During my trip home to Scotland I find myself being asked similar questions by people about Turkey, whats life is like living in Turkey?, what’s the weather like in the winter? and why don’t I move home to Scotland?
My favourite question is, what’s the weather like in winter?? I love watching their surprise when I tell them the weather here is much like the weather back home in Scotland, this is more for my area of Turkey in Sakarya. It can be very wet and we have had snow every year since we moved here and that’s probably why we have a ski resort only 20 minutes away called Kartepe, well 30 minutes to the foot of the mountain! For the rest of Turkey you probably get the best weather on the coast with a few storms and wet weather and the worst in the east where the temperatures can drop to -40 in places and you can expect a few feet of snow.
What’s life like living in Turkey?, is the hardest question to answer. Its not something you can explain easily. Life is very much like life anywhere, you have your daily routines, you wake up, in our house hubby goes to work and I get on with the household chores and look after our little boy. But at times I do find life can be a little more restrictive, I don’t just jump in the car and head off to do things and I don’t have as many friends as I do here. I find Turkey very much a Man’s world and women are more restricted than here in the UK and being home has made this maybe a little more obvious.
But life is not much unlike anywhere else once you settle down and get used to the unfamiliarity of things in Turkey. You still have the same daily stresses of money and work, you still have to clean and cook. Its not like when you are on holiday here in Turkey when its every night in the bar or eating out. Once you live here you soon find out the affordability of socialising every night is just not possible.
People are also surprised when I describe my home town of Adapazari, its a nice place but an industrial town, if you live in Scotland I would say its like living in Falkirk and if you live in England I would say its like living in Sheffield. There’s not a whole lot to do and its mainly streets and streets of apartments and houses.
The nearest beach is on the Black Sea Coast about an hour and half away, we do have some lovely countryside but you still need to drive to get there, unlike my home town where I am out in the countryside if I walk to the end of my street. If you like shopping, you would be happy in my city, but if like me you love to be out walking it can sometimes be a bit restrictive. Though as we explore more we are finding more lovely places around us. But no lovely sea views or strolls along the beach for us, just another apartment block for us!
Why don’t you move back to Scotland? Despite life sometimes not being perfect and wishing I was along the coast somewhere and taking strolls along the beach (in my dreams!) and having an expat community nearby. I still have no inclination to head home to Scotland.
Overall we don’t make that much money and we do sometimes want for things, but we get by on our wages and we live a modest life. I find there is a lot less expectation for you to have things, the low income bracket in Turkey means most people don’t have the latest fads or fashion and family life is more important, spending time with each other instead of being glued to the TV or games console or having to drink just to have a good time. Going for a picnic or BBQ is common and normally with half the family in tow.
If we did want to relocate to Scotland, we would have to be earning a lot of money just for my husband to be allowed to come and settle here in Scotland. House rents and lifestyle is more expensive, especially I have found, if you have a kids it costs a fortune to go out as a family. There many more reasons but I won’t go into them, but life seems to be a just that little bit better for us in Turkey. But who knows what the future holds for us.
Life is always going to be what you make of it no matter where you live, if you like to lock yourself away in doors all day and not embrace life in Turkey you will never enjoy it. But in many ways life is no different in Turkey than it is any where in the world, you have the same issues and the same daily grind, if you choose of course. I enjoy my life in Turkey, with its diverse weather and cultures and the constantly interesting history. And for now I can call Turkey my home.
© 2013 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.