Seven signs it’s time to move abroad
1 Winter takes on epic proportions
It’s not simply three or four months of cold weather - it’s the end of the world. Well, that’s what it feels like when you’re huddled by your fire or gas heater, wondering why you didn’t cough up the cash for that extra insulation. You worry about rickets and check online for signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
The obvious solution, of course, is to move to a land where winters are so mild you barely notice. A land with 300 days of sunshine - almost guaranteed. Turkey’s winters are mild and short. Although most of the annual rain falls during the winter months, it’s a (very) far cry from the winters of northern Europe.
2 Your friends hate you
You’ve worked your way through your circle of friends, slowly alienating each one. Bob’s annoyed because you (accidentally) ran over his cat. Carol keeps calling asking for her muffin tray back and you haven’t plucked up the courage to tell you you’ve burned it to a crisp. You’ve annoyed all your neighbours with your untidy front garden that you haven’t weeded since 2006.
Moving abroad takes care of this issue. Leave your old friends behind and join a vibrant community on Turkey’s south coast, full of interesting, cosmopolitan people from all over the world. People are increasingly moving to Turkey for reasons of lifestyle, cost of living and weather, creating diverse populations of expats seeking a new - and better - life. Is it time to refresh your friends and rejuvenate your social circle?
3 The cost of living is slipping beyond your means
If it’s not paying through the nose for the basics to just keep you warm and dry, you suddenly find that a bag of apples costs a week’s wage. Fancy a steak? You might want to think about remortgaging.
Prices are rising in big cities around the world, meaning your wages or pension don’t go as far as they once did. If you have the opportunity - you can work remotely, or you’re retired - this might be the time to make a move, allowing your money to work for you. Turkey’s economy is stable and inflation is steady. The cost of living has inevitably risen in the last decade as the economy has strengthened, but overall it’s a very favourable place to live, cost-wise, with staples like food and utility bills remaining low.
4 The green-eyed monster is rearing its ugly head
Look at all those friends on Facebook, having a great time. There’s Sally, in a bikini by the pool. Mike and Ted are on yet another road trip across Europe. How annoying it is to see other people doing adventurous, fun things out of their comfort zone while you’re stuck in the daily grind.
But wait! There’s no reason this can’t be you, cavorting on the sand, visiting incredible ruins and gazing out over the Mediterranean. Don’t live your life in the shadows, looking gloomily at the fun everyone else is having - get up there and grab it for yourself, with both hands. And don't forget to take pics for the folks still stuck at home.
5 You’re starting to realise that you really do only live once
The nagging voice in the back of your head telling you “there must be more to life than this” is getting louder. Can you really imagine doing what you’re doing now for the rest of your life? If the answer to this question fills you with fear, it’s time to make a change. Make that move to Antalya, or Bodrum. Life is fleeting. If you’re not going to do things that make you happy, what’s the point?
6 The barriers to leaving no longer exist
Perhaps the kids have left home. Or maybe your marriage has broken up, or your longed-for retirement has arrived. It could be that the barriers have only ever existed in your mind, and as you’ve grown you’ve developed the necessary tools to overcome them. The last hurdle - actually making the move - can be the hardest one of all. However, you need to keep in mind the risks vs benefits equation. Ask yourself: do the benefits of a new life abroad outweigh the risks this new life will bring? The answer, for most of us, will probably be a resounding YES.
7 You’ve run out of stuff to talk about
Everyone’s sick of hearing about the cauliflower you grew that won Best In Show at the village fete in 1999. No one cares about your new kitchen. Yesterday you noticed the local shopkeeper flip the sign on the door to “closed” as you approached.
Moving abroad means meeting new people who will be more receptive of your stories. You’ll also have new adventures, see amazing sights and change your lifestyle dramatically, leading to new and interesting tales with which you can regale your new friends.
So, what are you waiting for? Turkey’s calling you. The only question that remains is: will you answer?