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5th aNaversary: How my life has changed

Typewriter in London.

© aNadventures

I own three different types of perfume:  The first one is my standard aNa fragrance that I’ve worn since I was seventeen. I’m almost twice as old these days, so that’s been quite a long time. The second one is my weekend smell. I use it from Friday to Sunday. It’s as sweet as the weekend. The third one is a perfume I put on for dates or any other special occasions. It boosts my confidence and makes me feel particularly charming and flirty.

Today I’ve put on the third one. I’ve decided to make this a date with myself. I’ve noticed that taking a day or two to myself is important every once in a while in order to reorganize my inner balance, to focus on my goals in life and to simply concentrate on my wellbeing.

One of the things I enjoy doing during such me time is writing. It helps me to get my thoughts sorted. My fellow bloggers most probably know this feeling.

As I logged into WordPress today, I was reminded of the following anniversary:

Happy 5th aNaversary!

It’s been five years since I started aNadventures. So: Happy aNaversary to me!

Has it been five years already? I created this blog on August 31, 2012, shortly before moving to Izmir to start my 1.5 year Turkey adventure. I was a student back then and spending one and a half years abroad was part of the programme I was enrolled in. Why Turkey? You can read about my decision here. I never regretted this choice. Living, studying and working in Turkey has been a major turning point in my life. Not only did I experience starting all over in a new environment, I also learnt to communicate in Turkish, a language that was previously unknown to me. I built relationships with locals which have become like family to me. Summarizing my Turkey experience in a few sentences feels rather impossible. You can read about many of my adventures in this blog, for example here.

Turkish flag.

© aNadventures

Returning from Turkey marked another milestone in my adult life. The reverse culture shock I experienced lasted for many months, if not over a year, I’d say. Even nowadays, three years after my return, I think and speak about Turkey often. I’m lucky to live in Berlin, where the Turkish culture is very present due to immigrant influences. So I’m still close to the Turkish way of life, at least in some ways.

After finishing uni, I embarked on my first “real” job adventure, not particularly linked to Turkey but still in the field of languages and cultures. I have left the company in the meantime and started a new path ― one with an uncertain future, once again. But isn’t that life? Getting on a roller coaster? Sometimes you scream with fear as you’re sucked downwards at 150 miles per hour. Sometimes you’re up high having the time of your life and filling your lungs with laughter and joy. I guess it never gets boring as long as you keep enjoying the ride. We learn something from every step we take, from every encounter we make.

"Veiled" mosque in Izmir.

© aNadventures

I’ve been reflecting on the turns my life has taken in the course of the last five years. There are so many things that have changed, not just externally but especially within me. Let me summarize a few of them:

  1. I am more relaxed about life these days than I was before moving to Turkey. People there are generally more leaned back than in Germany and accept hardships as part of their daily life. I learnt to face the obstacles that came my way, to retrieve lessons from any experience and to move on with a stronger sense of “everything’s gonna be alright”. I now take life as it comes my way and try to make the best of every situation I find myself in.
  1. I have gotten rid of the idea that things need to be “perfect”. I used to get stressed out about those missing 20% until I simply decided that 80% are just about fine as well. I’m not perfect. My job’s not perfect. Human relationships aren’t. Life isn’t either. And that’s ok.
  1. I now share what is happening within me. In Turkish, there is a verb for the concept of telling one’s troubles to one another: It’s called dertleşmek. I experienced how comforting it can feel to sit with family, friends or sometimes even strangers and talk about what is currently bothering you. Once you let go of the grief, anger or any other feeling that may be nagging at you, you’ll feel instant relief.
  1. Moving to an unknown country. Learning a new language. Getting to know my way around cultural dos and don’ts. Navigating through complex bureaucratic procedures. All of these experiences have contributed to a boost in my self-confidence. I have come to learn that I can do about anything I set my mind on. But a little extra portion of self-confidence always comes in handy. That’s what that third perfume is for.

How about YOU? How do you like spending your “me time”? Has there been any experience that has shaped you in a similar way my Turkey adventure has shaped me? How has your life changed in the last five years? I’ll be happy to read about your thoughts in the comment section.


From → Getting started

  1. Dear Ana! Happy aNaversary! WordPress was blocked in my country for a while, I am happy it is back on again. I love reading your posts, reminds me our fun time we had in Izmir and our travelling time together! xoxo

    • My dear Aida! Thank you so much for your comment. It made my day! I’m so grateful to WordPress, our common friend, for introducing us to one another. I’ll always cherish the memories we created. And I’m looking forward to seeing you again in the future. I’m happy you’re my loyal follower and I hope to read about your adventures soon as well. 😉 Big hugs!

  2. Culture shock? In Berlin? Warum denn wohl? 🙂

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Six habits of a mindful life in Turkey | aNadventures
  2. The stages of my camino experience | aNadventures
  3. To the home of my soul | aNadventures
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  5. To the friend who loves to fly | aNadventures
  6. 10 years of aNadventures | aNadventures

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