I was one of those people who did everything right growing up. I studied, got good grades, got better jobs, and kept out of trouble. I never wanted to disappoint my immigrant parents, who had sacrificed and scrimped so that my siblings and I could graduate from college debt-free.
When friends and roommates were gallivanting across Europe, running with the bulls in Pamplona, hooking up with Greek gods at outdoor discos, or trekking the Great Wall, I worked and studied. I spent college summers working in a grassroots organization, a political lobbying group, or as an intern at the Virginia General Assembly.
One summer in college, I secured an internship on a remote island in the Mediterranean. That summer in Cyprus changed my life. I returned to the University of Virginia smitten with this ancient island, the gorgeous natives, and their relaxed, healthy lifestyle. It didn’t hurt that I was also smitten with a guy. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had met my future husband.
Years later, this dashing young Cypriot and I married. We lived in Atlanta, where I had earned a respectable MBA in finance and a high-paying but (for me) unsatisfying corporate existence.
I spent hours on the road or chained to my cubicle. Although our bankroll grew and we had two beautiful children, I felt there was something missing. That distant summer in Cyprus was an ever-present reminder of how life should be: healthier, more relaxed, and more balanced between work and play.
With two babies in tow, my husband and I decided to pack up our Atlanta home and move east...to Cyprus for what was originally planned to be only for a couple pf years (“until Ella goes to school” was our mantra). However, life took over; we got addicted to the Mediterranean sun and remained on the Island of Aphrodite.
Over the years, I learned a thing or two about how to relax, relish life, and live like a Mediterranean goddess.