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Susan: Never Miss An Opportunity

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.

We’re a family of five from Alberta, Canada. In Alberta, we live on an acreage in a farming community. We have three children who we home educate. Cam travelled to Turkey twice in 2011 for work and we moved here in December 2011. We expect to return to Canada at some point, but don’t have a date in mind yet.

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

Initially, Susan was encouraged by home schooling friends to blog so they could keep up with our life in Turkey. Now we blog to have a record of our travels and experiences.

Do you have any favourite blog entries of yours?

Here’s a few family favourite posts: “Historical places in a day”, “A new language by lunch time”, “Chai and a Show”, “I said I wouldn’t get wet

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

The biggest changes relate to our family life. In Canada, Cam worked away from home 200 days each year. We owned our own home. We had two vehicles. Our children, although educated at home, typically socialized with friends an hour or more away from home. Now we spend most of our time together. We have one vehicle. Here we are surrounded by more people, but feel more isolated. We are stared at on the street. Power outages are a daily occurrence in our community. Grocery shopping isn’t one stop shopping anymore and there is no mail delivery.

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 weren’t fully prepared for Turkey. Language lessons before we left Canada would have been the best possible preparation.

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

We are always surprised and amused by what seems natural or obvious to us and what seems natural to Turks. Cam had to buy a length of rope for work, only to discover rope is sold by weight and not by length here.

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

Bring fitted sheets for your bed. If you’re petite, tall or large bring clothes and shoes. If you’re driving, buy a GPS, but don’t trust it.

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

We live close to Cam’s work in a rural area more than three hours from Istanbul. We have no expat community where we live. Although we have been warmly welcomed by neighbours, our children are lonesome for playmates and we’re hungry for conversation.

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

Every day is an adventure!

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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