As our house sit in Cyprus draws to a close (we leave for Germany a week from tomorrow!) I have decided to write a post about what a typical day is like here for us. I imagine our day to day routine and schedule with change with each place we stay, so I think it will be fun to have a record of what life has been like in each place!
Life in Cyprus is very laid back. At first I thought this was just us; since we are here without "real jobs" our time is pretty much our own and very flexible (except for the dog's schedule). However, as we experience more of the culture on the island, we have seen that this relaxed attitude permeates everything. The grocery store is supposed to open at 7:30, but sometimes we'll arrive at 7:45 and the doors are still closed. One day the fruit market was still closed almost two hours after the opening time listed on the door. Restaurants take forever to bring you the bill, and usually only once you've asked for it. No one really seems to be in a rush, ever, which is a new experience for these two Americans!
Yet even in the midst of this chill island life, I do best with a schedule, so early on I came up with one that has served us well. It isn't written in stone and often gets changed for one reason or another, but it comforts me to at least have some structure to the day. Here is brief synopsis of what a day is like for us here.
5AM Wake up, check social media, Joel might go for a run
As time has gone on, my wake up time has gotten later and later (though usually no later than 6 or 6:30) but for a while we got up this early so we could get the day started before it got too hot. Morning here is also a great time to check Facebook, Instagram, etc. Since we are 8 hours ahead of our home time zone (USA Central) when we get up most of our friends are just starting to go to bed. I usually wake up to 20-30 notifications on each app and spend some time checking them and responding. If Joel is feeling up to it he will get up extra early and go for a run/hike before it gets hot.
6AM: Breakfast, Walk the dog
We are still doing intermittent fasting as part of our weight loss journey, and in Cyrpus we have adjusted our 8 hour eating block to be from 6AM-2PM. I eat eggs every morning for breakfast, and ever since we ate at Geitonia's I've been putting zuchhini in my eggs as well. After a quick bite to eat it's time to head out the door with Lottie, the sweet and lovable pup we have been taking care of! For a while we took a different route every time we took her out, but lately we have fallen into a routine. There is a fenced in playing field near the bakery we go to often, and we discovered that if we go in there we can take Lottie off leash and let her run for a bit (I spotted someone else doing this with their dog so we followed their lead!). She loves getting the time off leash as she usually doesn't get that with us (her owner will walk her without one but we don't dare) and it tends to wear her out quickly!
7AM: Morning swim
When we get back from walking the dog I am usually a sweaty mess, and my favorite thing is to go for a dip in the pool! (Don't worry, I rinse off at the outdoor shower first). Joel usually goes with me and we love having the pool to ourselves. We usually stay until about 8 or 8:30, which is about when either the maintenance guy shows up (if he's on time, I've seen him come as late as 11), or the sun starts to creep over the water. I like to get out of the water about 10 minutes before Joel does so I have time to lay out and dry off, and I usually read some of whatever book I'm on as well!
8AM-2PM: Run errands if needed, do chores around the house, write a draft of my daily blog post, read, social media
Here is where the schedule starts to get loose. If we need to run errands for the day now is the time, as once the sun is out in full force we do NOT like to be outside. It's really no hotter here than it gets in Iowa, but hey, we didn't like to be outside there either. We are not summer people (I am so ready for fall and winter!). I am tired of sweating all the dang time! Next picture: Keeping it real!
Errands usually mean walking up the hill for groceries - about half a mile up is the fruit market where we can get fresh fruits and veggies (I think of it almost like a permanent farmer's market), and a full mile up the hill is the full grocery store with everything we need. One time we decided to shop at the local butcher because the prices seemed cheaper on meat. We ordered bacon, and he pulled it out of a huge fridge and whacked away at a huge chunk of meat right in front of us! I'm not sure exactly what we got... it definitely wasn't bacon like we are used to. It ended up being delicious once we figured out how to cook it, but we've gotten our bacon at the regular store from now on.
While walking straight uphill to get everything we need isn't my favorite thing, it sure is good exercise! Plus, there are beautiful views along the way. This is a shot of the town looking out from the door of the butcher shop.
When we get home from errands we are usually hungry, so we eat lunch around 10:00AM. It's a bit weird but it works for us here! It's really too hot to cook much, so we eat a lot of sandwiches, salads, and fresh fruit. We bought some pasta initially but haven't even eaten half of it - just the thought of boiling water makes me sweat! We eat most of our meals out on the balcony, the sun only hits it directly in the mid-to late afternoon, and outside of those time it's a perfect spot to catch a breeze and admire the view.
Once we've eaten, Joel will often take an early nap, while I get to work on a draft of my blog post for the day. If I can I like to get a draft done in the morning, then revisit it in the afternoon before I publish. I am able to catch a lot of my mistakes that way. My favorite place to work is sitting out on the balcony so I can enjoy the view! I also pause often for puppy pets and snuggles, Lottie is a real sweetheart and isn't afraid to ask for attention when she wants it.
2Pm-5PM: My nap time!
This is my preferred time of day to nap, as it lets me avoid the hottest part of the day! The last couple weeks it has worked out really well for Joel and I to nap at separate times. We only have one laptop, so if I'm working he can't, and vice versa. By staggering our nap times I am able to get work done while he sleeps, then while I nap he gets up and gets work done. Additionally, we have found that naps are pretty vital on the island! It really just gets too hot midday to do much else, and it allows us to stay up later at night when it's actually pleasant outside. This is a pattern that I don't think will hold for us when we move on to other places, but I suppose we shall see.
Not Pictured: Us sleeping, you're welcome.
6PM: Blog Post deadline
I usually wake up around 5:00, which gives me an hour before my blog needs to be posted. My goal is to have one up by 10AM Central every Monday-Friday, which means 6PM here. I've been late a few times when life has interfered but otherwise I'm doing well with this goal! I usually have about a week of posts planned out, and I have a list of about 20 posts I want to write that aren't time sensitive. Before we started this I was worried about running out of content if I blogged daily, but I no longer think that will be a problem!
Once evening hits our "schedule" is much more relaxed. Joel helps me edit my blog post, and I make sure it gets posted across our social media channels and on Pinterest. I'll make some posts to Instagram and interact on there. Sometime Joel will be working on finding us our next house sit or coordinating travel plans to the ones we have. We often will watch Netflix - currently we are watching Suits as our TV show, and checking out as many Netflix Original movies as we can (and reviewing them here!).
The only thing we have to do in the evening is walk the dog again (we also take her out for an afternoon pee break usually around 2:00). I usually enjoy the evening walk more than the morning one as it's harder for me to get going in the morning. Most nights we will go for another swim after we walk the dog.
We often will sit on the balcony to enjoy the sunset! Sometimes sitting out there we can hear music from the nearby bars and restaurants. It's been a month and I have yet to get sick of this view. I will miss it when we are gone!
The relaxed life in Cyprus has been amazing and I am really enjoying our time here. Obviously this isn't an exact reporting of every day, but it's close to our routine. When we take day trips to explore the island things are different of course, and the weekends are a even more relaxed as I don't have a blog post deadline to meet. It will be interesting to see how our routine changes when we move to Germany next week!
So I'm curious about all of you, do you work best with a routine or schedule? Or are you more of a fly by the seat of your pants kinda person? Do you think you would enjoy the laid back island life where not everything happens on a schedule, or would it drive you nuts? I'd love to hear from you!