Monday, 7 April 2014

Guest Post: Another Expats Thoughts on Leaving Cyprus

I have been in London for 2 days and although this post is scheduled, i'm sure I have been rushed off my feet with exploring this city again, spending time with family and catching up with friends who I have neglected for the last year with my absence. 

As such, I asked Rebekka from See What I See Designs to take over for the day and give me a little more breathing space before bombarding the blog with all things London. 

Rebekka is one of those uber talented ladies, who paints, makes, creates and writes and has had the pleasure of living on the little Mediterranean island of Cyprus for a year, so she knows exactly how I feel. I'll stop rambling and let Rebekka tell you the rest. Oh and be sure to visit her etsy shop once your done here because she makes the cutest handmade cards. 

Bon voyage, Mimi!  I am so excited for your new adventures!  I'm Bekka, a watercolor artist now based in Atlanta, Georgia.  In the fall of 2011, after being married for only six months, I followed my husband to Cyprus so he could take a job offer there.

We left the little Mediterranean island just a little over a year ago to come back to the States.  It was an abrupt transition, filled with uncertainty and heartbreak. Job loss.  Even now the thought of my husband waiting for me in our little Nicosia apartment to tell me that he didn't have employment anymore fills my heart with dread and makes me sick to my stomach.

Job loss is never easy, as an expat it is terrifying!  I remember immediately panicking over how long our visas would be valid to make sure we weren't in the country illegally.  We quickly had to decide whether to find another job on the island or go home.  We took a shot in the dark and decided to go home.  That decision made, we had to sell our car, get out of our lease, find an international moving company, close our accounts...on and on the list went.  It was miserable.  What made it worse was our urgency to get home.  In two weeks we had completely closed down our Cypriot lives.  I remember standing in the airport in Frankfurt waiting for our connection and finally taking a deep breath.  No more cell phones.  No bank account.  No sofa.  No car.  No  home.  Only a plane ride to something that should have felt so familiar, but was more foreign than the Greek-speaking nation we had left behind us.  Repatriating sounded harder than the move had just been.

Despite our tumultuous exit, when I think about Cyprus, I think of the first two years of my marriage. Our first home.  I think of my first anniversary spent in Paphos and our first sofa from Ikea.  I think of iced chocolate in the summer, clear blue seas, rocky coasts, scruffy mountains, and halloumi.  I dream of fields of Dahlberg Daisies after a thick, winter rain and long for the scent of orange blossoms this time of year.  Even with all of the headaches it gave me to be there as an expat, the financial stress, the unknown, the distance from the States and family, when I think of Cyprus, I think of home.  It holds such a dear place in my heart and I miss it daily.

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