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Do as the Greeks Do!

Do you want to settle in to life in Greece? How can you blend in as a local? Well initially it can be uncomfortable when you live in a foreign country and don't know the language, but as you are sure to have heard before - the Greeks are very welcoming, kind, sociable people, which makes settling in to life in Greece a lot easier! When you move abroad, there are always do's and don'ts, what to do and what not to do, to help you integrate. But if you really want to fit in to life in Greece, do as the Greeks do...

Wining and dining

If you really want to blend in as a Greek, eat and drink what they do. There will obviously be things that you just can't eat or do not like, but being open minded to eat their national foods, shows that you are eager to fit in. When eating out, be adventurous and search for the bars and restaurants that the locals use. If you are in an area which attracts a lot of tourists, you may find that is easy to simply eat at a place with an English menu. This is fine for some, but remember that the prices are higher here and these places are made for tourists only, so don't expect to find a local here. Hunt out the bars and restaurants off the beating track, you will find some great value food and drink, plus you will get to meet some new and interesting faces.

Celebrate good times

Greece has many national holidays, which are celebrated in their own way. Often there is traditional Greek dancing, with Greek music and are very traditional. By learning a little bit about them, you will understand and appreciate why these holidays are celebrated. If you get an invitation to see a dance group or watch a band play, then try to attend if you can, you will be respected for it and you will be guaranteed to have a good time.

Making friends

Making friends can be difficult to start with, when there is a language barrier, but push past that and you will gain some friends for life. If you live in an area with a lot of expats or tourists, then before getting really involved, remember that tourists and expats are more likely to leave than what the locals are. Have a mixture of friends, but your circle of friends should never be just fellow expats. It is very comforting to start with, to have fellow expat friend, because you can relate to their feelings and problems. Sometimes, you may have a bad day and possibly regret your move to Greece, it can happen. However, if you get to rely on discussing your personal issues with expat friends, only to have to wave them goodbye, you will feel worse at these times and your feeling of upset over missing your friend will be a lot worse.

Learn the language

Language learning is a challenge for most of us, unless you have an excellent memory that absorbs information, but must be done! Think of how you feel about initially learning a new language: too shy to speak, it's really difficult, takes up too much of my time to learn, I can't say what I want to say like I can in my native tongue or the worst - I can't be bothered! When you continue to speak to people who know English as a second language, think if they might ever feel the same. That doesn't mean that pressure just be on you, but sharing the challenge of speaking each others languages will be both enjoyable and fulfilling, and you're guaranteed to learn it quicker. You don't have to become completely fluent to integrate better, but learning some words and phrases will show your willingness to integrate well in Greece and it will certainly not go unnoticed!!