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Why I Swapped The New Jersey Nets For The Turkish Riviera
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Why I Swapped the New Jersey Nets for the Turkish Riviera

My story begins at Ohio State University, where I studied Computer Science and played tennis alongside the university team. Like most sports, our tennis team was a truly international affair with players coming from all over the world, Germany, England, Sweden and even Turkey. That’s how I met Ayla, a budding young tennis player from Antalya in Turkey who would become a life-long friend.

After graduation, in 2001 we all took our own directions. I worked in Toronto for a while before moving to New Jersey to work as a web developer. During that time I remained friends with Ayla, we kept in touch online and then in 2005 she persuaded me to visit Turkey for a holiday.

What I liked about Antalya, was the lovely turquoise water, clean beaches and of course the impressive backdrop of the Taurus Mountains. The seawater in Antalya is very pure with hardly any waves, the feeling you get when swimming there is just like being in a giant pool. Aside from the scenery, I also have to mention the Turkish food. The fresh home grown taste of the fruits and vegetables are out of this world, the delicious Simit (round bread topped with sesame seeds) are delicious and they make pastries to die for. I found myself enjoying the really simple things in life.

There would be more holidays to Turkey to follow. I’ve stayed in Antalya 3 times, and also vacationed in Side and a golfing resort in Belek. Two years ago, my uncle died leaving me a small inheritance. When I was researching investment opportunities I wasn’t surprised to learn that Turkey is one of the best places in the world to invest in property. My friend Ayla was delighted when I called her and said that I might buy a property. Ayla put me in touch with an estate agent called Turkish Riviera Homes. When I called them about opportunities they suggested that I buy an apartment off-plan. The prices were within my budget and they offered inspection trips so I could see developments myself.

I bought my flat in the winter of 2009. Looking back I was a bit nervous about investing in a new build but the paper work was solid and there was a land guarantee and legal protection should anything go wrong. The estate agent Zekiye was amazing, very friendly and an expert in all aspects of property, financing and the legal side. I found the process of buying a property very smooth. When the flat was completed in February 2011 they even organised the furniture and everything was prepared for me.

When I received photos of the finished flat, the idea of living there was just irresistible. It’s a modern flat with big windows looking out to the mountains and very close to the beach. The flat also has a private swimming pool and gym I couldn’t have asked for more. As a freelance web developer I had some flexibility to work from anywhere and I thought it would be great to live in Antalya for a 3 month trial before renting out the flat. You might have guessed the ending to my story already, I’m still living in Turkey and I’m about to rent out my property in New Jersey instead!

There is so much I love about Turkey, including the low cost of living, the perfect climate and plenty of opportunities to play sport. I do miss family and not being able to go to the New Jersey Nets games but then I wake up every day knowing that I live in one of the loveliest places in the world. The main challenge for me now is to learn Turkish but I'm working on that. Having Ayla around is wonderful, we organise dinner parties, shopping trips and cinema nights we have lots of fun when whenever we can. I’m an avid blogger on the Turkish living forum and have some contacts through that.

The main challenges for me are finding work and learning to speak Turkish which is important if I want my independence. There are many resources online for learning Turkish and I push myself to speak to the locals and have lots of laughs trying to converse with them. I’m having a great time in Turkey; I’ve got friends, seaside and sun. I have no plans to go back to the US and wouldn’t swap my new life for anything.

Additional information

A modern 2 bedroom flat close to the beach in Antalya cost me 78,000 euro


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