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  • Writer's pictureswedishvikingprinc

The seed is planted

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

When I met my husband, we both had different ideas about where we were planning to retire. He was planning to sell his house and buy a caravan to travel around Australia. I was planning on heading to Vanuatu, where I had spent time in my youth, living in the tropics. Of course, I would have to sell my house too, but that's another story.

Over our first summer together as a couple, we discussed these options briefly, before talking about our back up plans. It turns out that we both also loved Greece when we were there years before. So a crazy plan was hatched to go live there...

Here the story starts to get interesting. We discovered that we had both been in Greece at the same time - just opposite ends of the country. We had also been in Australia on the east coast at the same time and, weirdly, had both bought cowboy boots from the same shop, on Kings Road in the same time.

We met years before we got together, walking our dogs in the park. We were neighbours, living 2 doors apart, after years of possible meetings, we now couldn't avoid each other! I had moved into the street a year after he did. I bought the house with my (then) boyfriend. This failed early on, but I bought him out as I refused to leave the house. I had moved enough at that point! Fast forward some years and I decide to try my luck on the dating sites. A while in, I got a text from someone called Chris**, asking "Why does a girl like you need a site like this to get a date?" Initially I thought, "Who's Chris?", before scrolling down to see photos of my neighbour, who I knew as Christopher. I replied "Don't tell the neighbours". After a glass of wine (which turned into a bottle), sitting in my front yard, we decided that, since neither of us wanted to have a real relationship, we would hang out together if we wanted to see a movie, or go to dinner, or even be a plus one at events. Seemed clever as an Uber home could be a shared cost...

My front yard....where we shared wine for the first time

Fast forward some more years and we end up married. That is a whole other story for another day. After our summer talking about moving to Greece, we started to do some research. Prices weren't too expensive, but bureaucracy was insane. We figured it would take us about 5 years (tops) to get the houses finished. We were both renovating, although mine had stopped the instant I kicked my ex-boyfriend out. One income didn't support a mortgage plus four children and paying for renovations! Yes, I have four but he has none. Anyway, we also figured we still needed money to get started on our pilgrimage to the continent.

Chris was the one who really got into the research. I did some, but I was happy to dream about where we could rent - constantly sending him links to various properties I found on* Chris joined Facebook sites which were useful in giving us a more realistic impression of what we could expect. It had been 30 years since we had been there - things were likely to have changed.

After finding out about the lack of a dual tax treaty between Australia and Greece, we though that the 24% tax we would pay on our Worldwide income was too much to bear at the time. Instead, we decided to travel around to see what the rest of the World had to offer. It was time to go find Utopia.

*Any web sites mentioned in this article are from our own research. I am not paid by them, nor do I recommend them or do I discredit them. They are my starting points, and are purely for reference.

**Made up this name....the person exists!

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