3 years ago yesterday, I had just made the biggest move of my life, and was now sitting in my new house, 2000 miles away from ‘home’.
On the 26th April 2011 I moved to Turkey, to live with Berkay, despite only having actually spent a total of 2 full weeks with him. What a crazy move. Do I regret it? Hell no.
I can’t even remember the day I got on that plane, not a single second of it. Perhaps it was over-excitment, worry, fear? I couldn’t tell you, because I honestly can’t remember a thing.
When I moved there, none of my family had met Berkay. My mum flew out with me, so she could meet him and judge him for herself… over the week that she was there, he proved himself, issues arised which left mum’s partner-at-the-time in hospital, and without Berkay to help, it would have been even more stressful for them. Although she was still worried about leaving me there, and the end of the week I think she felt much better knowing I was in safe hands with Berkay.
^^.Photos taken during my first few weeks living in Turkey.^^
Moving to Turkey wasn’t as I had expected it to be – I knew Berkay would be working all day everyday, but I hoped that sometimes I’d be allowed to go to the hotel he worked at and sit there for a few hours – even just to be nosey at the guests and do some people-watching. His boss didn’t let me – so I ended up home alone for most of the day. He worked from 7.30 in the morning til 10/11pm at night. He used to get 4 hour breaks in the day, so we’d go to a pool somewhere or eat lunch at home together. Thinking back on these days now makes me smile… even in just the 2.5 years that I was there things changed a lot.
I was at home alone most of the time, I talk to people who assume that because I was in a resort, I had a party lifestyle, met up with fellow expats or girls who were out there for the summer season, and spent all day on the beach or in bars. NOT TRUE. In the years that I was there, the most I spoke to fellow expats was when recognizing them from their Facebook photos as they were walking down the street and saying ‘Hi’. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not rude, and I don’t dislike these people, I’m just stupidly shy.
How did I deal with the loneliness? By buying a pet. I’d only been in Turkey for a couple of weeks when we went to the pet shop looking to buy a hamster, and Berkay persuaded me to get a rabbit instead. We named her Abbie. Sadly she died a year ago…we really loved her!
When I first moved to Turkey those 3 years ago, I honestly don’t think I really missed anything about England. I’m not someone who gets homesick, which is weird, because normally I really hate change. It took a lot of adjusting to living in the house – I’d never lived alone before and our house wasn’t a luxury holiday apartment, no central heating, air con, double-glazing windows or constant running hot water like I was used to at home! Of course I missed my friends and family, but I had 24/7 access to the internet, so was always able to contact them.
This is my favourite photo from my first few weeks in Turkey. I’ve mentioned it before. It was taken on a trip to Oludeniz, it’s like I’m looking out to sea, miles away from home. You really feel small when you stand beside the big, blue ocean. The world is a big old place, and there I was, 18 years old and exploring another part of it.
Although I’m no longer living there, (actually I moved back to England exactly 7 months ago today) the two and a half years I spent in Turkey were the best of my life so far – somehow I feel a stronger connection to there than I do to England. Some people can’t understand why I decided to move there in the first place, some don’t understand why I want to go back, others belittle the experience and assume it was easy because I was living in the sun and not working.
Whatever anyone thinks, I’m pretty proud of myself for getting on that plane 3 years ago, it was the best decision of my life so far, I don’t think I’d still be with Berkay today if I hadn’t.
click HERE to read a previous blog about the house I was living in, and HERE to read about how life in Turkey wasn’t just one big holiday.
Danni, congratulations on your 3rd Anniversary. The pictures are fab you look really happy!
I see that you put the quotes on my last comment in your “Happy Jar” Presumably thats where all the little things that make you happy are placed. what a great idea. Gonna get myself one.
As you say some people cannot understand the draw & Pull on the heartstrings that Turkey has on many people, maybe because they havn’t been there or have had a bad experience.
I have travelled to many different parts the world, and to Turkey 7 times recently and definately feel drawn to some parts of the country and people who were very hospitable, welcoming and extremely helpfull, especially in Cappadocia, and throughout Central Anatolia.
Keep your dreams alive Danni, I hope that you will be reunited soon.
Never tell me the Sky’s the limit…… When there are footprints on the Moon
Another quote for your Happy Jar.
PS. how come you managed to stay for 2.5 years, did you get a “residents permit”
Kind Regards Jan
And so you should be proud of yourself,this wonderful blog tells a beautiful story albeit sad in some parts. I really hope that you make the choice and do what is right for you. I could go on and on about what I think you should or shouldn’t do but only you can decide. I think maybe you will go back soon (I saw your passport mugshots on Instagram lol) was that a clue I wonder ✈💅 x x
Im making a huge move to Turkey in February with hunby & the kids. The plus sidr that we are all dual citizens (ausie & turkish) plus we speak Turkish but not my kids.
I can see myself living the lonely life you lived for the first months. Im grateful we’re in a world that has internet every or else id probablu become a hermit.
Im concerned for my kids education as they dont speak turkish but im mire concern about my 5 year forgetting english.
Im glad to find your blog and will be doing a lot of back reading to catch up.
I have tried so many times to define what makes me love Turkey, and I still can not put my finger on it. Even with the bad experiences, it still seems like the best country in the world. Well done for getting out and exploring it.
I am a native Turkish speaker, born and bred in Turkey. I love reading your story and congragulation on being so brave and take a big life changing desicion… good luck for the future. Yasemin xx
Aw thankyou Yasemin, I love it when native Turkish people read my blog! 🙂 x
Well done you for being so brave and take a big desicion like this… It is your life and your dedicions, be them right or wrong, they are part of your life and make you the person you are now… We all should learn not to listen what others might think/say… Lovely to read your blog and good luck for the future…
Very true! Thank you x