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Annie: BacktoBodrum

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 trained as an archaeologist and ended up as a cook. I started working in Bodrum in 1982, then married in 1984 and ran a travel agency, taught English and worked as a freelance cook in Bodrum until 2000. We then decided to spend a few years in the UK to give my daughter a chance to go to an English primary school. We enjoyed the UK so much that we stayed until she finished her schooling. We moved back to Turkey this January to take a year off and enjoy our semi-retirement.

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

I’ve always enjoyed writing and started an English Newspaper in Bodrum in the early 90s. I’ve never had time in the past to indulge in writing for fun so eagerly grasped this opportunity.

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?

  • “Name Calling”, I was christened with a name that causes mirth in Turkey .
  • “Free Wheeling”, The buzz word this year is “parsimony” – this blog sums it up.
  • This is titled “Mornings” and is indicative of my unencumbered village life at the moment.

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?

As I’ve lived in Turkey for such a long time – it feels like home to me. However, I’m amazed at how technology has progressed since I last lived here. My internet speeds are much better in our Turkish village than 35 miles outside London. As for culture shock – I felt I’d arrived home the moment I started living here.

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 probably brought too much stuff with us. We already had a fully furnished house here and we are still unpacking the 120 boxes of “irreplaceable” belongings we had shipped over.

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

When I was first learning Turkish I used to get the words ‘ekmek’ and ‘erkek’ mixed up. Which resulted in me trying to buy two men rather than two loaves of bread in the grocers.

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

  • Always rent before you buy and live in a few areas before you choose.
  • Keep a base in your home country until you have lived in Turkey for at least 5 years. It doesn’t suit everyone.
  • Arrive in the winter. You’ll meet more people and the weather will only get better.

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

With its tourism and archaeology, Bodrum has always had a diverse expat working community. I’m lucky to have friends, that I’ve known for over 30 years in Bodrum, from the US, UK, Holland, France, Australia, NZ and Scandinavia. InterNations meetings have been a good place to meet interesting newcomers to Bodrum.

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

I accept and embrace what is going on around me and hopefully use the experience to write a good blog.

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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