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Back You are here: Home Lifestyle Life An Interview with Expat Pamela Mottola Pascal

An Interview with Expat Pamela Mottola Pascal

Quest Greek Islands have began a series of stories about expats living on the Greek Islands. I hope you enjoyed our last story about English expat, Colin Jones, who lives in Kos.

Our next expat story, is the story of Pamela Mottola Pascal, who lives in Crete, Greece. Pamela is originally from Seattle, USA, but moved to Crete twelve years ago.


How long have you been in Greece and have you relocated within Crete?

I have always lived here in Heraklion, Greece and I've been here for twelve years now.

What made you decide to move to Greece?
I met and married a Cretan who was working as a Boeing engineer in Seattle, Washington which is my home town. We then decided to try living in Crete, where he was born and raised.

Do you speak any Greek? If so how much and how long has it taken you to gain a reasonable amount of knowledge?
Yes I can speak Greek, but it was very difficult and it took many years. I comprehend most of the Greek language and I'm still learning!

How did you get on with making friends, either with the locals or other foreigners?
Greek people are very friendly and I have many Greek friends, but my close friends are all foreigners.

What is the area like where you live? Are there many other tourists and foreigners living there?
Heraklion is full of people from all over the world in the summer, but very different in the winter.

How do you spend your days? What do you usually do during the day and at night?
My husband and I are retired, but we keep busy looking after our four houses; one is the main house, two that are rentals for tourists and an old stone house in the mountains. We also have olive orchards that we tend to all year round!

That sounds wonderful, do you visit the USA very often?
I usually go back every few years, because it is quite expensive, but fortunately my friends and family like to visit us here!!

Does it feel strange when you visit the USA and are you glad to get back to Greece?
At times it does seem strange to go back. Seattle is a very big city, and everyone and everything are so far away from each other. Living on the island here has more of an intimate feel and somehow much more life. I am always happy to return to Crete, because this is my home now.

Is there anything you regret about moving to Crete?
No, I have no regrets.

What do you like better about living in Greece compared to the USA?
More interaction with people, a better diet, a warmer climate and generally a healthier lifestyle.

It sounds good! Are there any disadvantages about living in Greece?
It takes FOREVER to get anything done here!!!

Many foreigners living abroad complain that there are a lack of home comforts and the things they could get in their home country, do you feel the same?
I can find almost everything here now, so it's not a problem, but it wasn't like this a few years ago.

Is there anything you miss from the USA? Friends, family, food, drink, life etc.???
Most of all I miss my family.

Would you ever consider moving from Crete? If so, would it be back to the USA?
Since we are retired, it would be difficult to start over anywhere else, but if so it would be back to the USA.

Finally, what advice would you give to anyone who is planning to relocate to Greece?
"When in Rome, do as the Romans do". People who move to a different country and decide to stay should embrace there and it's culture. Learn the language, eat their foods and be their friends!

Thank you Pamela for your great advice and sharing your experience with us!