People who visit and people who don’t

People never cease to surprise me.   I remember clearly the day I announced I was moving to Turkey.   My daughter had been listening to me talking about it for over 10 years and just responded she’d deal with it if it happened.  Some friends were jealous, most were happy and some just behaved really oddly.    One friend who I had known really well for over 20 years never spoke to me again – she never attended any of my leaving parties and I’ve never heard from her to this day.

Then there were the friends that were truly devastated – they cried and promised me we would be friends forever – they’d come and see me regularly and one even announced she would be moving too and coming to join me in about 6 months.  Three years down the line she’s been once and the others haven’t ever bothered.    The same friend told me earlier in the year she couldn’t get way from work and had a big Vets bill to pay and couldn’t go anywhere this year – I asked her last week whether she would be here on the 13th of September as I am going to visit Denizli for the day and she said she couldn’t as she would be in Morocco on holiday with another friend the following week.

My oldest friend from school and my old boss in the UK are regular visitors.  I’ve had a few surprises – people who I would have never expected to come and visit have made the effort booked flights and hotels and come for a holiday and spent loads of time with me.  My friends parents have been for a week and loved it and my Aunt is coming in October for a walking holiday and is going to have lunch with me one day.

My mother hasn’t been – she has no interest in Turkey and no desire to visit.   My sisters haven’t been – the one I keep in touch with says she can’t afford to.    A really close friend keeps promising to come and then at the last-minute books somewhere else.

I’m beginning to get a bit of a complex.  These people expect me to visit the UK a couple of times a year – hire a car and drive over 50 miles to have dinner out with them – no one offers to put me up for the night – or suggests they drive 50 miles and come and see me – is it just me or are they really not good friends?

One friend told me that her and her boyfriend couldn’t come and see me as they wanted to save their money and go somewhere really nice…………………..they went to Cornwall – now I like Cornwall but it rained the whole time they were there and it cost them more than a trip to see me would have.   Someone else to delete from my Facebook friends list perhaps?

I live in a beautiful location – the weather is lovely, I’m close to the beach and mountains, there’s a lot to do, loads of bars and restaurants and cultural things to see locally too.    It’s cheap to eat and drink and accommodation is cheap.

Either the people I thought were friends are the sort of friends who are only friends if you are on the doorstep and they don’t have to make any effort or perhaps they don’t like me really.

So if you are in the position now where you are thinking of leaving the UK for pastures new – don’t bank on having the same friends as you do now.  You will make new ones but the old ones will leave a hole where they used to be.  People you expect to support you – may not and may even be quite rude in their efforts to talk you out of it.   The people who cry the most are probably just attention seeking drama queens.

Make your decision for you but accept that old friendships may never be the same.  Do I regret the move?  – no.   Do I regret not doing it sooner? – yes  – don’t let your friends talk you out of it if you want to live somewhere warm and sunny do it.

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