Avoiding the dreaded expat syndrome in Turkey

Avoiding the dreaded expat syndrome in Turkey

Avoiding the dreaded expat syndrome in Turkey

Turkey’s coastal towns and cities are as popular with expat retirees as they are with entrepreneurs looking to start a new business, but pensioners need to avoid the ‘expat syndrome’ at all costs.

Turkey is known for its idyllic lifestyle, Mediterranean climate and inexpensive cost of living, attracting not only a huge number of tourists but also retirees looking for a relaxed, friendly environment after decades of hard work. The country offers many benefits for elderly expats but has its challenges as well.

Most new arrivals happily sign up for language courses, without realising Turkish isn’t the most straightforward of foreign tongues to master, or factoring in the reality that most Turks are eager to learn English and practice it with you! Those who’ve decided to leave their countries of birth for Turkey because they’re sick to death of unnecessary bureaucracy are in for a shock, as every single encounter with red tape is about as frustrating as it can possibly get.

Registering your electric metre, applying for residency, finding out driving laws, getting internet access and more means you’re caught in a very long-winded process due to the number of separate government departments which simply have get involved. Even in today’s digital age, Turkish interdepartmental communications take literally ages to get from A to Z.

Having said the above, the one problem to avoid if at all possible is the so-called ‘expat syndrome’ which hits after you’ve been resident for around three years. Suddenly, you’ve far too much time on your hands even although you’ve been successfully de-stressed and your batteries are charged to overflowing.

Unfortunately, your mind is now dissatisfied and seriously bored.
Examples of those suffering this syndrome can be seen sitting in bars all afternoon getting very, very drunk and losing all motivation as well as forgetting a dream retirement in Turkey was their idea in the first place.

The only cure is find a purpose in your life, such as sobering up and volunteering for a charity or discovering a hobby you didn’t even know you wanted to take on. Given you’ll have put on a great deal of unhealthy weight due to inactivity and too many calories, the local gym or several home-based exercise machines are both great ideas, as is the Turkish habit of a long walk every morning.

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