steph,
    Well done to you both,and I’m really jealous you both done so much.i love everything about the Greeks and the way of life and for me it started back in the 1990,s.i made one attempt to buy in Cyprus but it failed. Ever since I visited crete many times,will again this summer.Take care.claude.

    1. Hi Claude, Thanks for your message. We’re so glad to have so many lovely people on the journey with us:) I believe everything happens for a reason, so although Cyprus didn’t work out for you, there’s a reason. Maybe you’re supposed to be in Crete too:) All the best.

  13. Great to see you on the TV and follow your adventures. My wife and I love Crete and are always fascinated by stories like yours. Good luck in your endeavours.

    1. Hi David, I’m glad you are enjoying the tv show and the blog. We have been so amazed by the amount of support and lovely messages from people. It’s fantastic to have a little community here on the blog. Hope you enjoy episode three on Tuesday!

  14. Hi there, I am so very happy for the both of you. I am part Greek and I have never had the opportunity to visit…. I want to come and visit next year…. Please keep me informed, I would love to rent from you.. This would be a dream come true….

    1. Hello! I’m sure you would feel right at home here with your Greek heritage. We’ll keep everyone informed of the progress at the cottage. We’d love to have you to stay next year…we better crack on!!!

  15. Your place here looks lovely…. I would like to visit the Greek islands…. Athens, Santorini, Patmos, Crete . I’m sure there is so much to learn….. Good luck to both of you…?

    1. Thank you! There are so many places in Greece that we still haven’t explored yet either. All the best.

  16. Hi Matt and Steph. I am 57 and my wife is 55 . Life in Britain is too much like hard work and the sheer numbness of daily life means we are quitting the UK and moving to Zante. We have made many friends through holidaying on the island and through them we have a small simple home offered to us. You two are inspirational and through your blog the joy of life is apparent. God knows how we will survive on the pittance we have from our pensions . The Greek way of life and the massive relief of being free from the shouters and anger of Britain in 2020 will hopefully remind me that life is not about stuff and success. Thank you for the blog. Go for it people , there is a better life.

    1. Hello! Thanks for your message. We know the feeling all too well. We’re so glad that you are also managing to get out. All the best for your new lives in Zante:)

    2. Aww I hope you enjoy zante, my husband and i love it in zante and would also love to live there, it can’t happen at the moment but maybe one day, we only ever go to zante for our holidays, I hope you will have a good life in zante..

    1. We found them via a website called ‘Euroimmo Real Estate’ who specialise in selling properties in the Rethymno area. Thank you very much:)

    1. Hiya! We hope you’re enjoying the series so far. It really is a great place; we’re very fortunate to live here. All the best:)

    1. Hello! Thank you! We’re lucky to have realised it whilst we are young and have time:) All the best to you too.

  17. Hi Steph and Matt. I am an Israeli who was uprooted to the US. Always miss the Mediterranean culture, food, music and people. My son and daughter in law, who is expecting their first child invited us to join them in Heraglio, Crete. Even though, it was winter, I was in tears, it. felt like home to me. You are so fortunate to live your dreams, and go back to basic simple life. Being in touch with what matters, connecting with the land, and people. Go you!!! Keep up this wonderful life. If we’re in Crete next time, we’ll drop you a note.

    1. Hi Annie! You’re so right, we are really fortunate to be living here. We still pinch ourselves because it feels like a dream. The simple things give us the most immense amount of joy. Absolutely, lets have a coffee when you’re here next:)

  18. Hi Matt and Steph,
    I admire you both. I have come to live to your good and hospitable country living in London for the last 56 years where I studied and practiced as an Architect all my working life. Now retired. I am a Greek Cypriot but believe me, although now financially comfortable, I remember many times since arriving especially when I had financial difficulties, and the pressures and stresses of the City, I wished I had the simple life and I was a sheppard on the hills of Cyprus looking after sheep and playing a fife to them. Having little money, a simple life, but plenty of the good Mediterranean weather.
    You are both very brave especially with the language problems you must be facing. If you ever need some help with Greek words email me and I will reply to you. Although Cyprus is forced to be a Republic its really just another Greek Island since 11th Century BC and the written language is exactly the same as mainland Greece.
    Wish you well.

    1. Hi Heracles! Thanks for your message. We know the feeling, we had a deep longing for a simple life. Money and possessions couldn’t fill the void that was missing. We knew there must be an alternative way of living life, but it was difficult to find it as we’d spent our whole lives being taught that we were supposed to be successful by getting a big mortgage and a new car. Thanks for your offer of help with the language, it’s so kind of you. I’m slowly getting there, I’m quite impatient and want to be fluent now! I can’t wait for the day when I can understand everything around me! All the best:)

  19. I come from the island of Chios on the Aegean Sea.
    After being for almost 45 years in America, I believe without any doubt, you did the best thing for yourselves.
    Good luck, you will never regret. Greece is beautiful, excellent climate and the lifestyle is the best in the world!

  20. Hi Matt & Stephen
    Indeed a good decision,were there during
    last May,since then I love Greece,as you
    put it, nice people,nice food after all very
    nice place,,a heavenly place….good luck.

  21. Great job guys , I feel the same way , New York is like England , work , home , stress etc who needs that , life is to short , enjoy the Greek life and nature !

    1. Thank you! Absolutely, if we can inspire a few more people to ‘get out’ then our work is done:)

  22. Hi guys glad to read your about your new life.
    I have moved to northern Greece about 2 years ago and have found peace in my life after being in business for many years in Canada. It took a while to get used to the system but people are so warm here that those problems seem small.
    I wish you both all the happiness in the world and a healthy life ahead .

    1. Hi Peter, I’m so glad you have found some peace. It sounds like you had a very busy life in Canada. We’ve found so much happiness in simplifying our lives and gaining more time. All the best to you too.

  23. Hi Stef!! I moved away from the US. A few years ago to gain freedom and more relaxed future after working hard all of my life. Am now living on the Island of Evvia. Crete was my first place to visit in Greece and is where I met my Husband. I have likewise dreams for a better future. I hope we can share some insights. I still do not speak Greek well. But I try. Everyday is a new challenge. I know you will be happy there!!!

    1. Hiya! Good for you:) I think so many people are starting to feel the same as us. I’m glad you managed to seek a better life and made it to Greece. We can share our experiences here…you’re definitely right, everyday is a challenge, but it’s so rewarding to make progress too. I’ll look forward to speaking again soon:)

  24. Hello how wonderful and admirble too.We sre an adult older couple
    Do u have your other lodging ready by late May. to rent? If do be in touch. We woud love to be your guests and help u too..
    Jenny and Isaac.

    1. Hiya! It’s all taken a bit longer than first anticipated (we are always a little too optimistic and enthusiastic!) It won’t be ready for May, but we’ll continue to work hard. It will definitely be ready for paying guests in 2021:)

    1. Hello! Thanks for your message. We’ve been here for 18 months already and because of working the summer season, it really feels like reality rather than a holiday. My husband also lived here for a year in 2004, so for him it’s the second time around. I hope that if the cameras return in five years time that we’ll still be here, but with a more successful vegetable patch! All the best.

  25. Hi there I’m a Greek currently living in the UK and feeling so happy that you guys made Greece your home! Please try to mix with the locals and get them to speak to you in Greek as much as possible! I do the same at home and my English husband who thought he was terrible at languages and now is doing really really good!!!!

    1. Hello! We’ve swapped countries! We’ll definitely keep trying. Most people are really friendly and patient with us. I’m dedicated to becoming fluent. Sometimes I wonder if it would be worth trying to find some kind of homestay for a month or two to really boost my level of understanding. I feel like I’m on the brink of a breakthrough, but it’s really hard because I’m not immersed in it. Thanks for your message:)

  26. Hello folks,
    Its a boring rainy day here in Polis,Cyprus, almost directly east of you. I found you on Greek Reporter website while reading about Aliki.
    I am a retired American nomad always looking for my next haven.

    1. Hello! It’s been grey and rainy here today too! Wow, a nomadic lifestyle sounds really interesting. How does your lifestyle work? How long do you stay in one place? Where have you already been?

  27. Well done with your courageous change in lifestyle! I think you have achieved what many only daydream about and few actualize. The island of Crete has an amazing depth and abundance to sustain you. I appreciate your approach towards minimizing your impact and hopefully this spreads to those around you!
    All the best,

    1. Hello! Thanks for your lovely message. Our aim is to inspire people and make them realise that they can achieve it too. We used to be the people sat at home watching tv programmes about people that had taken the plunge and moved abroad. The best thing about the whole process has been the amount of lovely people that have got in touch. All the best 🙂

  28. Hello you two enterprising people. I read all about you from the Greek Reporter. We moved to Crete from the U.K. in 2001 this was after two holidays and some research for a property. Unlike you we are retirement age which meant not much in the way of jobs for us. However, because I am an archaeologist I was able to find voluntary work at the INSTAP STUDY CENTER FOR EAST CRETE, which is just what I wanted. We are about 3 hrs away from you but we have been to Rethymno. I now study the ancient Minoan scripts and my partner breeds birds. Good luck with all your projects which I greatly admire.

    1. Hi there! Thanks for the lovely message. You both sound really interesting. As an archaeologist you must be in your element here in Crete. Our aim is to learn and see a lot more of the history of the island as we are very interested. Once our cottage has been renovated, we’ll be a bit more free to explore the island. All the best.

      1. Well if you come to East Crete at some stage Look us up We are only five mins away from Agios Nikolaos. God luck with your renovations. We have renovated 2 properties since living in Crete and thoroughly enjoyed doing it.

        1. Thank you. The first time I ever visited Crete my husband took me to Agios Nikolaos. He’d already lived here and wanted to show me the island. It’s beautiful there. All the best.

    1. Hiya! Thank you so much. We’ve never been to New Zealand before but we’d love to go someday; it looks stunning. All the best.

      1. Hi, lovely to read your story. I am 65 and have lived in Athens for 40 years. We have a house in Desfina which is up in the mountains opposite Delfi. This is my favourite place in the world, indeed the only place where I can truly relax. My husband and I bought a funny little house there in three parts 35 years ago which we whitewashed and lived in for 3 years in the holidays. There was a crack in the main room from an earthquake but we were not to be deterred! The walls were made of mud bricks and were so thick that the cupboards nested quite happily in them. Later on we knocked it down because it was a hundred years old but we kept the garden just as it was. Sadly my Greek husband died 3 years ago ( I met him at Chelsea school of art ) but I have 3 lovely grown up bilingual kids. The magic of Greece is undeniable, it is almost like it is trying to show you the truth. I have been teaching English for a long time now which I love. If you really want to learn Greek the best way is to hear a simple story over and over again until you have almost absorbed it and keep learning new words every day. The Greek grammar is difficult for the English because it has so many ways of saying ‘the’ and ‘a’ like German! Patience is what you need – lots of it. Enthusiasm always wins out and you both look lovely, good luck with everything. Life is for the living. I think you knew this intrinsically when you embarked on this life adventure. Be happy x x x

        1. Hello, it was lovely to hear of your Greek adventure. I’m just as interested in other people’s adventures as our own. I’m sorry to hear that you lost your husband, but it sounds like you had a wonderful life together.

          That’s a great tip about learning a story. I have some children’s books which I try and read. Over the last few months we’ve become really friendly with a greek family that live up the lane. I’m thinking of asking the children to help me read my books? I know I’ll get there eventually as I’m not a giver-uper!

          Thanks for leaving a comment, all the best.

    1. Hello! Sorry for late reply…I’m still learning how to use my blog and your message escaped me somehow! We live in Choumeri, not too far from Panormos 🙂

  29. Hello ! I congratulate you first and foremost on your wisdom. Usually the reasons for moving to another place appear around the retirement age, in an ideal place, which somebody did not have during his active life. You had the ability to think about life at a young age. Instead of being robots, only tax payers and with limited free time, you chose to taste life differently. And now about the location. If somebody is thinking about Paradise, he has to make a trip to Greece. Everywhere. There is no place in the world, without exaggeration, in which nature, climate, people and freedom of movement are so harmoniously combined. I have the privilege of being from Eastern Europe and being very close to Greece and going there 4-5 times a year. This year of Orthodox Easter I will be in Crete with my family. There is much to discuss and I will follow your blog! Success and call others there! They will be grateful all your life !

    1. Hi there! Thanks for your message. Sorry for my delay in replying…sometimes I read messages and then they seem to disappear! I’m not the most techie of people!

      Thanks for your lovely comments. We looked ahead and knew we had to make some changes before it was too late. We agree, you can’t beat Greece, it offers everything all wrapped up in one parcel.

      Thanks for following the blog, have a lovely Easter.

  30. Hi Steph and Matt wished I would have done this when I was younger so glad you guys are doing what makes you happy and no hum drum job love Crete and greek islands us Greeks are very friendly? the islands are so laid back dislike going back in time love and light
    will keep posting now and again x

    1. Hi Isabella, thanks for your message. Our old lives seem like a distant memory now! I hope you enjoy reading, you can be on the adventure with us! Yes, please post a message from time to time:)

  31. Well done, you are not only brave but thoughtful and open minded. Keep on with the language, I enjoy it more and more, the way it’s constructed, and spotting Greek origin words in English. But I’m lucky, I was born half Greek. My mother wrote to me in Greek while I was at boarding school, and then my fluency increased when I had a Greek boyfriend and when mum died and I HAD to deal with legal stuff. She was a walking dictionary. Now I spend half my time near Athens but when I visited Crete last September I was impressed by the wild scenery and the kindness of the people – enjoy! Have you thought of the Workaway scheme (see net) where you host people who work for you in return for board & lodging? Good luck both of you

    1. I envy you being half Greek! I wish I’d been introduced to this beautiful language as a child. Yes, we are already on one of the workaday schemes to recruit some helpers. Maybe I should apply to go and help somewhere the they’ll talk to me in Greek!

    1. Hiya! Sorry for late reply, I just found your message in the spam folder! So glad you are loving life too. I’ll definitely take a look at your link. All the best:)

  32. Hi there. You tw are fantastic, congrats on the bravery of living the dream. Would love to book walnut cottage one spring. Many thanks for showing there is a different way and do so in a joyful humble way. Watching you Picking up your olive oil made a gloomy winter evening much more tolerable.

    1. Hello! Thank you for such a lovely comment. Once Walnut cottage is up and running, we’d love to have you as a guest…watch this space! We have our olive oil with every lunch and dinner nowadays, we can’t do without it. If we can spread a little joy and happiness then our mission is accomplished. All the best:)

  33. Hi Steph and Matt
    Absolutely enjoyed watching your programme . It seems a distant memory that we were in your villa only a few months ago. Good luck with the renovations of Walnut Cottage and hope you get to use all those empty wine bottles..
    Love ally and tony

    1. Hi both! How are you doing? I know, it seems like a lifetime ago! Roll on the summer! Thanks for all your support, the renovations are about to get serious. It’s been quite slow so far, but lots will get done within a short space of time. Look forward to seeing you back out here when it’s ready to accept guests! 🙂 x

  34. Hello, my husband and I have been watching “My new Greek life” with envy – my husband would love to move to Greece and start again mortgage free whereas I am more reserved. What made you decide to take the leap now?

    1. Hello! Thanks for your message. There were several factors: We couldn’t have the lifestyle we wanted in the UK, we were unlikely to be approved for a mortgage and even if we were approved, we wouldn’t have had enough to buy land or live in the countryside, we observed everyone around us and noticed that most of them were trapped in a cycle of working to pay the mortgage, we noticed that people around us didn’t seem very happy and only lived for the weekend or retirement, and we became obsessed with FIRE (financial, independence, retire, early).

      At the end of the day we questioned why a basic need (shelter) had to be exchanged for our lives. We knew that if we eradicated the mortgage/rent, we gained freedom. All in all, we felt it was worth taking the risk, because not knowing was worse. It’s 100% payed off for us.

      Is there something in particular holding you back, or is it a combination of reasons? It’s a huge decision but we’d encourage anyone to explore the options:) Speak soon.

    1. Hi there! There were quite a few factors. Crete offers cities as well as rural villages. Unlike other islands, Crete is alive all year round. Our friends and family can find very affordable flights to Crete. Also, Crete has an extended tourism season compared to some other islands. All in all, it offered us absolutely everything we needed.

      Are you considering moving to Greece?

  35. Hi Matt & Steph! Just stumbled across your blog and will definitely be following your progress from now on! This has been quite the dream for myself and my fiancé (also Matt!) I just wanted to ask how/if Brexit will affect you? I would love to escape the hustle and bustle (and expense) of UK living eventually but fear it will no longer be an option 🙁

    Wishing you all the best on your adventure!

    1. Hiya! Thanks for reading the blog:) We were just like you, dreaming of leaving it all behind.

      We’ve been assured by the Greek government that we will be fine here, so long as we have our residents permit – which we do. I suppose there’s no way of knowing for sure and time will tell, but I think there will be still be ways of continuing to move countries. Keep dreaming and you’ll make it happen?

        1. Hi there,

          Yes you are right, the missing piece of the puzzle is speaking Greek. I’ve accepted that it will take time, and although I am enjoying the process, I can’t wait to be fluent!

  36. Hello! You used to feed our cat Pickle back in the UK. You were so caring with her. It was lovely by chance to discover via the TV programme and your blog that you’re both well and enjoying life in Greece! So exciting! Wishing you both all the best x

    1. Hello! It’s SO lovely too hear from you. We have fond memories of feeding pickle (and watering all of your plant in the kitchen window?)

      Thanks so much for your message, it was like a blast from the past. The two dog walking and animal care businesses were such a huge part of our life, and we often reminisce about all of the lovely dogs and cats we looked after.

      I hope Pickle is doing well?

      All the best to you and your family.

  37. I am a Greek of the diaspora and I wish I could live in Crete. You are very fortunate.

    My mother was from the island of Lesvos which is much greener than Crete.

    If you want to practice your Greek with me, feel free to contact me. 🙂

  38. Hi Matt and Steph!
    I’m Greek living with my family in London where we moved 3 years ago. I moved to London, trying to find a better quality of life and stability. I have found economical stability and though make more money and possess more, i felt like there was a gap in my life, I wasn’t as happy as I was expected to be. Today just by luck I’ve seen your blog while surfing on my phone and realised a lot of things. You kind of made me feel like a fool haha. I really like British people, I’ve made a few friends here and it was a very interesting experience. I wish you all the best and I know you wont regret it… Keep talking to people about you and your new life, there’s a lot of us out there still sleeping…

    1. Hello?

      It’s so ironic that we’ve moved to each others countries searching for the same thing! A lot of the young people here are moving away, and although I completely understand that finding jobs and making money is difficult, I don’t think they realise that they are living a dream existence here.

      It seems that gradually people are learning that money and possessions don’t make them feel happier. I wish you all the best on your quest to find a better quality of life…maybe a move back to Greece is on the cards??

  39. Hi Matt and Steph ,I am sincerely happy for both of you , I myself been thinking of moving to Greece In the future . any information from both will be deeply appreciated .

    1. Hi Beverly, I hope that the blog will give you lots of ideas and information about living here. If you ever have any other questions, then don’t hesitate to give us an email. We’re always happy to help in any way we can.

  40. Hi–I’m another immigrant to Greece and loving it here. My father’s parents were both born in Greece, and I didn’t come here till I was 21. I felt immediately that I belonged here. I went back to the US, but about 7 years before retirement age, I came back to Greece. That was over 12 years ago. I learned Greek that first time around, so now it’s very easy for me. I started out in Athens, but for the past 5 years I’ve lived on the island of Aegina, only about an hour from Athens by ferry, but centuries away by lifestyle. Now I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I also have to hand it to the Greek government for their handling of the Coronavirus. We didn’t have any cases here on the island, but the Athenians will start coming back over next week. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there’s no big outbreak.

    1. Hello? We know what you mean, we both felt instantly at home here too. May be we have Greek in our blood or lived here in a past life.

      There are so many islands we want to visit, Aegina is one we hope to get to at some point. All the best?

  41. You are certainly an inspiration. Working to pay off mortgages while raising children has not been my idea of living. Now in our 60/70’s I aspire to be like you. You took the giant leap of faith I have been dreaming of. Although our trip next week to crete has been canceled, we hope to come there next year our sooner to expierence some of that bliss as well. I would love to, at the very least find a simple property we can return to annually for several months. I will continue to read your blog and live vicariously. My family is from Crete… and I look forward to speaking Greek with you.

    1. Thank you ?

      I’m sorry your trip has been cancelled and hope you can return here soon.

      A little property for you to escape to sounds blissful. I still get excited at the thought of other people finding their little house draped in bougainvillea close to the sea.

      Maybe one day you can test my Greek over a coffee?

    2. G’day Matt & Steph what inspiration, by accident I came across your Greek Odyssea, something I have been procrastinating for the last 20yrs, fearing the unknown, now 50 yrs of age I’ve seriously decided to put the business up for sale and also make that transition, the bonus is I have a GR heritage where I can speak,write & read the language quite well, not to mention a home owned by the family in the village a great start to trial and see whether I can emerse myself in that laid back society, deep down I know it won’t be easy but time will tell, Hey if you like, I’m happy to help you by sending you say 10 words per week to speed up your learning process, after all education for me is paramount in a foreign country, good luck and keeping chipping away… Teddy ?

      1. Hi Teddy,

        I’m so excited that you’re going to chase your dream and return to your roots. You have such a huge advantage in the fact that you can speak, read and write the language…you’re way ahead of us! A house in the village sounds idyllic. I’m sure you will fall in love with it all and stay ?

  42. Matt and Steph, I really enjoyed your piece on Crete, especially about life in the village. Brought back some very nice memories, I was born in Greece, but left for Australia with my mum and dad and sister when I was a few weeks short of my first first birthday. I’ve returned only three times in the decades since, most recently in 2016. And if circumstances allow I’ll be returning next year, this time visiting the village where I born, in northern Greece. The part of your piece that really rung true with me was your evocative description of the people of Crete. Like all Greeks they are fiercely patriotic, and proud of their heritage and customs. They are also tough and resilient, yet warmly embrace strangers. I visited Crete in 1983 for a travel feature I was writing for my newspaper back here in Australia ( I was then a travel writer). What I always remember about that trip, and what I have told my mother many times over the years, was an encounter I had with a villager. I had a arranged for a tour guide to drive me around Heraklion and we ended up in his village where he suggested we stop for a coffee. He spotted some relatives at a cafe and we sat down outside. The local drink was ordered, I can’t recall it’s name, but it was quite a pungent, stronger than ouzo. Another one was ordered, but I politely declined at which point one of my guide’s older relatives, somewhat offended, turned to me and said “me ena bothi irthes?”, meaning, “Did you come here with one leg?” Of course I had the second drink and the taste Has never left me! look forward to reading your next post Steph and Matt.

    1. Hi there, I’ve been contacted by so many Australians of Greek descent. It seems that the urge to return back to your roots is very strong. It’s such a fantastic culture and country, even those of us that aren’t Greek are under it’s spell!

      Working as a travel writer sounds like a dream job, I bet you have lots of fantastic stories and memories.

      Thanks for reading our blog.

  43. I’m so happy for you! Greece is a wonderful country to live in. I too came from Australia when I was 22 years of age, from Greek origin and fell in love with the simple but so unique environment. Once I retired I decided to live on the island of Syros…..bought my home and am enjoying every moment here. Waking up in the morning and sitting outside on the balcony overlooking the aegean sea and feeling the warmth of the sun revives every inch of me. I can understand how you feel and am really happy for you. Hope you will learn the beautiful Greek language and once you are able to speak it you will feel so much better!!!!! Take care!!

    1. I’m so glad you managed to return to your roots. You are definitely right, we just need to learn more of the language – that’s the only missing part of the puzzle ?

  44. Oh! Hello Matt & Steph hope you are both well…My daughter sent me your article to read as she knows I love CRETE! I am so happy for you both & admire your strength in living your lives in such a MAGICAL place like CRETE!!! I have always been drawn to CRETE since I was 15 years old! Both my parents are from Greece but I was born in Australia…My daughter has started travelling to Greece yearly since 2015 but unfortunately due to the coronavirus situation her trip this year had to be cancelled. You have inspired me so much & more so at the fact that you both have no family connections there apart from living your dream!!! Brave & truly inspirational people following their hearts!! GOD Bless you & embrace those lovely kind generous loving people in CRETE!!! You cannot know how much love I have for CRETE? I have tears rolling down my cheeks visualising that you two gorgeous people are living MY dream!!! So so happy for you both & being in such a rich magical place I believe that one day your children will be so Blessed that you have had the courage to bring them to this wonderful place to live & feel the true meaning of life & it’s amazing beauties!!! BRAVO to both of you for finding your soulmates in each other there lies the true meaning of life together with the simplicity of it!!!!!!!!!! Love to you both Vicki. ❤️❤️

    1. Hi Vicki,

      Thank you for your beautiful heartfelt words. We’re so amazed at how many lovely people have contacted us and shared their stories with us – it’s truly amazing.

      I hope that through our blog, we can give you a little injection of Greece ?

  45. Hi SNs,
    Just read your article in Greek Reporter. That Socrates certainly knew what he was talking about. You’re living this life for a lot of people who so badly want to live this life too but don’t you ever feel you need to take on that responsibility. A glimpse of what you’re doing in Greece and at the same returning to a simpler life is enough to keep people hoping for better things. Some will follow and others dream but all will enjoy your stories.
    Continued good fortune and maybe we will meet someday.
    Best wishes, Simon and Janet.

    1. Hi Simon and Janet,

      I’m starting to realise how many people would love to do what we’re doing. My hope is that I can help and guide those that want to do it, whilst others can live it vicariously through us. Our ethos is to live our life with passion, and if anything else comes of it then it’s a bonus ?

      Thanks for your support and for reading our blog.

  46. It is great ya’ll followed your heart. I spent 18 months in Crete in 1967-68 in the Air Force. Greatest time of my life. I always wanted to go back but never did. I am 73 now and am looking forward to returning in the near future.

    1. I’d love to have seen Crete in the 60’s before it was really touched by tourism. I hope you can return soon, I’m sure you’ll notice how much has changed, but equally how much is still the same.

  47. Good morning to you both.
    Wishing you both the very best, even in this confusing time. But I have full faith life will resume at some point. I am a British national raised in the UK, but half cretan. Like you I finally made the move back to Crete & live in the sissi area. Beautiful place, but then I believe anywhere you are here is beautiful, we are blessed with these views.
    Changing drastically my jobs like you both finding what living outside can do for your soul. I’m now a commercial Fisher woman, and the first woman I’ve been told in my area. Normally like so many we work in tourism, & like so many we are waiting for it to start at some point. But until then we make do.
    Beautiful story you both have & I wish you the very best for your future. Take care xx

    1. Wow, good for you, I haven’t seen many women fishing around these parts. I love it when someone breaks the mould ?

      Thank you, all the best to you too.

  48. Hello!!!

    I live in Edinburgh with my husband, two toddler, dog and cat. We are in our early 30s. My husband is from Crete – Rethymno (family village is Kalonyktis) … he moved here and we met around 8 years ago and have stayed since but have always planned to move back to Crete. We visit at least 2 times a year (even though we are desperately missing it this year!!) and we all feel at home there. However we’re struggling to make the final commitment to move. We have nice secure enjoyable jobs here and my family too. So it makes it hard to make ‘the leap’ despite it being our ultimate dream. I just wondered how you guys finally made the decision and got the wheels in motion? Did you just make up your mind one day or was there anything that helped make the final decision? We’re struggling with indecisiveness and nerves!
    I hope you’re both doing well and thanks for the great blog! It’s been hard to find other young couples who have made the move to badger with questions haha!

    1. Hello! Thanks for getting in touch. I know what you mean, when we were considering our move, we desperately wanted to find other young people who had already done it, to pick their brains!

      I completely understand your worries. We took the view that there’s no such thing as mistakes, only experiences. After researching, thinking, dreaming, and worrying, we decided that even if everything went wrong and we returned back to the UK, that wouldn’t be the end of the world. In the event that we decided it wasn’t for us, we’d move on somewhere else and try again. Every week I have emails from people telling me they wish they’d made a change when they were young, and now they’re too old

      You have such a huge advantage over us. Having a Greek husband and a family to turn to over here is ideal.

      Only you know whether you can live without ever giving it a go. I’m writing a blog post at the moment all about how to achieve your dreams…it should be up today or tomorrow…it may help?

  49. Congratulations to you both couldn’t be happier for you and your family… so precious! and SO pleased to have you back with your wonderful writings….Primrose is beautiful and may she give you so much joy and love. What you have done with Aruthur’s Patch is truly wonderful and an incredible gift….
    very best wishes

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