This article was previously published in Issue 20, ISLANDS (March 2019).
A native-born islander’s relationship with their home can be complicated. If you happen to be an islander, chances are you had a beautiful, albeit concealed childhood, seeing that you grew up far, far away from the hustle and bustle of a metropolis like London. You eventually come to realise that having had the advantage to grow up on an island gives you an outlook on life unlike any other person’s. The ugly side of this is felt once you have moved away from the tiny bubble you were raised in. Upon your occasional return, you are hit with the realisation that sadly, nothing ever changes. Everything remains stagnant, as it was. Is this saddening, or oddly comforting?
Change is not a huge feature of the Mediterranean-island lifestyle. Speaking from my own experience, it is no secret that Cypriots avoid change like the plague. In a way, it would not make sense for them to gravitate towards it. My guess on why this lack of change is oddly comforting to Cypriots is this: everything is instantly recognisable. No new faces, names, or places will ever invade your comfort zone. There is a feeling of attachment that goes along with this lifestyle. In my opinion, the slow pace of life is something that is comforting to anyone who comes to experience it. No wonder Cyprus is a favourite tourist destination: in the limited time frame of a holiday, visitors get a taste of this unhurried attitude and are enchanted by it. Though this may sound like a stereotype, as a local, I can attest to this. The big things in life are never big enough and the small things not small enough. Everything can be reconciled one way or another (mainly through food).
Illustration by Ariadne Diogenous