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Monday, June 09, 2008

Why we live in Turkey.

This post is for several people who have recently asked me why I live in Turkey. So Rhonda, Stella, Givinya De Elba, and the Over-Thinker here is a shortened version of a long story.

Since before Brian and I were married we talked about living overseas. It was something we always knew we wanted to do someday. We got married in 1991, worked jobs, had kids, and never really felt like it was time to actually take the plunge until 2001. We had a friend who had a company here in Turkey. He was looking for a few people to come work with him. We thought about it, prayed about it, thought about it, prayed about it...a lot! We decided it was the right time for our family. Our oldest was 9, and we thought if we waited much longer it would be harder for her to adjust to living in a different country. So we did it. We accepted the job and in March of 2002 we moved to Turkey. The company mainly does import/export and consulting in sports, tourism, and business.

So there you have it. Not the romantic story it could be. Quite practical actually. Well...I did leave out the part about selling or giving away all our worldly possessions in America and arriving in Turkey with nothing and having to completely start over buying everything and not knowing a lick of Turkish. That wasn't very practical. That was just plain crazy! Story of my life. Practically crazy.

28 comments:

Hahn at Home said...

Yeah, but when you do crazy stuff like that, you get the BEST stories.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting, Natalie. Do you all now speak Turkish fluently? Or even not fluently? Is there an English-speaking community there? How in the heck do you figure out where to live when you just move over there like that? That must have been a crazy but interesting time. Mamadallama (I had to choose "anonymous" because I can't figure out how to log back in. I'll figure it out eventually...)

Mullins said...

Thank you Natalie! I was wondering why you were living in Turkey too!

Love your blog!

Stella said...

That's pretty incredible! I think it takes such courage to pick up like that and go!!
Are you there indefinitely and what happens when you come back to the states?

I know, I'm full of questions!

Momo Fali said...

What rebels you are! I don't know if I'd be brave enough to make a move like that. Actually, I'm pretty darn sure I wouldn't be.

~m said...

That's awesome! I so wish we could be living abroad again. But the whole being far away from family thing has me conflicted with our new little guy who needs to be made much of by his nana.
Doesn't your husband's company need an accountant like say in about 7 years or so???

Charlie Girl said...

Well, you are very, very practical if nothing else...

Thanks for sharing!

Natalie said...

hahn at home - i know. and we do have some good ones. brian has said that as soon as we get back to the states i won't have anything good to write about anymore. i plan to prove him wrong!

mamdallama - we do speak turkish, but not anywhere close to fluently. brian is the best of all of us for sure! there is quite a large english speaking community here as well as a large international one. we have friends from all over the world! it has been an amazing adventure! our friend who we came to work with picked out our apartment for us. he knew we had four kids so he got us a four bedroom. our boys share a room. we stayed with his family while we bought mattresses and a few other pieces of furniture. when we moved into our apartment we had a refrigerator, a washing machine, an oven, mattresses on the floor, and a kitchen table and chairs. and lots of boxes! it was great! the kids loved all the extra room to just run around!

mullins - i'm so glad you are enjoying my blog! i love new readers! i figured after 4 people in the last week asked my why i lived in turkey i should write something about that!

stella - it didn't feel so courageous to us at the time. we knew we wanted to do it so we did it. the worst part was getting rid of the stuff in america, selling our house, tying up loose ends. i was wishing i could snap my fingers and it just be done! we are planning on being back in the states in november and will reevaluate the job then. we are thinking it is time for some sort of change, but we aren't sure what that should be yet.

momo fali - well i do tend to have a rebellious streak. i think it's endearing...um...yeah right!

~m - i do love living overseas. i don't think it will be for much longer, but i am so thankful for the experience! my parents are ready to have the grandkids back for sure! but then again they have 7 more who live close by so i think they have survived pretty well!

i'll check on a job for you!

charlie girl - i know. too practical for my own good sometimes. i know.

Sparkliesunshine said...

I think that is really great. Me and my gf talk about living overseas at some point in our lives. I'm thrilled you got the chance to do this.

No burgers though? Wha? Say it isn't so.

citizen of the world said...

Hey, thanks, I've been wondering that myself. (Along with wondering how you landed on my blog when I was passing through Turkey.)

The Over-Thinker said...

Thank you for telling us! I've seriously been trying to guess. And I was waaaaay off. I totally admire you for taking such a leap---you are brave!

I've always wanted to be British when I grew up---maybe I should really do it :)

Mike S said...

Natalie, I'm definitely with you and Hahn on this one. Trouble is, at my age the old stories are fading and I'm having a hard time finding a position overseas for an 'Official Maine Geezer' or even a 'Crazy Old Indian Coot' so as to collect new ones:)

Natalie said...

sparkliesunshine - living here has really opened up my worldview. i wouldn't have it any other way! and yes we can get burgers from one place and they are pretty good. they don't have all the choices for topping though.

citizen of the world - i have no idea how i found your blog. i think i had commented on it another time before that. maybe even twice. i tend to blog surf so i'm sure i found it that way.

over-thinker - i can't even imagine what your idea was! do i even want to know? my british accent sucks so i couldn't go there!

mike s - i'm sure i will forget a lot of the stories with time. that is one reason i am so glad i can put stuff here!

Kristi said...

From one practically crazy mom to another -- way to jump in with both feet!

Loralee Choate said...

Aha! I knew if I hung on long enough someone ELSE would ask that question. :)

Natalie said...

kristi - thanks! i enjoy being practically crazy! it's way fun!

loralee - inquiring minds wanted to know. i had to write this post about it...because i am a giver! you know.

Walking With Scissors said...

I'm glad to know why you moved as well! Romantic or not, it's pretty brave to up and go, just like that.

When I was about 10, my dad had a job offer in Kenya. My parents strongly considered going but ultimately decided not to. 20 years later and I'm still thinking that I missed out.

Natalie said...

walking with scissors - it didn't feel so brave at the time. it felt like exactly what we were supposed to do.

one thing living overseas has done for me is make me want to visit different countries. india, china, new zealand...all on the top of my list!

Your Pal Pinki said...

We've thought of selling it all and moving to Canada and we always talk ourselves out of it. I can't imagine moving across the world. How adventurous! I saw your comment on my friend Nanny Goats in Panties blog. Before I even knew you were in Turkey I thought your blog was very like my blog with the kids and food and pizza being one of your family pics. : ) We do love pizza. Hope to hear from you.

Natalie said...

your pal pinky - or should i say "my pal pinky" it has definitely been an adventure! for sure. welcome to the other side of the world! and yes we do love pizza!

Zedral Z said...

I'm getting ready to move to Turkey next month. I'll be teaching at a university in Istanbul. I'm so glad I stumbled across your blog!

Natalie said...

zedral z - we do love it here! i am looking forward to having some time back in america, but this has been a really great place to live!

Colleen said...

Wow, amazing!

Natalie said...

colleen - easy for you to say! just kidding! it has been an amazing experience for sure. life changing. i'm so glad we did it!

Zedral Z said...

I have been in Istanbul since August 25 and so far I love it. I like my job, I like my students, I like my apartment (except for an unfortunate incident involving a giant bug). I plan to take some Turkish classes so I can get around better, but most people have been very friendly and helpful.

Natalie said...

zedral - i actually just reread these comments the other day and wondered if you made it! i'm glad you checked in. and giant bugs...ewww...i am with you on that one!

friyet said...

i was curious, i was shy! thanks for sharing ~ wonderful experience for your whole family, jealous too. and btw ~ i love this photo calendar thingy you have going over here to the right!

Natalie said...

friyet - don't be shy! ask away. i am pretty much an open book! i don't even remember where i got that calendar thingy. i think you can click on it and get one yourself!