2017 FunkTravels CatieFunk House Minimalism

EXPAT YEARS: Our First Year Abroad (Year 1 Part 1)

‘You get a strange feeling when you leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love, but you miss the person you are at this time and place because you’ll never be this way ever again.’ — Azar Nafasi

4 checked bags, 2 carry ons, and 2 people boarded a 5 a.m. flight leaving 2 sets of parents behind at the airport in the U.S.A.  Excitement, nervousness, and surrealness flooded our thoughts as we traveled to Spain where our other 4 packages were waiting for us at our cousin’s home. Our original destination was Izmir, Turkey, the place that we hoped would be our home for the next 3 years. But with the coup taking place just 2 short weeks before, we detoured to Spain for a month.

Leaving the states!

Instead of spending one more month in the states we stuck to our original departure date – determined to move overseas. We felt that delaying our move would make it harder to leave, and believe me, it was sad enough leaving family and friends behind. So 20 hours later with a very lengthy layover in the Chicago airport, we found our (very tired) selves on the sunny beaches of Rota, Spain.

Since then, these 2 people have….

FunkTravels Podcast Episode017
Sailing Trip in Turkey
FunkTravels Eski Foca
Exploring Eski Foca, Turkey with new friends

And the truth? There have been MANY times I have regretted moving those first few months, especially while we were settling in.

BUT the great reality?

REGRETS and ‘second guessing’ are COMPLETELY NORMAL. And in all honesty, part of the deal. The disagreements between Jason and I about what and how much to buy, having to research and learn what to do here before you can make 5,000 decisions, deciding to budget high for travel although we had just moved, investing money into our language learning when it could be easier not to learn it at all, having to deal with having surgery in another country, the days where you don’t want to deal with culture or think about how every way you act.

REGRETS and 'second guessing' are COMPLETELY NORMAL. And in all honesty, part of the deal. Click To Tweet

And when those thoughts of regret happened?

Tears, sadness, loneliness, reflection, prayers (lots and lots of prayers), and choosing joy and happiness. I remember it is WORTH it. I remember how long we planned and dreamed for something like this. I remember the list of gratitudes I started in my prayer journal. I remember how sweet our neighbors, church, and friends are. I remember how far I have come for the ‘not so easy learner.’

I remember it is WORTH it. I remember how long we planned and dreamed for something like this Click To Tweet
Cyprus

And even now? ONE year later?

I am SO VERY THANKFUL we made the move. The decisions, awkward start of friendships, and transitioning from one life to another have had even more happy moments to accompany them. We have walked through our Turkish friends’ wedding, sang songs in another language, loved on Turkish and expat kids that are not our nieces and nephews, and celebrated life with those around us!

The decisions, awkward start of friendships, and transitioning from one life to another have had even more happy moments to accompany them. Click To Tweet

And you know what?

Year 2 is already starting off to be an even better year!

 

Questions for you!

Do you live in another country other than your native one? If so, where?

What emotions did you feel your first year abroad? Was it easier or harder than you expected?

Do you have a funny story to share? I would love to hear it!

New Years in Prague

 

Like this post? Pin it to your board!

FunkTravels Expat Abroad Podcast Turkey


P.S. – Stick around for part 2 and 3! I can’t wait to share even more about our first year abroad and what it taught us!

EXPAT YEARS: Year 1 Roundup Series – Our First Year Abroad (Part 2)

EXPAT YEARS: Year 1 Roundup – The truth about living Abroad

 

 

FunkTravels Fitness

WRITING: Get Fit with These 3 Fitness Apps

Exercise has always been a part of my life and tends to always make it into my year goals . It started with my mom and dad always committing to exercising when we were young. Throughout primary school and into high school, physical education class continued reinforcing the importance. Then I continued on with it throughout college. I will admit, there were season of inactivity and it was never helpful! I feel like I have been in one of those seasons recently actually. So this is a post is a good reminder how I can exercise on the road!

I wrote an article featured on SaganMorrow titled Get Fit with These 3 Fitness Apps. In the post, I highlighted 3 apps I have used and loved.

 

 

Unfortunately, the website I wrote for recently rebranded and the article is no longer available via her website.

But you can still read the article below:

________________________________

What type of exercise do you like? Or if you don’t like to exercise, which of these seem to be the most appealing: running, pilates, strengthening, or something else entirely? I generally feel the best after I go for a run, but I don’t always want to run; cue the excuses of bad weather, being tired, and.. to be completely honest..  my personal lack of motivation (but let’s not talk about that one!).

So if you are anything like me, your love for exercise ebbs and flows. When I was living and traveling overseas, I was forced me to be creative in how to do my exercising.  My biggest question was “What else can I do to adapt and spice up my routine?”

I found that choosing a workout video, an online cardio class, or pilates routine helped keep things interesting but the internet is not always dependable when you are traveling. But since living in the states for the last few years, there have been 3 helpful tools that I have found to kept me going:

  1. Mapmyrun (app)

There are many exercise tracking apps, but I have enjoyed mapmyrun the most. It is great for running, walking, biking, or pretty much anything else you can do outside. This app uses your phone’s GPS to track your routes and record the details about your run. You can even adjust the settings to have it notify you when you complete miles and tell you your pace. This keeps me informed on my progress so I know if I need run faster or slow down to meet my goal… and we all know it’s telling me to slow down, right? The app will also send you weekly and monthly reports of the workouts you have logged. This log of my runs really keeps me motivated and makes me want to achieve more goals. Speaking of which, I should probably get going on using it more… this winter wasn’t great for my outdoor running habit.

  1. Daily Burn (website and app)

This online community has exploded in popularity; maybe due to their cheesy commercials. For $14/month or so you can have access to online workout videos that you can complete at random, pick a program, or – my favorite – join up with their 365 workout. The 365 workout is live every morning at 9 am; but don’t worry, you have 24 hours to catch it later if you miss it. There are new routines every day like cardio, kickboxing, yoga, and pilates! The downside is that some of the intense workouts require extra equipment like a medicine ball… who owns one of those anyways? I easily get board of doing the same video routine over and over, so for me this is a huge bonus.

  1. The Balanced Life (website)

If you like the yoga/pilates side of exercise more, than this one is for you. Yoga has never really been my friend, but maybe one day I will learn to love it. But pilates is a different story. I can at least accomplish it with a little more ease. The Balanced Life, led by Robin, just did a 30 day challenge and it was amazing to see how sore a 10 minute session of pilates made me! Robin has pilates videos for beginners and quite a few public workout series. If you really love it, like my sister does, you can join The Sisterhood for a monthly fee which gets you into a private support group with accountability. It also can send you a new workout link which are waiting in your email inbox every morning when you wake up.

So if you are looking for something new, I’d try one of these out. They have really helped me keep my exercise routine for getting boring.

Have tried any of the 3 options I mentioned? If so, what do you think?

What other apps or websites do you use to help with your exercise routine spicy?

________________________________

I would love to hear what apps you use for exercising!

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

EVENTS: First Annual GastronomIzmir Festival at MaviBahçe

If you listened in to our recent podcast episode033 about our top 10 favorite Turkish foods, then you know that food has been and always will be a big deal in Turkey. As new trends are opening up in Turkey, we are seeing more and more festivals dedicated to learning about specialty gourmet foods (example: Izmir Chocolate Festival and Organic Bazaar at MaviBahçe). The recent new GastronomIzmir Festival at MaviBahçe is not going to be left behind!

 

Photo from MaviBahçe

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

On May 13-17 Izmir held it’s first ever GastronomIzmir Festival at MaviBahçe Mall.  No entrance fee was required to take part. The festival organized tents, stages, tables and chairs in the middle of the open air mall for guests to enjoy.  Throughout the 5 day event, free workshops, presentations, awards, and music were scheduled for everyone to enjoy.  Every few hours, sponsors passed out yummy mini size food to the attendees. If you wanted to explore further, participating restaurants within the MaviBahçe Mall contributed a special menu item you could enjoy that week.

Since we came to the start of the festival, most stations were still setting up, but we did enjoy a warm sandwich, music, part of the first workshop, and snapped some pictures. Hopefully next year will bring a 2nd annual GastronomIzmir Festival!

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

 

Enjoy a short video below!

Questions:

Did you go to this festival?

Would you got to something like this in the future?

What food would you hope to see there?

 

 

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

 

 

FunkTravels Eski Foca

EXPAT: Read our interview with ExpatArrivals

Our 1 year mark is quickly approaching! We are somewhat surprised at how quickly it flew by. While my main goals are connecting with our neighbours and community and language learning, I have loved getting to know other expats as well.  Part of our move over here was researching information about expat life via several expat website, one of them being ExpatArrivals.

Websites like ExpatArrivals help others gain knowledge about the community, cost of living, and even neighbourhoods. Some of the best advice is from first hand experience.

Being an expat in another country means you have a unique perspective. As we have transitioned to Izmir, I have enjoyed hearing other expat stories and how they moved from their native countries. Everyone has a story and no two are the same. You, too, have asked us questions about our expat lives, and in our FunkTravels Podcast Episode032 and Episode033 we answered most of them!

Recently, I shared via an interview at ExpatArrivals website to help others potential expats moving to Turkey in the future. The interview covers questions from hospitals, schooling, trailing spouses, and kids. If you have wondered about anything of these, then continue reading about here…

 

 

expatarrivals Interview FunkTravels

 

What question did you like? Did you learn anything new?

 

WRITING: 5 ways to document your expat adventures

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I LOVE talking about expat living. Not a traveling digital nomad, but a ‘we found a county and stayed put’ type of digital expat. Before I moved, I had this jumble mix of what I loved writing about and I had a hard time narrowing it down to one specific area. But over the last 8 months of living in Turkey, my 2nd time to move abroad, and writing this article about culture shock, I think I have found my niche!

Even more than chatting about expat living, I love sharing the ways I have documented our expat adventures. *Spoiler* The most interesting way is through our FunkTravels Podcast! I recently wrote an article for Expat Magazine at Expat.com titled “5 Ways to Document Your Expat Adventures.” In the midst of moving, traveling, and adjusting to another culture, documenting our memories can be the one thing that is thrown to the way side. It also becomes one of the biggest regrets by those when they journey onward to the next phase of life.

Here is the start of the article:

You know how a deep, sound sleep can disorient you? I woke up one morning and asked myself: Where am I? Something in the room made me think I was living in Turkey on a chilly fall morning — maybe it was the sunlight streaming in through the windows just so, or the smell of the crisp morning air coming in through the open window. Reality quickly set in — I was no longer living in Turkey, but instead I was in my bed in the States. It’s funny to remember that now because my husband and I now live in Turkey once again. The smells and sounds of the neighbourhoods are ingrained into my memory, and I know this is our lovely Turkey.

I’ve spent five of the past ten years as an expat — both single and married — and I love to keep hold of the memories of the journey and adventures that come with every expat experience. I know that when my husband and I are back to the States, I will enjoy retrieving the different ways I used to document our time abroad and reminiscing and sharing the stories.

Continue reading…

 

 

I would love to hear how you document your expat adventures!