(Reuters) – Thirteen years after abandoning rural Greece for a career in graphic design, Spiridoula Lakka finds herself in the last place she expected to end up – watering a patch of lettuce and herbs in her sleepy village.
As Greece sank into its worst economic crisis since World War Two, Lakka had already given up her dream of becoming a web designer. Even waitressing seemed impossible. She faced a simple choice: be stranded without money in Athens, or return to the geriatric village where she grew up plotting to escape.
At age 32, Lakka, an office clerk who also juggled odd jobs, joined a growing number of Greeks returning to the countryside in the hope of living off the land. It’s a reversal of the journey their parents and grandparents made in the 1960s and ’70s.