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 guests, just travellers looking for a safe and quiet spot to wait during their 8-hour layover in Fethiye. These ladies were wonderful visitors. Friendly, smart, chatty, undemanding, and... hard of hearing. Which means I got to answer the same question 15 times!
You? Here? How? Why?
"How did you, a single Canadian woman (with absolutely no relevant skills or training), end up owning and managing a private yacht charter business in Turkey?"
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 of our nearly four-week adventure, 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.
My time in Turkey 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 to Turkey 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 when we returned home. Thoughts of starting a new life were quickly forgotten. After all, how in the world could I make it happen?
Life Threw Me Some Challenges
Well, over the next several months 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.
I determined the following criteria for a new life:
- Possible with extremely limited vision - due to detached retinas in both eyes, I was quite literally blind as a bat!
- Provides me with an income.
- Allows me to me travel.
- Challenges me / can't be boring!
- Minimizes winter weather - I detest cold weather!
My Re-Designed Life
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.