Our move to North Cyprus

Me and my wife Birgitta, have been thinking for several years about settling abroad. Somewhere where we Don´t have to shovel snow. We thought about Portugal in the first place and Spain in the second, even though we were skeptical to Spain, where many of our friends who have bought in Spain have been victims of robbery.

In spring 2013 we visited a ‘Buying property abroad’ fair. After gathering brochures we fell  for an inspection trip to North Cyprus. We were told that there was virtually no crime on the island, and that was an important part for us.

We had never even thought of Cyprus as a country where we could stay – an island in the far end of the Mediterranean. During the trip we visited many of Sunny Cyprus Homes´s resorts, and we became good friends with Mike and his family. We finally went to the lawyer and did the preparatory paperwork.

Then we went home to sell the house, which we would do in a month or so. What we did not think of was that we had lived 40 years in the house and gathered stuff, things, books, and furniture. After six months, we were reasonably finished with the packing. We had then packed like a couple of hundred boxes. At the end, we said ‘we take it with us and sort it there’. The container arrived and after three days it was crammed. Without help from the broker Mike and his family, we would never have been away in time and yet we hired a firm to help with final packing and cleaning.

The idea was that the container would go through Turkey, but given the unrest in Syria, it was better to transport the container via the south side. Our container was sealed and sent by ship to Limassol, where it would go by truck to our apartment. Simple .. we thought. We had to think again. The container arrived at the appointed time, and it stopped at the border crossing between the southern and northern Cyprus. There the Greek custom officers broke the seal, which made a lot of hassle for us. Now it was no longer an import from Sweden to Northern Cyprus. The container now came from the Greek Cypriot side to the Turkish Cypriot side, and must therefore be declared. The first thing that happened was that the driver was not licensed to drive on the north side. It took several hours to change drivers. Then we needed to go to the Greek customs and pay € 1.100. They had told us that paying by card would be ok, but we had to go out and find an ATM. Then they discovered that we were going into occupied territory, so they wanted more money and how Mike managed to get out of that pickle I do not know.

When we arrived at the customs they were considering emptying the container and load it all back in again, but it was Friday afternoon. We sat in the office and went through the packing list on 25 pages. Luckily, they were satisfied with the packing list. They read everything, but they got hooked up on health supplements, which we explained was for my diabetes. There was a lot that was blamed on my diabetes. Then they got stuck on the sewing machine and the TV, and the piano was renamed a keyboard. We would pay the duty, but the cashier had closed. Wait until Monday? One of the customs officers took pity on us and promised that we would get away before Friday was over. We negotiated that if they kept my passport, I could solve it on Monday.

All the stuff then? We were told to stay out on the main road with the truck and the container in which a Customs officer showed up with the packing list. The sewing machine? It is 40 years old, I said. “Oh”,said the customs officer, “my mom has one of those old sewing machines”, and then we got to go. It got dark, and when we arrived 13 people from Aphrodite Beachfront Resort helped us to empty the container and the whole house became full. Now all our furniture is in place and we are so satisfied with life and living in our new country. Now, even more of our friends have moved here. I hope to see you, you are always invited to us for coffee!




About Sophia Söderholm 2779 Articles
At the age of ten Sophia moved from Sweden in 1998 and has since lived in several locations around the world including Spain, and has been residing in North Cyprus for four years now. Her educational background is in marketing, hotel management and real estate, and she now works as a real estate agent and is editor in chief for New Cyprus Magazine. If you any questions for Sophia, please write to: