I landed in North Cyprus in the spring of 2004, having resigned my job and looking for a new adventure. I had never been to Cyprus before but had spent some great holidays in Turkey. Initially, I had wanted to move to Turkey but I met someone who was setting up a business in North Cyprus and they offered me a job. Ten years on and I am still here.
There is so much to like about living here and for me one of the top priorities is the nature, every morning I look out of the bedroom window to the see the beautiful mountains, I feel they give me a sense of solidity and stability. A few years ago I walked the whole length of the North, along the mountain range right to the tip of the Karpaz, 220kms; it really makes you appreciate the beauty of the island with beautiful views out to the sea on the North or across the Mesaoria plain to the South. Walking is my way of relaxation and clearing my mind, so I make sure I get out in the mountains as much as possible.
I met my partner Bernie out here and together we enjoy exploring the island. We like to drive down any track we see and over the years have found many beautiful secluded places. I still feel that North Cyprus is unique in the Mediterranean for its lack of development and ability to easily get away from people and traffic.
We have many visitors coming to stay with us and we really enjoy showing them the island, we want them to love it as much as we do. The history of the island is fascinating, having been inhabited by so many different peoples, there are many sites of historical interest and a lot more still to be discovered.
I have to say living in a warmer climate suits me, I always think it is the light that is important, we see the sun most days of the year. The night skies are clear and we get the opportunity to do lots of star gazing. I love the spring here, when the wild flowers come through. We have 15 or so different orchids, some of them endemic to Cyprus. July and August can be very hot and I tend to escape to the UK in August. I have spent every Christmas out here since I came and it is so lovely to be able to have a few drinks in the sun before sitting down to Christmas lunch. Last year Bernie and I went swimming in the sea with our dogs. It was not that cold and there was a lovely warm breeze when we came out.
I really enjoy being so near to mainland Turkey, when I sold my apartment in the UK, a few years ago; I decided to buy a small flat in Istanbul, right near Taksim Square. Istanbul is a fantastic city, beautifully situated on the Bosphorus, steeped in history and also very cosmopolitan. The flight from North Cyprus takes about an hour and 20 minutes and there are always offers, you can get there from £50 return. When I want to get my city fix I fly there and spend the days going to art galleries, shopping, sightseeing and visiting friends. After about 5 days I am ready to come home to the peace and quiet of North Cyprus.
Also, for the last 3 years I have been walking in Turkey, staying in a place called Adrasan, about 2 hours west of Antalya. It is situated along the Lycian way, a famous walking track that stretches 540kms. The flights to Antalya are very cheap and only take about 35 minutes; it is so fantastic having all the diversity of Turkey on our doorstep.
Now that I don’t work people ask me how I fill my time over here. I have no problem doing that – in fact time just flies. I have always been interested in the alternative side of life and in 2005 I decided that I wanted to study astrology. I signed up with a very reputable school in London and starting studying online. I am working towards a Diploma that is well respected in the astrological community. I am lucky enough to be able to go to Summer School at Oxford University every August, where I meet with other astrologers from all over the world.
I have now been studying for 9 years and hope to get my Diploma in 2016. Astrology is a passion for me and whatever people think about it, when done seriously and professionally it is a very complex and intricate subject to learn. I do consultations for people here and it really helps them understand how they may engage with the world, what is important for them and the challenges they might find in their life.
Living in a community is very important to me. I have made some very good friends over the 10 years. There is a diversity of people here that I would not have met if I had stayed living in England and I am very grateful for that. Many of the expats have worked abroad in the Middle East or been in the armed services and have retired here. Everyone seems to have fascinating stories to tell about their lives and I love listening to them.
Friends often ask me if I will ever return to the UK to live or if I will go somewhere else, I very much live for the moment and I have no plans for the future. One day I may wake up and feel it is time to move on but for now this is home and I feel very blessed to be living on this beautiful island.