Digital Nomad Woman Working In Turkey
Pros and Cons of Being A Digital Nomad Woman Working In Turkey
Your first love is always the most poignant, the one you never forgot. But what do you do when it’s two first loves? I fell in love in Turkey, no not a Shirley Valentine affair, well maybe but not about a man. As a digital nomad, I fell in love with Istanbul and Alanya. Alanya on the Mediterranean coast was my very first love affair with a town. I can still remember my first sight of it lit up by the morning sun, took my breath away. My second love came more slowly, the eternal dance of romance and excitement with an exotic flavour. So how come I fell in love? Like any good story, I must start in the middle somewhere!
I am a digital nomad. What I hear you say? Well, according to Wikipedia, “A digital nomad is someone who leverages technology and the internet to work remotely and more generally conducts their lifestyle in a nomadic manner.” I love the term, a ‘nomad’, ‘a wanderer’, ‘someone who carries their home with them’ and I think ‘digital nomad’ describes me perfectly. I will be honest, after university I could not settle, I tried a few career paths but never seemed to ‘own’ them. Always restless, constantly looking for something else, although did not know what that was. Thankfully the experience I gained during this time morphed into the work I love doing now. I travel with no constraining schedule and have blended my job and life into something I feel comfortable with.
I choose Turkey as the first stop on my travelling, working, journey. The reasons? I had a few. First, it was near enough to home as a backup. Being honest here. It was different enough to challenge me, a new culture, a different religious background. Turkey’s history also showed it has a very long tradition of welcoming travellers. The juxtaposition between East and West that is Turkey appealed to me and seemed to be the perfect place for a newly fledged digital nomad. The modern amenities, the availability of recognisable branding – call me shallow but it’s important to me: along with new and different opportunities. And finally the chance of a simpler, less fast-paced life that offered me the opportunity to live the lifestyle I choose but at a cheaper cost than in Europe or America.
I was not disappointed. Turkish culture welcomes you with open arms, well the people do. The bureaucracy is rather tedious and long winded. Very frustrating, recently residency visas have been complicated enough to remove love’s rose-coloured glasses. The weather is fabulous, imagine going for a swim then sitting using the beach bar’s free internet to work in December. Yes, you can still go to the beach in December on the Med coast. The downside is July and August, too many tourists and 50° heat. Not a good combination for a freelance worker. When it’s too hot to think, and your fingers stick to the keyboard, it’s time to visit Istanbul.
My other love is frenetic, lively, romantic, historical, Istanbul. Autumn is a great time to be there, great food, lower numbers of tourists. A lot more expensive to live than in other areas of Turkey but that is the cost of living in a city. Finding time to work here is the problem so much to see and do. Internet access, essential to a digital nomad is available in Turkey in theory 4G. The reality, slow speed, black spots all over the city and recent increase in banned sites makes a great job slightly more of a chore.
Being a woman traveller on her own can bring with it all sorts of safety issues, but I can truly say not been an issue. Obviously, you take precautions and do not wander dark city street alone, that only leaves the rather pushy traders, and the imaginative bill tariffs to be dealt with.
I think my ménage à trois would have continued for slightly longer if the practicalities of life had not stepped in. As a freelancer, it is convenient and practical to use online banking, in particularly PayPal and Skrill. Both have been banned in Turkey in the past year, making life far more complicated than this Nomad wanted. So, bags packed, tears shed and off to pastures new.
As I sit in in the Villa Rosiche, not far from the famous Slaveikov Square in Sofia eating one of their delicious pastries I reflect on my first loves. They will never be forgotten as is only right but what I gained from living there will always be with me. As a nomad, even after falling in love the travelling calls to me. My time in Turkey taught me I can deal with difficulties, I am resourceful and confident. And now it is time to see what a new love can offer. Bulgaria brings it on.
This article has been carefully prepared by Inga, a guest blogger for the One Nomad Woman site, and her bio can be found below 🙂
Author Bio: Inga Lindstrom is a marketing professional from Gothenburg, Sweden. She works as a freelance digital marketer in her free time and her dream is to do that as her full time business. Inga likes traveling around the world enjoying beautiful beaches and dramatic shorelines.