Settling in?

So, I’ve been here in Turkey for 5 weeks now, where on earth has the time gone?

It’s been a while since I done a personal thoughts & feelings post, I’ve been focusing more on writing about days out and things to do and see. When I started this blog it was just going to be something personal, a kind of diary to look back on, but as time has gone on, more and more people read and as grateful as I am for the nearly 160,000 views I have, I’m less comfortable with sharing now, you can’t trust anyone on the internet and writing posts sharing personal thoughts and feelings gives people a lot of information to judge you on.

I do want to be as honest and as real as possible though. That being said, I thought it was time to do a post about how I’ve settled back into life here in Turkey and what I’m missing about England.

The first night I was here alone as Berkay had to work, and it hit me that I’d be spending a lot of my time alone again, I started to question whether I’d done the right thing and that maybe the grass is always greener on the other side… I also didn’t feel as ‘safe’ in this house, it’s much more central than our old one and there are more people around, it’s not as private.

The first few weeks I was here, I didn’t want to be in the house much, I was always bugging Berkay so we could go out and do something, walking, swimming, pointless trips to Fethiye… I think I wanted to spend as little time as possible in our house so that I didn’t get attached again, if it feels like home it’ll be harder to leave…

Well after being here 5 weeks I’m well and truly settled, our house DOES feel like home, there’s nothing I like more than sitting on the balcony with Berkay after dinner and just playing backgammon or watching a film. It’s just like the old days. I feel totally safe in our house and love it here. It took some getting used to living in a basic house again, no bath, no walk in shower, just a wet room with a tap and shower on the wall that makes the entire room and toilet seat soaking wet after each use! Not being able to flush the toilet paper took some getting use to again too!

I honestly do not miss England. I miss my family sometimes obviously, but I speak to my mum and grandparents everyday on Facetime without fail. I miss my little sister the most because we’re so close, no matter my mood she always cheers me up – I’ve been facetiming with Dad and seeing her, she always says ‘are you coming home yet Dan’ or mentions something about me coming back so I think she misses me too (:

I thought I might miss English food, a nice roast dinner, Cadbury’s chocolate, Monster Munch, ham sandwiches but I don’t really – although I am now drooling at the thought of all of the aforementioned! I love a lot of Turkish food so it doesn’t bother me much – perhaps the only thing I do miss is being able to chuck a ready made jar of sauce on the pasta or get some easy to cook, ready flavored Birdseye chicken out of the freezer. Everything has to be made from scratch – not much frozen food exists here!

I do not miss work at all, but I do miss having structure to my days. Anyone who knows me knows I have to have plans, I have to know what I’m doing and at what time, I’m not very spontaneous!

I’ve fallen into the habit of adapting to Berkay’s work/sleep pattern again. He works from 8pm – 9am everyday and sleeps either during the morning or the afternoon. I’ve started following that and not sleeping all night which is really bad – I’m still awake the same amount of time as anyone else, just all night instead of all day, which sometimes is a blessing as I don’t feel the unbearable heat. I’m still reliant on Berkay most of the time, when I lived here before I never went out without him. This time I walk the dog on my own and walk along Calis seafront a couple of times a week when he’s gone to work and just sit on the beach alone and watch the sunset. I love that.

All in all, I’ve settled back in and am still determined to make the most of every minute here. On Tuesday 8th Berkay and I have been together for 4 years. That’s really crazy, it seems like just yesterday we met, but then again sometimes it feels like we’ve been together so much longer, we’re like an old married couple, yet we’re not old and we’re not married. (;

I cannot believe it’s July already, how scary. More than half way through the year and I only have a few more months in Turkey… it’s not going to be any easier leaving this time than the last.
I’ll leave you with a few photos of the beautiful sunsets I witnessed in Calis last week. ❤

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3 years ago…

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’.
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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.
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^^.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!
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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.
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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.