Why 3 out of 10 Expats Don’t Go the Distance in Turkey
Some people like familiarity. Routine is comfortable to them, they have a small select group of lifelong friends, and they live their entire lives in the same city or town. However other people get the urge to spread their wings and these days, living abroad is just one of many options available to workers and retirees.
Indeed, many expats have descended on the shores of Turkey and are often found in the small Aegean and Mediterranean towns. Unfortunately, not everyone stays because there are some aspects of Turkish life and culture that they just really can’t get their head around.
The Laidback, Relaxed Lifestyle
Humans are a scientific miracle, but at the same time, we sometimes set ourselves up to be martyrs for the wrong cause. Adhering to social etiquette that the best people are hard workers, who toil away night and day, some people just cannot relax.
They get high from the feeling of being busy. They invent things to do and find things to worry about. This is where they come unstuck in Turkey because life in Turkey is definitely laidback and carefree. Some would say too much, but we disagree!
How can a life spent on the beaches, or exploring the 37th largest country in the world be irresponsible? How can working yourself into a worried frenzy be better than evenings spent dining al fresco style?
Think about waking up without an alarm clock and losing all notion of physiological clock time. The result is that you just enjoy the moment! If you have problems learning to relax while living in Turkey, just hook up with the experts. Turks even have a specific word for it that is keyif!
The Sweltering Summer Weather
Here on the Aegean coast of Turkey, we adore the autumn and spring seasons. Although nights are slightly chilly, the daytimes are perfect for getting out and exploring. Winter can be cold, but apart from two months of rain, it is a lot warmer than our home country of the UK.
Naturally, though, summer is when it all happens in Turkey, but some people complain that it is just too hot! Ok, we agree that July and August are swelters with temperatures reaching into the 40s, but there are a few tricks around this.
Stay out of the sun from noon to 3 pm or dive into the swimming pool. Better still, most beaches on the south and west coast have cooling winds due to the geographical layout of the land. Otherwise, air conditioning is the answer to everything! Don’t ruin ten months of gorgeous weather by complaining about the two hottest. There are ways around it.
A Completely Different Cuisine
We all love comfort foods from our home country, and when we find out, they are not sold in Turkey, we miss their delicious taste even more. British people often name ginger nuts, liquorice all sorts, Cadburys chocolate, Yorkshire puddings and much more as their favourite food from home.
Then there is our love for pork. Pork scratchings, pork belly, pork roast, pork chops, bacon and sausages. You name it, we adore, and there is nothing better than a slap-up English breakfast or our traditional Sunday roast.
Now, if you plan to live in the conservative southeast, rural northeast or any small village and town, the chances of finding pork are the equivalent of you winning the lottery. Likewise, you will be hard-pressed to find a Turk who likes nothing better than tucking into a greasy bacon sandwich.
However, in most of the coastal touristic resorts, pork is widely available. Restaurants sell it on their menus and cash and carry shops sell it on their shelves. Expats are also, always packing their suitcase full of goodies from their home country. So, it is not like you have to go without forever, but in the meantime, we also encourage you to try Turkish cuisine.
Their fish dishes are an excellent alternative to our fish in batter and chippy chips. There is a full range of pastries, desserts, ice cream and chocolate. Their street food is a fantastic healthy alternative to junk food from McDonald's and Burger King. When it comes to satisfying your taste buds, Turkish cuisine is varied as it is delicious and you will be pleasantly surprised.
The Turkish Language
So, this is perhaps the biggest deal breaker. The thought of living in another country where you don’t know the language is daunting to many. Now, while we are true believers in while in Rome do as the Romans do, it is a fact that many expats in Turkey do not speak fluent Turkish, yet go about their daily lives with such ease.
They live in the touristic coastal resorts where many locals speak English as a second language. Learning snippets of Turkish like numbers, days of the week or how to order off a menu, and for the more serious stuff like residency permits, many just hire translators. Expats also have their own methods of learning including a word a day or group Turkish lessons which are widely available.
Lastly. We get it. Moving to Turkey is a big step to make, but the only thing you should take seriously is your finances and where to live. Treat everything else as an exciting journey and give yourself time to adapt. In next to no time, you will be living the idyllic, alternative lifestyle with ease.