Do you dream of settling in Greece when you retire? How about making the decision earlier? There are different ways to solve what-do-I-work-with the question. Meet Pernilla Nerhov, born in Greece and raised in Sweden.
Published for the first time on Your Guide to the Peloponnese
It was one of the nice, warm afternoons in Kalamata and we were in a meeting with one of our Greek friends. In the middle of the conversation, Alex rushes up, runs across the street and hurls over (literally! Because we do here in Greece!) A couple of our age.
It only takes about 2 minutes when the three of them come back to the table and Alex's female friend says: "Hi to you, my name is Pernilla, my goodness to Kalamata". Skåne !! Felt almost unrealistic!
Elias and I both laughed out loud and the rest of the evening mixed several languages at the table: Greek, Swedish, Scanian, English and Dutch (Pernilla's man is Amsterdambo). And sometimes even Polish (when I speak in several languages quickly it can be so sometimes).
The world is small… Elias and Pernilla's husband Wim worked in the same building in Värnamo! I had heard of Pernilla before, though I thought her name was Anna, and that was the reason for her "Kalamata tours" project.
The evening lasted longer than we expected and we booked another evening with food and wine with our Greek friend Alex. I was super curious about Pernilla's story!
"You feel much more free and alive in Greece"
E: A beautiful Greek woman who speaks Skåne does not meet often! But I understand that you have lived in several other countries? You speak several languages fluently?
PN: Yes it is true. I speak Swedish, Dutch, English, German and Greek
E: You were just a little baby when you moved to Skåne. How old were you when you decided to move to Kalamata?
PN: I was 42 years when I challenged the adventure of moving to Kalamata, along with my son Ron.
E: You lived in Kalamata for 14 years and now it's time again? To Wims city Amsterdam? And surely Cornelis Vreeswijk is the reason you and Wim found each other?
PN: Yes, that's right, thank you, Cornelis.
E: Will you be living between Amsterdam and Kalamata now?
PN: Yes, we enjoy and love both places.
E: You can the beautiful Kalamata in and out I understand. Tell me more about The "Kalamata and beyond" project.
PN: “Kalamata and Beyond” is an 3 hour guided tour in the old part of Kalamata, Historic Center. Here, tourists can visit various local and somewhat secret places. Taste the best coffee in town, the best pastry, meet local artists and more. Quite simply "smell, taste and feel" the real Greece.
E: What other projects were you working / working with in Kalamata?
PN: "BAM Birba, Annie and me". Me and my two dogs, globetrotters like myself, do interviews with locals in Kalamata and around the world. Interesting videos about interesting people. Videos are published on BAM's Youtube channel and on Facebook and Instagram.
E: Was the very transition from the Swedish well-organized reality to the, hmm let's say, impulsive and flexible life in Greece difficult?
PN: Hmmmm, let's say, 500 years back in time, but I loved and love it. You feel much more free and alive in Greece.
E: What irritates you most when you are in Greece vs. Sweden? and what is the best thing about living in Greece?
PN: I'm really annoyed at nothing. And frankly, I respect the way of life of the Greeks, as they themselves say with "the highest quality of life". And the best thing about living here? Sun, sea, mountain peaks, food, hospitality and much, much more.
E: Any tips for those considering moving to Greece?
PN:Think carefully before you move, it is an ancient country that cannot be compared to any other country in the world. Don't compare Greece to where you came from, let Greece make you fall in love. It is a mythically beautiful country. I highly recommend anyone considering moving to Greece, "just do it", you will never regret it. In short, you will feel and say "I was not born in Greece, Greece was born in me". And lastly, to rent or buy a home in Greece, contact Elwira & Elias, they are very professional in their work, know the languages and the area, but above all they are friendly and reliable.
Thank you so much Pernilla for your time and your kind words about Elias and me. "I was not born in Greece, Greece was born in me": yes, I feel that way too! Elias was born in Greece so he has to come to his own conclusion! Hope we can all see each other again soon and for all of you who read, see below "Kalamata… in ACTION!" by Pernilla :)