Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)

It’s Becoming Real


It’s 2:13 am and I just finished posting my car for sale online.

This signals the beginning of the end for my time in Utah.

The “big move” is looming.

At first, I was excited about the prospect of selling my car and other possessions in preparation for my move to Alaska in May and then on to Bulgaria in the fall. But the moment I clicked “submit” and saw my cute Honda Accord, my first “big kid” purchase after graduating High School, up for the world to see/judge, I started to feel a little (ok, maybe a lot ) melancholy.

I’ve known since pretty much the beginning of my relationship with V. that we would live in Bulgaria for a year or two after we got married. Not only to work on his immigration back to the U.S., but also so that I could get to know his friends and family, see the country, and learn some Bulgarian. I was adamant that we would only stay long enough to go through the immigration process. Basically, my life at home in UT would be disrupted only briefly and we would be back in record time. I looked at going to BG as more of an extended vacation then an actual move. I never wanted to be an “expat.”

Then, I visited BG for a month and fell in…like. It wasn’t love at first sight, but as the days passed I realized how unique and beautiful it is and how welcoming the people are and I began to wonder about all the possibilities and adventures in store for V. and I if we were open to staying for longer.  So now, our plans are a little more open-ended and we don’t really have a particular time-line in mind for a move back to the states, much to the chagrin of some members of my family.  It’s exciting, this adventure into the unknown, yet it poses some challenges…

Not selling my car isn’t an option. However, when it comes to smaller items such as my scrapbooking/craft supplies, CDs, DVDs, furniture, books, etc. I am unsure about what to do. There is no point in keeping all of them if V. and I are going to live in Bulgaria for the foreseeable future.  I would hate to burden my mom with putting everything in storage should she decide to sell our house. I am only taking two suitcases and a carry-on when I move to BG, no shipping costs for me! These little material items may seem insignificant to some, but they signify the person I am and the things I am interested in.

As weird as it sounds, I feel like I will lose a little part of myself when I move overseas. I will only have what I can carry in a few suitcases and I just have to learn to be ok with that. As V. says, Bulgaria isn’t the “jungle,” I will be able to buy whatever I need when I get there. But what he doesn’t understand is that it really isn’t about the actual items, it’s about what they signify (am I sounding like a person on an episode of Hoarders?).

I think spending another summer in Alaska before moving to BG will help me realize what is and isn’t important in my life and what things I simply can’t live without. Most importantly, I will have V. by my side through it all, and when it comes down to it, that’s all that truly matters.

Can you tell that this move is starting to get to me a bit?

I have never felt such a mixture of excitement for what the future holds and terror of the unknown at the same time.

Ugh. Maybe I am just being a baby about the whole thing. Oh, and it’s also nearly 3 am now, so I could just be typing nonsense.

More posts on my journey from UT to AK to BG are sure to follow.


Have any of you encountered these same reservations/worries before a big move? Did you have a hangup on materialistic items?

I’d love to hear from others who are or have been in my same situation.




5 thoughts on “It’s Becoming Real

  1. I am SO excited for you Whitney. It is hard to leave the things of your life– and I mean that in a non-hoarding way too. Especially since you are creating things. They represent you 🙂 And you are right about Alaska giving you that time to put things away and focus on what you really need. Usually, when I decide to get rid of things but I am not willing to get rid of them, I place them in a box and take them out of site for a few months. When I go back to them, I realize I never really missed them. And while you are leaving a part of you here, this is a good thing. It means you will have room to be filled with new experiences (and things, I guess) when you get to Bulgaria. Hope this encourages you 🙂

    • Thanks, Missy! I really like your box idea. I kind of picture traveling light and leaving material things at home in UT as a way to a fresh start. I will be taking my essential crafting items with me though! I just can’t fathom leaving it all back home!

  2. Whoa… whoa.. Cd’s are not insignificant! Are you at least taking an Ipod. Cause seriously.. NONE of your own music to escape with? That’s crazy talk my friend.

    • I do have an iPod, although it is seriously full and won’t hold a charge. I hope to buy a new one before I move. I suffered through a month of Bulgarian Chalga (secretly I kind of liked it) and I won’t do it again! I will most definitely be taking all my own music, probably in iTunes form rather than CDs, however (not enough space in my suitcases).

  3. Ag. Moving is hard. Really hard. My parents own an antique store and I’ve been raised to love things. When I moved to Bulgaria two years ago, I sold all of my things sent a few boxes of books home to my parents’ house and dragged two suitcases of things with me to Bulgaria. Here’s my advice, take what you love as you can buy almost anything here that you could in the States. And don’t worry so much about clothes. On a whole Bulgarians tend to own fewer clothes than Americans do so it’s not weird to wear the same outfit more regularly than you would feel comfortable with in the States.

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