Monthly Archives: October 2013

I’ve Got Something to Tell You…..

One of the most interesting things about telling people you’re leaving the country is seeing their differing responses.

Reaction has varied from “Gosh, how exciting – good for you” (our daughter’s headteacher) through to “What about me?” (one of our respective parents).

There are also widely varying opinions and beliefs about our destination, Turkey.

Anyone who watched Rageh Omaar’s excellent BBC television series, The Ottomans, has seen how the country has developed, how it’s become westernised, and the part that Islam, Christianity and secularism have all played in its history to date.

Turkey is keen to enter the EU and it’s been announced that talks will resume on this next month, but┬ámany people still seem to see it as “backward”. I’ve been asked whether “they” have the internet, hospitals, even running water. One of my aunts is convinced I’ll have to wear a burka.

To be honest, other people’s opinions don’t bother me. They might imagine I’m living in a shack with mud on the floor and goats roaming through whatever passes for my kitchen, but I know that’s not the reality. Yes, there’ll be power cuts. We’ll have to drink bottled water, certainly to start with. My high-speed fibre-optic broadband will be distant memory. It won’t be like living in the UK…..but then that’s kind of the point.

What’s harder is explaining to your parent that, while you understand they don’t want you to go, it’s a decision that’s been made and no amount of playing up or sulking is going to change your mind. We’re not doing it to ‘get away’ from them and we’re not abandoning anybody. We’re doing it because it’s the best thing for us and our own lives, and because we want to.

There’s a school of thought that believes you should stick around and be there for your parents as they get older. There’s another that says you should seize every opportunity while you can, because it might not be there later on.

We’re in the second camp. This was always our long-term plan and in all honesty it is happening sooner than expected. Part of the reason for changing our minds is realising that we shouldn’t wait – “one day” might never come.

We hope our families can understand that.


And the winner is…

Turkey. More specifically the beautiful, colourful, bustling and confusing place that is the Fethiye district.

Now my geography isn’t great so, without looking it up, all I can tell you is that it’s on the south coast of the country, more south-west than south-east I think. It gets cold for a couple of months over winter and blisteringly hot in high summer; there is a thriving ex-pat community and it’s not far from the Blue Lagoon and gorgeous beaches.

Olu Deniz Beach at sunset

Olu Deniz Beach at sunset

I’m not going to go into the alternative destination we had and the reasons why that was ruled out; it’s not important. What matters now is that we know what our plan is and we can start deciding, organising and moving things on.

We’re not stupid. We don’t for a second imagine that it will be easy. There will be some difficult choices, hoops to jump through, bureaucracy and frustration at every turn. And not just in the run-up to the “big move” either – no life is without stress or problems, and we’re not looking at the future through rose-tinted Genuine Fake designer sunglasses.

But we do believe it will be better, and we will be happier, than in our current lifestyle.

So – what now? I guess I can start on all those lists in earnest. We need to crack on with jobs around the house prior to putting it on the market in the New Year. There are decisions to make about transport, what we take, what we leave, how we handle moving the cats.

I’ve already emailed an estate agent over there who comes highly recommended by many of the Brits I’ve got to know online who either live or have property in the area, and I’ve booked a recce trip at the end of October. I’ll be going for a week, along with a couple of friends who are planning a similar move, to make some contacts and do some preliminary research.

Obviously this will be an arduous and hard-working visit and no pleasure at all but, hey, one of us had to do it.

So now we know. If I’m honest, now the decision has been made it’s a bit of an anti-climax. I feel euphoric at times, but it still feels strangely unreal – though I guess that will change as we start to go public with our plan.

Exciting times ahead….