Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Turkish Tales : The Move

Seven years ago I found myself blogging about my experience moving abroad to the UK from South Africa. I shared some of the challenges with our new place, work and the weather. This month I moved to Istanbul, Turkey, just on the other end of Europe!

When my hubby and I emigrated to England, UK, we did so after never visiting the place. We just went with our entire flat of belongings, some saved cash , new jobs and a firm determination that this was what we wanted for our future. We did have many chats with family and friends before that of course, weighing pros and cons of other countries, and for us UK came out tops.

I laugh when I look back at that move, because it the naiviety we had was totally overshadowed
by all the enthusiasm and excitement of new prospects. We did find the move challenging at first and now I realise it was because we were not totally prepared to face the new lifestyle, setup and culture of the new country. It wasnt because we didn't try to prepare...nor that people living there didn't help us with tips and pointers - but it was because we really didn't know what were the best questions to ask that would equip us best to settle in our new abode!

Some of the drastic new lifestyle changes that took us time to adjust to in the UK (because we didnt know to ask about!) included:
- the small, compact size of houses, especially compared to our spacious living in South Africa
- the distance between places, how to best prepare for long commutes
- how best to tog up for bittery cold winters and the snow that comes with it

We moved to Istanbul after visiting it for one day and one night, en route to another destination but doubt that helped much! This time though we feel a little more wiser and more grown up Alhamdulillah, in that we knew to ask pertinent questions that would inform our choices about what to take and what to look out for to better manage our expectations.

We started our relocation project by taking my hubbys Turkish colleague out for lunch and a walk in Richmond park to quiz her on topics ranging from "What are the houses like in Istanbul?", "What essential items should we remember to pack?" , "What do people do at the weekend?". This enabled us to have a much more informed idea when preparing to move and researching accommodation options Alhamdulillah.



    Lunch in the beautiful Richmond Park, a Royal Park
     

Though even after all that preparation, you only really know a place till you live there! Everything else is theory and hearsay - useful to have in mind but just know that the reality only kicks in when you get there - so my lesson is not to expect to know much - anything really - till you take that one way flight over and start living!

Stay tuned for more on my tales from Turkey Insha Allah.

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