A chat with Aylin Nazlican - PR Consultant, Digital Nomad & Trilingual Expat!
The PR consultant, digital nomad, and trilingual expat, Aylin Nazlican, talks about her background, travels, and life!
1. How did you begin your expat lifestyle? As a student, entrepreneur, trailing spouse,
professional, retiree, etc? And tell us about that journey!
I grew up in a pretty small town in western Germany as the child of Turkish immigrants,
and for some reason I remember always feeling like I was supposed to be somewhere
else, somewhere ‘bigger’ - literally and metaphorically. I always wanted to be part of
something on a larger scale, beyond one country’s borders and across different
cultures. My first experience with this was my study abroad in Istanbul during my
Bachelor’s at the University of Cologne - it was my first time leaving home by myself
and experiencing a completely new place. Of course I was partly familiar with the
Turkish culture and language, but I had never been anywhere near a city as huge as
Istanbul. I then realised that I never wanted to limit myself to just living in a small town,
and having tasted that exciting and crazy new thing, I decided to move to London after I
got my Bachelor’s degree i went on to do my Master’s at Kingston University. What was
supposed to be a year abroad ended up being six years of living, studying and working
in London. As I had always had that special connection with Istanbul though, I knew I
would end up here one day, and when everything changed during the pandemic and I
realised that my location doesn’t have to limit my work and my career in any way, I
decided to take the jump and move here.
2. You are from Istanbul but live and work in London? Is that correct? What is it like
living the expat life? Did you find it hard to integrate into a different culture? Language
I was born and raised in Germany and lived in London for six years (from 2016 to 2022).
Moving to London from Germany was obviously a big step for me, as I was 23 at that
point and everything seemed so new and so big. Adapting to life in London wasn’t too
challenging for me though, as I felt like the diversity of the city and the fact that many
people I interacted with weren’t originally from there made me feel like I somehow
actually belonged there - as opposed to being an immigrants’ child in a small town
without any diversity. This mix of cultures in London was an incredibly refreshing thing
for me, so the six years I spent there were a very enriching and great experience.
Funnily enough, moving to Turkey showed more cultural differences to what I was used
to than I expected. Although I grew up in a Turkish family, the environment I grew up in
and the time I spent in Germany and the UK in the phases of my life that shaped me the
most, I wasn’t as familiar with the lifestyle of young professionals in Turkey. It has been
a year now and I feel more and more like I am getting used to it, but in total I can say
that Istanbul already feels like home to me and that I enjoy tackling those cultural
differences to learn more.
3. Your career in PR is impressive. What advice do you have for women looking to
advance their careers?
This will sound so cliche, but what I would tell young women in the industry, and
probably my younger self as well, is to be a bit less humble and shy about their own
strengths and skills. Being someone who works in a female-dominated field, I still see
differences in the way women present themselves in professional settings, especially at
a young age and early on in their careers. I think you have to be confident enough in
your own skills to just DO things and not be scared to show confidence in your own
talent - and not think about how others might perceive you. In more tactical terms, I
would always say that being proactive wins. If there is a company that you find interesting -