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BLOG How to Settle In When You’ve Moved to Antalya

28 May 2021 / Lifestyle

Congratulations – you made the decision to live in Antalya permanently! You found somewhere to live, organised everything back home, packed up the belongings you couldn’t be without, and you’re here. Welcome to your new life.

It’s exciting, for sure, but you’d also be forgiven for feeling nervous. Perhaps it even seems like a bit of an anti-climax after weeks, months or maybe even years of planning. You’ve been longing for the day when you could buy your dream home in Antalya for so long, now it’s happened you’re not sure how you feel.

First of all, relax. Moving to a new country is a big step, and you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t experience the odd wobble. Settling in takes time – our guide will help.

Make a plan

There are some official jobs to do once you’ve moved to Turkey, such as organising your residence permit, arranging health insurance and switching utility bills into your name. Although they are important, you don’t have to rush around immediately. If you’ve moved from the UK, for example, you can stay in Turkey for up to 90 days before you need a residence permit.

Get a calendar and write down important dates, deadlines and when you intend to do each task. Seeing it clearly laid out will help you feel more organised; you’ll be able to get used to your new environment without feeling you ‘should’ be doing something else.

Give yourself time

However much you’ve longed to live in Antalya, it would be unrealistic to feel 100% at home instantly. Even if you’ve holidayed in the area regularly, there’s a difference between staying in a luxury villa for a few weeks and being here full time.

Everyday activities such as going grocery shopping can be overwhelming, with unfamiliar brands and different names. It’s unlikely you’ll have needed floor cleaner while on vacation, for example – so why would you know instantly what you’re looking for when you walk into a shop?

Accept the learning experience will take a while and enjoy it rather than feeling frustrated.

Ask for help if you need it

Many of us find it really hard to admit we need help. But when you move to a new country, you’ll find there’s a lot you don’t know – not least because the language is unfamiliar. You’re not the first to tread unfamiliar ground, and the good news is that those who have gone before you are generally willing to share their experiences.

There are plenty of online forums and Facebook groups where you’ll find expats who have already made the move. Wondering when the meter is read or how to pay your electricity bill? Looking for a handyman to do some odd jobs in your new apartment? Perhaps you’re a keen walker and just want to know some good local routes. Just ask – nobody will mind.

It’s ok to feel homesick

You can’t expect to move thousands of miles away from your family and friends and not miss them. However exciting your new life, no matter how much you love the stunning sea view from your villa in Kalkan, there will be times when you wish they were there with you.

Similarly, the culture shock can sometimes be a little overpowering; it will take a little while to adapt to new customs and habits. Or you could simply find yourself missing your favourite brand of tea bags and find yourself longing for familiar products on the supermarket shelves.

All this is entirely natural, so don’t beat yourself up about it. Make the most of modern technology to arrange video calls with people back home. Visit the local import shop if you’re missing Heinz baked beans. Accept there are times when you’ll long for the familiar, especially early on. You’ve been used to one way of life for years, so give yourself at least six months to get used to a new one.

Make some friends

Antalya is home to a sizeable expat community from different nations. You’ll find no shortage of groups or activities where you can get involved and meet people, whether alone or with a partner.

You’ll naturally gravitate to those who speak your language, but don’t forget to make Turkish friends too. After all, you moved here because you wanted to enjoy the Turkish way of life – you can’t truly do that if you’re not part of the local community.

Learn the language

You’ll probably have picked up a few words on holiday, but once you move to Antalya it can be daunting to realise how little Turkish you know. Don’t get too downhearted – there are some great translation apps that can help you from the start.

Long term, it makes sense to try and learn the language more thoroughly. If in-person classes aren’t your thing, try an app or online course where you can go at your own pace. You don’t need to be fluent – a few basic tenses and decent vocabulary will get you a long way in your new life in Antalya.

Thinking of buying?

Our team has a wealth of experience when it comes to buying and selling Turkish property. If you’re considering moving to the region or buying a holiday home in Antalya, take a look at our buyers’ guide. You’ll find lots of helpful advice and information, along with our current portfolio of available properties.

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