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Alan: Archers of Okcular

In our InterNations Recommended Blog section we let you take the spotlight! Expat life in general is, of course, a perfect breeding ground for great, user-generated reads, and life in Turkey makes no exception. Take your time and browse the great blogs showcased in this article!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Turkey, etc.

I moved from a small village in Kent, SE England to Turkey with my partner 17 years ago. Retirement to this beautiful part of the word had long been a pipe-dream and when doctors told me my working days were over and that I'd be in a wheelchair within five years we decided to go live the dream whilst we still could. The great news for me was that a number of years later a spinal surgeon here corrected much of the damage and gave me back mobility (as long as I'm careful!).

When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?

I started blogging about three years ago. My attention was drawn to a number of bloggers writing in English about their lives and experiences here in Turkey and I thought “I like to tell the odd story or three, so why not have a go.”

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?

My partner J and I have traveled extensively around and about Turkey, usually well off the beaten track so there have been some interesting places and experience to relate. One of my favorite posts was a series about beautiful, painted Sufi mosques in villages around Denizli that starts with this post The Magical Mystical Tour.

Tell us about the ways your new life in Turkey differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?

Work! My time is my own and I do the things I want to do following old interests and cultivating new ones. J and I live near a small farming village, our house is tucked up at the bottom of a mountain in one of the most biodiverse parts of the country – the variety of flora and fauna is staggering! Our neighbours are 'salt-of-the-earth', they were warm and welcoming and if anything was a culture shock it was the difference from the UK where we hardly met or knew our neighbours.

Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Turkey? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?

We made several pre-move visits and did our research – I don't think either of us would change anything in the preparations we made.

Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?

Back in our early days I was practicing my then very limited Turkish. I needed some wood preservative and to the shock of male and female customers asked the shopkeeper for 'ağaç prezervatıfi - wooden condoms!

Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Turkey?

  • Do your research;
  • don't buy property from a waiter and
  • avoid living in an expat ghetto.

How is the expat community in Turkey? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?

J and I have a few expat friends but we choose not to be part the expat community and social scene.

How would you summarize your expat life in Turkey in a single, catchy sentence?

We both wake up every morning, look out of the window and say “Oh, no! Not another beautiful day in Turkey!”.

Sven Baudach

"My business partners, also mainly expats, and me, we always use the wonderful InterNations Events as an informal get-togethers."

Maggy Roswick

"With all the great information and contacts provided by InterNations, it was no big deal to get settled in Istanbul."

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