Lot of people have commented and messaged me asking why I’m going back to England, so I thought I’d explain.
The main reason is money. We live off one pretty poor Turkish wage. I cant find work here legally, I don’t have any qualifications or experience in teaching or in the travel/holiday rep area, I can’t speak Turkish and I bring nothing to the country that they don’t already have, businesses generally are not allowed to employ an English person to do a job a Turkish person could do. Living off Berkay’s wage is not so bad in the summer, but in the winter it’s nearly impossible. Each winter we get into debt and spend the summer paying it back, meaning we cant save for the following winter, its a vicious cycle. Coming back to the UK means we can both work and save for the future, albeit in different countries.
If we want to settle together in the UK one day, I need to be settled there with a good job earning £18.600 a year before we even apply for a visa for Berkay. Despite what everyone thinks, the UK makes it very difficult for non-European citizens to come to the UK, the new income requirement is a major set back, it has made things a lot more difficult for us. I’m not sure how many 21 year old’s earn 18.6k a year, but all people keep telling me is if I do not come back to the UK now, I will never earn enough as I will have been out of work for too long.
Berkay also hasn’t done his national service yet. All Turkish men are required by law to serve in the military at some point, Berkay is 22 and has not done it yet as he is studying at university. He hopes by completing his uni he will be able to find a better job later. If we can’t live together in the UK, I will be able to come back here with any money I have saved and live here so long as Berkay has a better job. I don’t know when he will go to the army, should he go now and get it out of the way, or should he wait, finish school and improve his chances of getting a better job later on?
Another question people ask is what is going to happen to our dog? Berkay is keeping her here in Turkey and will look after her, of course we wouldn’t just abandon her. I’m hoping one day to get her to the UK, if that is where we decide to and are able to settle, but it won’t be easy, none of my family want a dog so I will need to be living on my own first, then there is the fee to fly her to England and all the paperwork involved. I cannot see me ever earning enough for Berkay’s visa, saving enough for a place of my own and saving the £700+ to bring her to the UK. But that is all in the future, at least a year or two away, for now Berkay and Boncuk are staying together in Turkey and I’m returning to the UK alone, for how long I have no idea.
Perhaps I will be in England for 2 years saving money and then return to Turkey, perhaps I will find a job earning the required amount to get Berkay a visa and we shall live in the UK, perhaps we shall look into the European route and save to move to Ireland together. Friends and family ask our plans and pull nasty faces when we cannot answer, we do not have a crystal ball, hell I wish we did. There is no solid plan, I can’t say what is going to happen or what we hope to do, it is just impossible to plan ahead when visas are involved, the whole process is very long, very expensive and very uncertain.
All I am sure of right now, is that in less than 24 hours I shall be landing back in the UK. Alone. All I can think is how am I going to walk out of my front door for the last time and not look back knowing I will never step foot inside again? How am I going to say goodbye to my dog not knowing when I’ll see her again? How am I going to walk through security and leave Berkay behind at the airport? How am I going to get on that plane and leave my home, my dog and my boyfriend behind, sit on that plane and watch as I soar 30,000 feet in the air, leaving the past 2.5 years of my life and everything I’ve known down on the ground? How am I going to sit in a room full of people back in the UK, friends and family who are excited to see me, and all the time feel guilty for wishing I was somewhere else? It’s not that I don’t miss them, or that i’m not grateful that I have their support, it’s just that really, England is not my home anymore, it hasn’t been for 2.5 years, that’s a long time for someone who is only 21.