I made a promise to myself that I’d get fit when I moved to Cyprus this winter. Not necessarily because I wanted to keep up at the Limassol Marathon. I just thought a Mediterranean diet wouldn’t be complete without some outdoor exercise. I imagined it to be a daunting process of running around the narrow streets of Limassol, embarrassing myself in front of the locals who leaned back and sipped on their coffee.
I was prepared for the potential ridicule, nobody knew me anyway. It turns out, my experience was the exact opposite. I realised this from my very first run starting from Limassol’s colourful marina, all the way along the promenade, for what would have been a couple of kilometres.
The sun was out, you could hear the waves in the sea crashing against the rocks, the restaurants were slowly opening up for the day, but the best part of it all, I wasn’t the only one running. Whether you’re young or elderly, or somewhere in between, the promenade is a place where you can walk, run, and play carefree. I started making it a regular thing every morning (weekends don’t count!) and each time I felt something different, and it wasn’t just a result of the different Spotify playlists I’d choose.
Some days, I saw dark clouds in the sky, fishermen by the wharf, and other days I’d see kids walking along the rocks by water. The weather was irrelevant. Whether it made me feel gloomy or inspired, the point is, it made me feel. There were days when people would smile and say hello as we crossed paths, even though we were complete strangers.
This simple act made a huge impression on me; the fact that people could be so welcoming and friendly. I always wanted to live somewhere I could feel like I was part of a community. Winter has now passed, the seaside is lathered in sunshine, and I think I finally found the kind of community I was looking for.