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Cyprus > Expat Experiences


Emma Martin

Published Monday September 19, 2016 (12:32:37)
Emma Martin
Emma Martin

Who are you?

I’m Emma Martin, married with 2 young boys and a British expat in Cyprus.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

We moved from the UK to Cyprus in 2009 for a new challenge and to raise our young family in a new lifestyle.

What challenges did you face during the move?

It was reasonably easy to move, we just had the challenges of figuring out paperwork such as medical cards and residents' permits, and then eventually finding schools for the children and working out how things are done here. The language barrier can sometimes create some difficulties but on the whole most people speak English or can find someone who does so it's not impossible to get by when you don’t speak much Greek.

Are there many other expats in your area?

There is a large number of expats around, and over the years we have made many friends. On the whole it is a very supportive and welcoming community.

What do you like about life where you are?

I like the community and how well they work together and support each other. I love the island itself, the beaches and the more laid back attitudes than we left behind in the UK, and particularly the opportunities it has presented me to write, create my local website and run my own business, none of which would have happened without the move.

What do you dislike about your expat life?

There is very little that I dislike about our expat life, the main thing is being unable to see my friends in the UK.

What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?

There are not many noticeable cultural differences, the main one would be the laid back attitudes and the lack of urgency to get things done. I’m not very good at being patient and hate lateness so that is the main thing I struggle with – people running on so called ‘Cypriot time’.

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

Visit Cyprus (and particularly the area you wish to live in) at different times of the year if you can, people are often surprised at just how hot the summer months are when you are ‘living’ it rather than being on holiday by a pool, and also just how cold the winters feel when you live in uninsulated houses with marble floors!

Don’t treat it like you are on holiday when you first arrive as it will be much harder to settle into your new life. We made a point of never referring to the UK as ‘back home’ from the moment we arrived in Cyprus; it became our home and we made an effort to only look forward.

What are your plans for the future?

One day we hope to move to a larger property, but hopefully in the same area or close to. I plan to continue my community website as well as my personal blog and of course grow and expand our family business.

You can keep up to date with Emma's adventures on her blog, A Matter Of Choice.

Read more Cyprus expat experiences or view our latest Cyprus articles

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