When a virus re-writes your well planned move to a new country

Well, I thought all I needed to do was to handle my imminent move to Turkey as calmly as possible. Not for one minute would I have imagined the situation I am currently finding myself in. The COVID-19 virus has thrown all my well organised plans up in the air. The whole world is in a lockdown so I am staying put for the time being. But I do not have my own home here anymore.

Moving to Turkey from post: When a virus re-writes your well planned move to a new country

I already knew that my life was going to change since September. All our lives, we take decisions based on the information we have at a given time. Some of these are big, some are negligible. Looking back, most of my big decisions were taken without much thought and were perhaps foolish ones, but of course it is easy to say that now. Nevertheless, because of one of the major decisions I took years ago, I now find myself forced to make a life changing decision by moving to Turkey. 

Why Turkey? It is actually not because I am Turkish, but because life is cheaper there especially when one’s income is in British Pounds. So that’s reason one. A huge plus is having my brother and my nephew living there. Moreover having other family and friends in the area has made this decision easier to cope with. Still, it took me months to digest and accept my new situation. I went through all sorts of emotions. Mainly self-blame, but who has been able to change their past?

Bodrum marina from post: When a virus re-writes your well planned move to a new country

The speculation turned to reality when I found my new home in Bodrum, south of Turkey. Thanks to my brother it took two and a half days to find, rent, sign and seal the contract. We even had time to buy furniture for the amazing veranda with has a stunning view.

Since my departure was scheduled for the end of March, I thought it would be practical to leave my rented flat on 7th March.  One of my good friends kindly offered me a room to stay in her house.  With a heavy heart I started my farewell lunches and dinners with my friends. It all felt very unreal, totally strange.  All my major life events have taken place in this country; university, marriage, the birth of my children, my career in primary schools to just mention a few of them.  Every time I meet an ex-pupil in town I am reminded of the precious years I worked as a teacher. I have wonderful friends here, my two sons can be home with me in a matter of a few hours. 

Home though is no longer home. Technically I have no home in the country I considered home for 37 years! Because of the abrupt changes that happened in my life, I often found myself fearing becoming homeless. There have been situations where I was indeed in a pickle but solutions have always been found. Always. I have developed a trust in the universe and I expect things to get better. They always do. I am soon moving to another kind friend’s house. I am so lucky to have such kindness around me. 

I also believe we get what we ask for. Deep down I wish I did not have to make this move. I thought, ‘I am leaving as Spring starts, there is more daylight, soon the amazing fresh green leaves will cover all the trees and I won’t be here to see it’. Now I am hoping I will not see the dark green leaves taking over.

It is in my nature to try to learn a lesson from everything. That’s how I can cope. So far what have I learnt? We attract what we fear the most. Despite having faith in the universe, and the amount of work I have done on myself, I am aware that this fear still needs to be worked on and removed from my being. My trust must become absolute. And watch what you wish for, for it might become reality.

View from my balcony: from post: When a virus re-writes your well planned move to a new country

I guess what I have experienced emotionally is normal. Now, I am looking forward to this next adventure for isn’t life an adventure? My new home is waiting for me in Bodrum. The area is beautiful. The weather is amazing. My Turkish friends often call to ask me when I am arriving. They have been helping to get my new flat ready. In these very uncertain times I choose to see the positive. I am so grateful to all my friends here and there. I wish them all good health, safe from this terrible virus.

I am such a lucky person.


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S A Longden
S A Longden
2 years ago

Its easier moving these days to a foreign country, with the internet one can keep in touch, listen to radio and TV, connect with friends, stay a member of an organisation. When I lived in the USA, California, I nearly went loopy for lack of cultural reference, made one friend who was also an ex-pat (we used to watch excreable TV like Dallas and laugh over it while my work colleagues literally could not see what was weird..); but at least the language is almost the same so I had the library and church and movies. But I missed things to join, like the WI (Daughters of the American Revolution was the only women’s club bar golfing and Lionesses), TV programmes like the Two Ronnies or Top of the Pops, Woman’s Weekly and Prima, hearing other English accents and humour (I became horribly ‘trans-atlantic’ and even now 30 years back there are still traces evident).