I moved to Istanbul this week.
I left my little perfect world in quaint Bansko, Bulgaria, to come to Turkey.
Well, because I wanted to see that travel is still possible, and because Turkey is next door to Bulgaria. It felt "easy".
I had spent four very comfortable months in Bansko, with a very mild lockdown, and when all the other digital nomads talked about travel plans for this year, I kept hearing myself say, "Well, once things get easier, I will go to places x, y, z, etc."
But I also noticed I was becoming a bit afraid of traveling. Or just too complacent. I didn't want that to happen, so when a couple of friends said, "We're going to Turkey!" I decided to join them immediately.
Twelve hours into the trip I regretted my decision. I missed my "home" in Bansko, where I had friends and comfort. While three of our party continued to Istanbul, another friend and I staid in a border town for another night to contemplate whether we'd return back to Bansko the next day or follow our friends to Istanbul.
Everything that is normally easy, was complicated now. In order to buy a bus ticket to Istanbul, you need a so-called "HES code". In order to get that code, you need a Turkish phone number. But the shops where you can buy a SIM card close at 8pm. And you can't expect to simply get by in English everywhere. (And why does it have to be sooo cold here right now??? 😄)
In hindsight, this is a very small list of things you just have to get used to when you enter a new country. And seriously - what did I expect? That things are normal and easy? :) But as I was going through the transition from comfort to "new", everything felt extra complicated and didn't quite work out the first time. It took 24 hours to get that code. And when we finally had it, the bus ticket website was down and we couldn't book our tickets. 🙄
But in the end, of course, we managed to sort it all out. We profited immensely from the experience of other nomad friends, who had travelled here over the last few months or connected us with local friends who live here. We hopped on the bus, found a nice Airbnb and reunited with our three other friends in Istanbul on Friday night. Phew!
The last time I entered a new "world" where everything worked different from what I was used to, was when entered the crypto world. I got reminded of that a lot this week, especially when I saw a tram covered in crypto advertisement pass by me on my first night in Istanbul.
I didn't know how the crypto space works when I first arrived 4-5 years ago. I had nobody to teach me and no friends who were in crypto before me. I was the first of my friends to put money in Bitcoin - I didn't even dare to tell them, because I was afraid they would judge me or laugh at me for throwing my money out the window. I hung out in all sorts of online forums just to learn and absorb this new knowledge. Luckily I'm naturally cautious and didn't make any mistakes that cost me money, but I made many mistakes that cost me time and caused a lot of frustration.
Of course it was all worth it in the end. The Bitcoin price is closing in on $50,000 as I am typing this, and pretty much all of my friends own Bitcoin by now. I'm not going to leave anyone behind :) I want everyone to have a Bitcoin friend who can guide them and help them prevent costly mistakes. That's the whole reason I created my Patreon group, so that I can create a safe space for beginners and answer all their questions. If you don't have a Bitcoin friend yet, but need one, join me on Patreon!
About the author:
|Anja Schuetz helps absolute beginners to become confident crypto investors in her Movers & Stakers Club on Patreon.|