OR, ARTY TURKIYE HERE I COME.
Alert: Another unplanned absence folks but been busy getting ready!
I made a lot of mistakes when escaping to Mexico and this time my dreams for Turkiye are not going to be hampered by a lack of cash.
Although I am an avid list maker and practically anal in planning and preparing, I didn’t think out my financial situation for flying the coop to Mexico where I ended up staying for seven months, so this trip I am planning the hell out of it.
After all the masterplan to globally ruin our lives three years ago, I was just glad to leave the country without any thought or preparations. It literally was just to escape before there were no flights or means to get the hell out. I was panicking and in bad form. I was a shadow of my former self. A husk, a bundle of misery. Mexico would save me but I was ill-prepared on many levels but financially was the major one.
When I got there I saw escaping souls had at least planned their flight, by taking up fast yoga courses or tie-dye T-shirts or somesuch ethnic hippy plan. I had been suffering a mini nervous breakdown which actually didn’t recede as fast as I thought it would. I couldn’t think clearly at all for ages and had nervous tics and general neurosis for the first month at least. I was failing at stuff I would normally be good at.
Godammit, I was good at hippy! Why hadn’t I at least thought through some transient lightweight solution to earn a crust while away as money bled from me at every turning? I had no backup plan dammit just my blog to be used for a book I was compiling about the Maya. That was a year-long project and depended on my travelling by ADO bus around the Yucatan Peninsula and beyond. (This as it transpired later was a folly and certainly no way to make a couple of quid for the odd mojito.) I had the offer of a workshop in the yard where I was staying at Charlies, but it was for woodwork rather than stone and in the searing heat fucking awful. While my new chums were just carrying around a yoga mat or an armful of ethnic hand-crafted, and frankly dubious jewellery, I was on long-distance buses climbing pyramids and escaping risky situations.
I was also mentally fragile and the only thing I had going for me was speaking Spanish which although an excellent advantage, was not always used in the more remote parts where I actually needed it. due to my dodgy delicate state, I was also stubborn to stick with my only plan, writing a book about the Maya. I allowed myself no time to cogitate a little and use my main talents, art, crafts, growing food and cooking.
In retrospect, I could have painted or put together a bit of a trinket basket at the beach where all the rich punters were, but I was unprepared and the previous year had been so traumatic that I was trying to process the collapse of the world as we knew it while looking at the very civilisations that had clearly suffered the same fate. It was a bitter irony to be looking at one of the most famous of the glittering and exotic but inevitably flawed superpowers across the world. Lessons were being learned but dinero was not being made.
This time for my more extended adventure to Turkiye I have thought it through so bear with me on this casual list of stuff I can do whilst starting a new life of travel but with a base abroad rather than London. Trust me it’s a lot cheaper and more rewarding to go around Turkiye and surrounds while being there, much like I did in Mexico.
This time however with a plan albeit a little lightweight but well researched. If anyone can add to my list, ideas would be much appreciated.
The Things Old Birds Can Do To Earn a Crust Abroad.
Although there can be a lot of casual labour while travelling, nowadays work is hard to find and many legal documents are usually involved. To achieve a balance whilst doing a long stay trip you might want to get arty.
As I don’t speak Turkish yet I am rather at the mercy of my Turkish family and translator apps for that but luckily I have enough Spanish. Greek, French and German to get by for a little negotiation with tourists that may wander past my gaffe or the fish restaurant as I lovingly call it however I have thought long and hard about making a few quid to tide me over. I will need little as I will grow my own veg and will barter with my farmer neighbours for my delicious raw milk, butter and kefir needs. Once I’m up and running I will make my own cheese. Indeed eating won’t be a problem at all and I have natural spring water there so making either splendid Turkish tea or fruit drinks is also a doddle
No, my friends, it’s more for my jaunts off to the fabulous sites around this magnificent country and beyond that I’ll need readies for and that’s where my arty farty schemes come in. The reason I chose to rest my weary bones here, is that it’s the epicentre of all that is wonderful from the ancient world. History, culture and all the brilliant sights of natural beauty. Indeed I’ll be in the middle of an area I’ve missed so far. Huge gaps in my travelling education.
List of homestead arts and crafts
I will be cracking on with these projects as soon as the final paperwork is over. It’s been a soul-destroying ride but light is at the end of the tunnel. I’m glad I researched sources last time so at least I’ll be ready to dive straight into my massive project.
- Pottery-raku and low-firing ceramic.
- Natural dyed T-shirts sarongs etc
- Small acrylic canvases
- Lunch boxes for hikers
- Hand-made organic body butter
- Hand-made organic soap
- Small soapstone sculptures
- Produce from my organic garden
Pottery-raku and low-firing ceramic.
I’ve already lined up some galleries who’d like to show my artwork so I don’t think this will be a problem. They are very keen on my doing it in my garden and my lifestyle ideas!
For this, I need to build my own kiln in the garden. I have researched how to do this so I can get up and running relatively quickly. Although low-fired pottery is not my gig this will be fine until I get a proper kiln. Tourists will be able to carry these smaller pieces with ease and the burnished colours should go with my natural fabric flower-dyed stuff’
Natural dyed T-shirts, sarongs etc.
Flower and leaf ‘bundle’ dyeing is very pretty and relatively simple. I can work on natural fibres with the abundance of vegetation around me. This can be worked on straight away without complicated apparatus and chemicals.
Small acrylic canvases.
Again a simple way to make a modest amount of money but get huge enjoyment at the same time. I’ll try to do some scenery from around in the mountains even though I’m more of an abstract person.
Lunch boxes for hikers
There is a dearth of convenient and tasty travelling foods so I think I’ll try for this niche in the market. using all organic foods and herbs, Himalayan rock salt and cold-pressed olive oil I should be able to craft some tasty hikers lunches. This will depend on local laws. I’m sure that you have to register but at the moment it’s on a back burner
Hand-made organic body butter and soap.
My muffin soaps are very popular and I have perfected body butter. This is also something I have to check regulations on. However, I have learned in my time waiting on my farm dream, to make many things without the use of harmful chemicals. I have been re-learning the old skills.
Again with the lovely organic shop in Tire, I’ll be able to source all essential oils and base oils needed for these items. These however will have to come after the more immediate products. I will make some batches for my personal use.
Small soapstone sculptures.
I found that soft and pretty soapstone is easy to source there.
I can buy loads of soapstone in my area and the carving of this stone is less challenging than the harder stones that I normally work with. I can practically whittle away on my terrace of an evening while having a cocktail!
Produce from my organic garden.
This large garden has five olive trees, pomegranates, orange and mandarin trees, and a huge fir (for pine needle tea) I want to plant other fruit trees, bushes and vines. Passion fruit is a must as it’s my favourite fruit along with raspberries.
Clearly, potatoes, salad stuff, beetroots, spinach, swiss chard and herbs will be getting put straight in. All the rapid growing things to give me a boost seeing as I’m so late starting this year.
Of course, the most important thing to get on the go is my large veggie patch. Due to delays I am late getting over there and getting seedlings etc in. It’s very frustrating as it could be growing right now instead of being empty.
My case is packed and I’m waiting on my next big adventure. You can come with as it’s going to be a rocky but magnificent road.