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A Trip with a one way ticket – Fantastic Fifty

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I have been itching to write this post for about a month now. I wanted to let you all know about my decision to move to the US and why it’s so fantastic to be fifty and over.  But before I get to it let me invite you all to visit with my Fantastic Fifty lady friends who are also participating in this fantastic blog hop. Their links are on the bottom of this post. 

We could say that this is a continuation of my blogging journey. Today I am going to talk to you about my recent move, my trip with a one way ticket. 

One World Trade Center New York, A Trip with a One-Way Ticket - Fantastic Fifty
I have been blogging for a little over 2 and a half years now.  It has been a fantastic journey, a very full journey!  What do I mean by full?

Full of DIY projects. Full of learning. Full of new friends. But most of all full of work.

Lots and lots of work!!  

I am not a traditional blogger,  I have never taken a proper blogging course in my life.  I kind of learned backwards.  I’m sure many of my blogging buddies know exactly what I’m talking about. 

Sunset on the bay with fishing boats in Greece, A Trip with a One-Way Ticket - Fantastic Fifty

Why did I start blogging?

Most of you may not know this but the reason I started blogging was to escape my sadness after the onset of the economic crisis in Greece.  It was a very difficult time for us.  My sons had left for the US to seek better opportunities and I was not exactly on the top of the world, to put it mildly.  You can read all about that in last years blog hop here

I was able to overcome all that because in blogging I found a passion for DIY and more specifically re-purposing and up-cycling.  There is great joy in being able to take something that is headed for the trash and give it a second life.  Maybe that is an analogy for my life as well. 

Many of us who are empty nesters have this feeling of no purpose after their children are grown. In my case, although I was not an empty nester,  I had children who did not need my help as much as before, I so I was free to pursue my own interests.  Also I had been a stay at home mom for over twenty years.  If I was going to get back into the job market I needed to have a something to show for it.  Because we know how valuable moms are, but the big companies don’t really see that as something worthy on a resume. 

Tree on the side of the beach in Greece, A Trip with a One-Way Ticket - Fantastic Fifty
And so I started to blog.  Haha.  That is a joke.  I had no idea what blogging was really all about, and will gladly confess that after 2 and a half years I have barely scratched the surface.  It is a new profession with fluid guidelines and ever changing requirements. 

I plodded on.  The first few years I had no clue what I was doing, I did a lot of learning by going on other blogs and lots of Facebook groups where the bloggers shared their knowledge. 

Like the one that has created this wonderful blog hop today. We are just a bunch of gals helping each other out. And it was good because I was determined to grow my blog just the way I do my projects — frugally!

Fishing Boat on bay in Greece, A Trip with a One-Way Ticket - Fantastic Fifty

The Never Ending Recession…

Unfortunately for me, or should I say for my country, even after 9 years of recession we still have not been able to pull ourselves out of the hole we dug in the first place.  I cannot say who is at fault here.  I will only say that it is really hard to teach an old dog new tricks. That is my humble assessment.  

Greece is a gorgeous country as many of you who visit my blog already know.  And if you don’t I have a ton of photos to help you along.  It is the perfect place to plan a retirement.  In fact I have a lot of friends who are doing just that. One couple in particular, who are bloggers at TravelnWrite, just moved to Greece on a full time basis after selling their home in the States.  I could really enjoy retirement here!

It is great for us older folks who don’t have to worry about raising a family or putting down a mortgage.  When all we have to worry about is which beach to go to, what meal to cook, where to go out in the evening for a walk. It is paradise!

But when you are young, those are not the most pressing questions on your mind.  You want to move forward, to learn, to create and eventually to get married and start a family.  This is proving to be quite difficult for many young people today because the average monthly income is about 500 euros.  Now that may not sound like much and in fact it isn’t, but things are not so expensive in Greece as they are in other places in the world.  The point I’m trying to make is that even so, it is very hard to raise a young family on that kind of income. Even if we have a lower standard of living.

wooden seat by the side of the beach in Greece, A Trip with a One-Way Ticket - Fantastic Fifty

…Which Seems to have Turned into a Depression

And why am I going on about young people?  I have four of my own and as I said before two of my kids moved to New York 6 years ago.  In fact, for them, it was the best decision because we live in a small town in Greece and it had little to offer in terms of jobs or career advancement.  

And for the rest of our family?  We would wait till the girls finished high school and decide if we would stay in Greece or leave. Well, truth be told, we didn’t have to wait six years in order to come to a very definitive conclusion.  This recession which seems to haveturned into a depression for some of us has shown no signs of letting up. 

We did all we had to do as a nation.  We got rid of the old politicians and put new ones in their place because they were supposed to show us the light. They would stand up to the European bad guys and demand that the bailout we had received be reduced or even better erased all together. Otherwise we threatened to leave the European Union.  Well guess what?  Our threat was an empty one.  We now owe more money than we ever have before… in fact, it seems as if our debt seems to be mounting. 

Honestly, I stopped paying attention to the propaganda spewed on the TV years ago and have gained my health. After all the nonsense that went on a few years ago I realized that very little has changed.  It is harder than ever to start a business and even harder to keep one afloat!

It became painfully obvious to us that the girls would also be better off leaving the land of their birth. 

9/11 Memorial Reflecting Pools New York, A Trip with a One-Way Ticket - Fantastic Fifty

New York

So here we are, in New York because when you are lucky to be American citizens, like us and have a way out, you take it. 

You don’t sit there and hope for the best when you see that the government has not changed and the politicians are still arguing with each other when there are too many people below the poverty level. 

​You don’t sit there when a sizable number of youth have left the country and moved to other European countries to try and have a better quality of life. This is the so called brain drain.  We have a very high number of college graduates who have been reduced to waiting tables – if they are lucky.  But to get those college diplomas, many families have had to sacrifice and sell property in order to pay for their “free” education.

Looking at the Statue of Liberty New York, A Trip with a One-Way Ticket - Fantastic Fifty
And so we have moved to New York.  Where my children can be reunited and we can live a life without having to worry about tomorrow and what will befall us. 

We have moved to New York.  Permanently!  Because I honestly don’t see any substantial changes happening in Greece for another 20 to 30 years. Maybe the next generation will be able to implement some changes.  I hope so, I really hope so. 

We have left all of our friends behind, my children’s classmates who are off to college now, armed with their hopes and dreams.  I pray that they can realize these aspirations. They are all great kids and are not at fault for the mistakes of the older generations or the European politicians who went along and encouraged this mess.  

The Oculus New York, A Trip with a One-Way Ticket - Fantastic Fifty
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The Melting Pot of the World

And so we are in New York.  The melting pot of the world!  And yes there are corrupt politicians all over the world but here they also save some money to help the people who they represent and not only the ones that have voted for them.  The tax money actually goes somewhere and not just to line someone’s pockets. 
I am so glad to finally be here.  To give a chance to the kids to make a new life for themselves. A life that they truly want and not one they have to settle for. My youngest wants to be a filmmaker. This is something that would have been impossible in Greece.  At least now, she has a fighting chance. 

One World Trade Center New York, A Trip with a One-Way Ticket - Fantastic Fifty
I hope that I have not bored you with all of this.  My reason for going into detail about the never ending crisis is to point out that just because something is no longer in the headlines it does not mean that it has been resolved.  Many people have been affected by this situation,  I don’t think we need to sweep it under the rug. 

As for me, I’m planning to retire in beautiful Greece but that is in the future.  For now I will continue to blog in the land of opportunity and hope to grow and prosper with my blog. Because being fifty is really fantastic once you realize that if you put your mind to something you can achieve a lot. I am living proof of that. 

And I hope you join me along for the ride.  Now for the big question!  Do I need to change the name of the blog from “the boondocks” to “the big city”?  (wink)

One World Trade Center and my one way ticket to New York, Why I blog and why I have moved to New York, A Trip with a One-Way Ticket - Fantastic Fifty
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Monday 6th of November 2017

Mary, I cannot imagine what you've been through, but your bright attitude is so uplifting. Best of luck with this move and life in New York. It's a beautiful state. Glad your family is reunited.


Tuesday 7th of November 2017

Thank you so much Sheri. It is good to be back home. My girls are living here for the first time so it will be quite an adventure for them.


Wednesday 25th of October 2017

It sounds like a good move for you since you, your husband and daughters will now be with your sons and your father. Plus think of all of the curbside finds you will get! Although that basement was a treasure trove. I am looking forward to this new phase of your life.


Monday 30th of October 2017

Debra there are yard sales and thrift stores to keep me more than busy now. That was something I didn't have back in Greece. We are all so happy to be reunited.

Lisa/Syncopated Mama

Wednesday 25th of October 2017

Whoa! Seriously? So many questions! Will you be able to keep your house over there for when you go back and retire? I'm excited for you guys!


Tuesday 31st of October 2017

We are keeping our house because even if we had wanted to sell it the market is awful now. People are practically giving their property away because they are in need of money. But we are lucky we can maintain it and hopefully go for the summer... we shall see how things go.

Kari Wagner Hoban

Wednesday 25th of October 2017

You're in the USA!!!! Okay, that was selfish celebration. I know this is bittersweet but I am happy that your family is all together for now. That is a huge gift, as you well know. Sending you love during this transitional time and hopefully someday we can meet now that you aren't an ocean away. :)


Tuesday 31st of October 2017

Awww thank you Kari. I am really happy to be back to the city of my childhood. And it would definitely be fun to meet in person.


Wednesday 25th of October 2017

Mary, you made a tough decision for yourself and your family. That takes a lot of courage. I am sure you are happy to have your children reunited, but I am also sure it must be hard to leave your beloved (and beautiful) country. I wish you and your family all the best on your new journey in NY!


Tuesday 31st of October 2017

Honestly Kim, it is a beautiful country but that is all it has to offer at this point. And beauty is not enough. Kids need to have a future to look forward to. And many of those politicians have made me not want to go back at all.

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