"How did you, a single Canadian woman (with absolutely no relevant skills or training), end up owning a private yacht charter business in Turkey?
Oh, they may phrase it differently, but it's a question that guests ask. Every. Single. Time.
Earlier this week we hosted 15 little old ladies from the UK. Not regular passengers, just travellers looking for a safe and quiet spot to wait during their 8-hour layover in Fethiye. These ladies were wonderful guests. Friendly, smart, chatty, undemanding, and... hard of hearing. Which means I got to answer the same question 15 times!
As you might imagine, my story starts with an epic holiday in Turkey. My friend Janice kept a blog of the trip, which outlined all the important details, so I won't repeat them here. What she didn't include in the story was a brief exchange we had in Marmaris.
We had just disembarked from the high-speed ferry and set foot on Turkish soil for the first time. "I am meant to be here," I blurted as I was overcome by a tremendous feeling of belonging. Normally, I'm quite grounded - not given to whoo-hoo, out there, flights of fancy. Janice was stunned by my admission, but she wasn't nearly as surprised as I.
The trip was magic! I connected, explored, and experienced in ways I never had in Canada (or anywhere else, for that matter!). Turkey touched a part of me that I'd never felt before. And I liked it!
During our journey home a few weeks later, we talked about returning for another visit. Janice even raised the possibility of investing in a gulet so we could return for holidays each year.
I had a full time job, and was busy living life as a single woman on a large acreage in rural Alberta. The idea of gulet ownership and a Mediterranean lifestyle was appealing, but the realities of my "real life" quickly took over. How in the world could I make it happen?
Life threw me some challenges
Well, a series of devastating events took place that completely changed my life. I've described them elsewhere in the blog, so won't go into the details here. In short, I was no longer able to live my old life. It was time to create something new.
My criteria for a new life:
- Possible with extremely limited vision - I'm now quite literally blind as a bat!
- Allows me to me travel - lots!
- Challenges me - can't be boring!
- No winter - winter sucks!
After several months of reflection and planning, I moved to Turkey and established Arkadaslik Yachting. It wasn't easy, and I'm sure I've made some (many???) bad decisions and mistakes along the way. But, in just a few short years, I've created a new life for myself with a home, a family and a business I'm proud of.
That's the short answer to how I ended up living the life I do. Do you have questions? Comments? Feedback? Feel free to send me an e-mail to connect. And, if you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it on social media!