Expat Life: Would You Want to Live Here?

by missfootloose on May 5, 2012 · 21 comments

in And So It Goes, life abroad, Turkey

Where would you want to live if you were going to settle down after your traveling or wandering expat life?

Or where would you want to live now, if you were free to choose, and had no worries about having to support yourself? (Yeah, how cool would that be!) Hey, dreaming is cheap.

Whenever I travel to another country, on vacation or otherwise, I always ask myself if this could be the place I’d want to live when my mate and I decide to find a more permanent perch. And of course, while on vacation in Turkey recently (we live in Moldova), I did some pondering and dreaming and considering while sipping wine at a beach-side cafe or wandering through the towns and markets.

So, just in case you don’t get the chance to have a look for yourself at the southwest coast of Turkey, I’m offering up some images to seduce you, or not.

NOTE: Turkey is rich in history and culture, which makes it a place with lots to see and do, and you can find all that in guidebooks and on the Internet. Here I’m just mentioning the little stuff you notice while walking around, eating out, and people watching. So don’t call me a shallow tourist. I know I am one.

A cappuccino hookah? Well, why not.

I love a sidewalk cafe culture. Hailing from Holland, I know all about sitting on terraces, drinking coffee and watching people. I love eating dinner outside in good weather. Café culture is definitely on my wishlist for my dream location. Turkey has it in spades, and you can smoke a hookah as well.

Turkish restaurant

The weather was cool, but the restaurants were ready everywhere.

I love the markets!

Fethiye market Turkey

Just for fun: If you go to the market early, you find scenes like this one below:


Waiting to be dressed

So what is on your wishlist for your dream location? Good weather? Great food? Turkey has a Mediterranean climate, so that’s perfect in my book. And Turkish food is Middle Eastern, varied, delicious. Even the street food is fun and tasty. What more do you want?

Wine? No problem. Turkey is wine producing country, a fact I was not aware of. I read that grape juice has been fermented since Neolithic Hittite times. That’s quite a while. We found wine available everywhere in the stores and restaurants, and although it was not particularly cheap, we enjoyed many a glass. Beer? The local brew is Efes.

Above is the Turkish spinach and cheese pancake I mentioned in my earlier post. And below a photo of another meal we ate sitting outside:

Turkish lamb kebab

Lamb was available everywhere, my favorite red meat.

Below a view of the roofs. Sun energy heats the water in the tanks. Not pretty but it sure is energy efficient.

Water tanks on the roofs of Turkish houses

We loved driving along the coast and in the countryside. Turkey is beautiful, even on a rainy day.

Turkish ruins

Ruins on a rainy day

I could go on but I know you don’t have all day. Just let me close with a picture of a shopping opportunity I came across.

Genuine fake

So there you have it.

* * *
What is your dream location? What is on your wishlist?

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

naomi May 5, 2012 at 5:38 am

Oh this is so fun to do! I think that my dream location for living is somewhere in Italy. We are relocating soon to one of my favorite spots to vacation (Singapore) … but I also have an inkling towards Turkey! We stopped off briefly from a cruise ship but one day was not enough!


YTSL May 5, 2012 at 9:42 am

I’m one of the lucky people who is living in his or her dream location. In my case, it’s Hong Kong — and I have to say that living here has proven to be even better than I had hoped it could be when I made short visits to that which I consider to be Movie Mecca.

For one thing, I hadn’t realized until moving here how conducive Hong Kong is for cultivating the culture vulture and hiking enthusiast as well as film fan and foodie parts of me. For another, as I mentioned on a recent blog post, I love how safe its streets are — touch wood! — at night as well as during the day.

If truth be told though, I’m still taking each year as it comes — and have to admit to wondering if Hong Kong is the kind of place I’d like to be when I’m decades older. (Among other things, it’s so fast paced…) Still, for now, I’m pretty happy where I am — though I do often wish that the summers here weren’t as hot, humid and long! ;b

And Miss Footloose, I visited Turkey a few years back. Had a great time but steered clear of the hookahs. Studies have shown, after all, that smoking them is less healthy than smoking cigarettes! So be careful re them…

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Sammyleia May 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos. We have a day in Turkey while on a cruise in August. A day isn’t enough but we’d like to go back there for longer another time.

I’ve wanted to live in England for ages, and hopefully that dream will come true in about 2 years’ time. Most of my friends think we’re crazy wanting to swap Australia for England, but I love it there. London is my first choice but there are heaps of other areas that I love too.


Pat May 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Oh dear! How to decide where to settle. Tough call for the Footloose of the world. I wouldn’t mind the 4 month plan…a season in Switzerland, Provence France and Northern Wisconsin, nestled in a little red cabin in the woods by a lake. Of course, I am sure part of the ties to that place are linked to family memories. At any rate, I hope I am healthy (and wealthy) enough to enjoy many more travels to distant lands.


Ian May 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm

That is a very nice post, with great photos. You make Turkey sound a very attractive place to retire, and I know a couple of people who have done that.

I like Pat’s idea of a two-centre retirement. I’m thinking of Granada, Spain and Tampa Bay, Florida. But, having lived in 18 countries, I keep changing my mind. I was very taken with the idea of retiring to Panama when I visited it, and a lot of Americans do that. Gran Canaria is another place that appeals.

The next question is whether to rent or buy. Somebody I know who’s retired to Cyprus said he thought it was better value to rent a retirement home. You can still keep a property you own back in your home country – in my case, England – and the rental income from that will more than cover your expenses in a cheaper country.
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Karen May 6, 2012 at 5:35 am

They say that one hookah session is the equivalent of 100 cigarettes. I wish it weren’t so because whenever I go into a hookah bar it looks sooo relaxing and such a great way for people to enjoy each other’s conversation. Turkey is an amazing place though. I enjoyed your post!
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missfootloose May 6, 2012 at 8:39 am

Karen, I’ve only ever smoked a few puffs from a hookah a couple of times in Palestine and I think once in Jordan, just for fun and entertainment. I do love those gaudy things as a piece if decoration, although they do look odd as part of a western home decor 😉


Sandra May 6, 2012 at 6:22 pm

That is such a wonderful question and it’s one that I continually ask myself when I travel. Right now, I am an American living in Stockholm with my Australian husband. For a long time, we’ve said we would like homes in the southern and northern hemisphere so as to be in summer year round. And it sounds like I need to add Turkey to my travel list.


Greg@helsinki blog May 6, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I am content with Finland as my base country and S weden and Portugal as the other for winter seasons
I do travel to Turkey for 2 week holidays but would not consider living there
Guess that may be my predudice and Turkey needs to castch up with Euro laws regardig human-rights


Carole May 6, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I’ve never been to Turkey as I was discouraged by their attitude to women. Love the genuine fake’s board.
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edj May 7, 2012 at 3:48 am

I do this too 🙂 Turkey looks fantastic. I’m adding it to my list. (What, you don’t have a list?)
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Mara May 7, 2012 at 5:29 pm

As long as there is plenty of snow in the winter (I love snow), and it isn’t too hot during the summer, I am quite happy. At least that’s my attitude right now!
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Steph May 8, 2012 at 9:27 am

You’ve got me thinking … We haven’t been on holiday for years due to having a farmful of critters so I’m kind of out of the habit of seeing different locations and going through that fun thing of imagining yourself living there. I’ll have to make do with being happy here for a while longer I guess!
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sine May 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm

From what I’ve heard, and seen here now, I’d love to live in Turkey. To think that back when I was growing up, Turkey was considered backward. But I guess it was really our thinking back then that was backward.
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Claire May 8, 2012 at 5:07 pm

We haven’t been on holiday for years due to having a farmful of critters so I’m kind of out of the habit of seeing different locations and going through that fun thing of imagining yourself living there.
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Joy (My Turkish Joys) May 8, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Lovely photos taken from your tripp here in Turkey! I’ve been calling Istanbul home for nearly 2 years now and have fully embraced my life here as much as I can. I may be an American expat and stand out as a blonde yabanci, but I make an effort to speak Turkish and shop locally at the markets. We’ve been able to travel and explore so much around Turkey – it’s full of history! Not sure where I’ll call home permanently again, but I’ll enjoy the adventure while I can.


Gladys | ByahengBarok.com May 9, 2012 at 4:16 am

must be a really great place to live in someday. i’d prefer the simple, quiet towns than a buzzing city. yes, that’s a good place to live 🙂


Sonia Marsh/GutsyLiving May 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I’ve been hearing more and more about Turkey, and how many Brits are deciding to retire there. My son went there ten years ago, at 14, and loved the food and still talks about it today. He was sailing with some French relatives. The food looks delicious. I didn’t realize they use solar power. In a way, they’re ahead of the U.S. with their energy needs.
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Annabel candy May 12, 2012 at 3:13 am

Hi Karen that I’ve been to Turkey it’s fun I love that too. I don’t think I could move to somewhere permanently that was an Islamic because of all the needs for women to coverup and wear modest clothes.

Although by the time I’m retired I properly should be wearing a head to toe robe anyway 🙂

I might retire somewhere in SE Asia…


Anni May 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Beautiful photos and fabulous writing. If I had to chose for location only, I would pick Chile or Peru. I have spent the past 8 years in SE Asia and my childhood in the Middle East. I am ready for South America if I had a choice.


missfootloose May 20, 2012 at 9:53 pm

I hear good things about Chili and Peru! I’ve been to Ecuador, which is beautiful, but it’d filling up with retiring North Americans, like Panama and Costa Rica. Walmart is next 😉


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