The things I learned

Seven years ago, in the spring of 2005, I decided to go abroad to work … for a year. After 7 years in The Netherlands and Switzerland I decided to come back to Greece and re-start my life here, the city I was born and raised, Athens. So, here it goes, these are the things I learned over these 7 years abroad, as they crystallized after a month of being back.

Hard-work, luck, love for what you do and networks are the success factors for anyone, at any country, any place, any job. The willingness to get your hands dirty but still remain true to yourself and values are super important in order to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and feel proud for what you do. If you feel that you are not appreciated in an organization, leave it. If you look forward for every single weekend and Mondays feel like a torture, leave it. Even if you are in a job, solely because you have no other option, then do not prison yourself in it. Spend this time to learn, but don’t lose your focus towards what really makes you happy and for God’s sake, do everything that you can in order to succeed in something that you really care about!

True friends are there anytime anywhere and will not be afraid to ask you the tough questions. During the last year I lost many friends by choice and an old friend against my will. That led me to delete 200 people from my FB friends, review my lists and my communication habits and swear to myself that I will not let distance, life, change become an obstacle and an easy excuse to forgo some relationships that are important for me. I decided to devote my time to people that really mattered to me and I really mattered to them.

It’s not just a state of mind, an experience, a phase, it is a stand of life. In the past years, love broke me, made me feel vulnerable, dependent, crazy, sad, beautiful, unique and strong, I would not change anything. I am grateful for experiencing everything, as they came and as I, with my choices, made them be. My tip, allow people to love you, they may overcome your highest expectations!

I have this theory, that people that leave their home countries is because they are running away from something. Well guess what? This “something” never goes away, it stays there and the longer you let it unsatisfied, the bigger it becomes. I chose to come back to Greece now, despite the challenging times and people ask me WHY? For the past month that I have been here, every single moment has been an affirmation for my decision, not because it is easy and perfect…but exactly because it is not. I cannot think of any other place that I would want to be right now. Being a Greek gives you a great legacy but it comes with a great responsibility and I chose that it is pay back time:-) Now, that I am needed and now that I can give 100% of myself, I am willing to take the risk and stay at home…

Do not buy happiness, do not make you more outgoing, more self-confident, more beautiful (oh…maybe in some occasions:-)) or more successful. They cover some huge holes temporarily and despite the fact that they can influence your life style and your opportunities, they do not make you a better person. Love, friends, hard work, talent and your home make you! If you are one of the lucky ones, choose not to have an IPad, a MacBook, an Iphone  AND the best equipment for your hobby and donate 25 dollars to Kiva’s projects or to a new cool business idea that a friend or your classmates start etc

I am in impulsive writer, that’s another thing I learned:-)

Thank you for reading.




  1. Welcome home !

  2. Τόσα πολλά μαθήματα σε τόσες λίγες λέξεις.Μπράβο, Πετρούλα!

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