Girl Meets Bulgaria

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

10 Reasons Why I Am Excited to Be Moving to Bulgaria

166 Comments

Exactly one week from today I will be boarding a plane bound for Sofia. *Insert huge smiley face here*

Amidst all the hubbub of cleaning (haven’t done as much as I need to), packing  (quickly realizing I bought way too much stuff) , and Christmas festivities, I don’t think it’s entirely hit me yet that in just 7 short days I will be an American expat living in Eastern Europe. Even typing it just now felt weird.

I have thought about, talked about, blogged about, and {really} obsessed about this moment since about 3 months into my relationship with Vince (my now husband if you are just tuning in).

Perhaps that is why I entitled my blog, “Girl Meets Bulgaria.”

Because really, that is exactly what I have been doing since I started dating a Bulgarian; it’s a process that will never end. I will always be learning to appreciate and tolerate the little (and big) quirks of Bulgaria and its people. And that, my friends, is what it’s all about. The journey.

On to the top 10 reasons why I am as giddy as a school girl to be moving to BG:

 

1. Love

After over 3 years of dating and nearly 3 months of marriage, I finally get to live with my hubster on his home turf. We’ve been apart longer than we have been together and, quite frankly, it sucks. BIG TIME. Years of planning, waiting, and dreaming are coming to an end and we get to start our lives as husband and wife in a pretty amazing place.

 

Athens, Greece 2009

2. Travels

Beyond the amazing travel opportunities to be had in Bulgaria – which I fully plan on taking advantage of – I am thrilled to be living in such close proximity to dozens of other countries as well. In Utah, we can drive for hours and hours and still be in Utah. In Bulgaria, you can drive for a few hours in most directions and be in another country, maybe even a couple of other countries. It’s no secret that I am a huge travel buff. Obsessed is a better way to put it really. I plan to explore to my hearts content (and take lots of photos along the way).

 

via PBS

 

3. Learning a new language

My years of middle school and high school Spanish aside (I came away with great memories, but not much more), I am completely intrigued with the process of learning a new language and I hope to acquire as much Bulgarian as I can while living in the country. Granted, I have been a slacker these past 3 years and haven’t learned much, but I know immersion in the language will be the ultimate crash course.

 

My attempt at shopska salata

4. Food and drink

As much I wish it weren’t true, I don’t tend to have the best diet in America. I am I so looking forward a more Mediterranean type diet, chock full of  fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, and fish. Bulgarian food is delicious and I can’t wait to learn to cook it myself. Oh, and don’t forget the rakia.

 

Exploring Smolyan... On foot.

5. Activity (aka, gettin’ my butt off the couch)

Vince never fails to mention it when he is in the states, people in America don’t walk, not like Europeans do anyway. We drive our big SUVs down the block for a gallon of milk. We simply don’t get out on foot as much as other nationalities. Perhaps it’s due to our gotta-have-it-now nature. All I know is that I am guilty of it. Back when I had a car, I remember trying to find the closest parking spot to the store. I’m not proud of my laziness and it’s something I certainly hope to change living in BG.

 

My scary Kukeri boy

6. Culture

It’s not every day someone is lucky enough to be able to live in a new country for an extended period of time. Living abroad is something I always hoped to do, and I don’t think there could be a better place to do it than in Bulgaria. The people are welcoming and generous; and the history is incredible. Having a husband (and one day, children) who get to claim it as their own, is pretty awesome.

 

Out with Vince's friends in Smolyan

7. Lifestyle

Even though at times I am sure it can be a little annoying, I like that Bulgarians are so laid back and don’t pay as much attention to time. Meals are social events and can take hours. I loved that when I visited. Hours and hours of good conversation over a delicious meal is my kind of night out. Americans, in my opinion, focus too much on putting in their 40+ hours of work per week and not enough on spending quality time with friends and family. I have no problem with working hard, I just hope to balance it out with a good does of play!

 

Plovdiv kitty

8. Photo opportunities

The benefit of moving to a country as unique as Bulgaria is that everything is interesting and makes for a great photo. Whether it be a stray cat, Babas in the park, or beautiful scenery; Bulgaria is a photographers paradise. It’s high time I broke out of Automatic mode and learned how to use my DSLR for all that it’s worth. As a result, expect lots of photos in the coming months!

 

9. Change

Now that I have graduated from college and worked a few years out in the “real world,” I am ready for something new and different. I fully adhere to the living-it-up-while-you’re-young philosophy. I have a major case of Wanderlust and I figure now is the time to indulge that part of myself. Vince and I will live in Bulgaria for as long as we feel that it works for us. Who knows where we will end up 10 years from now; wherever it is, I know I will always be grateful I made the leap to expat life.

 

10. The Challenge

I don’t suffer from any delusions. I know full well that I will have those moments of “why the hell did I do this?”  But I am ready to step out of my comfort zone and use any obstacles I encounter as learning opportunities; because like Bulgaria’s roads, it wouldn’t be a journey if we didn’t hit some potholes along the way.

 

This post kicks off my pre-move blogging marathon.

Check back everyday from now through Wednesday for  tales of a crazy woman attempting to pick up her life and move 6,000 miles away. 🙂

W.

Advertisements

166 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why I Am Excited to Be Moving to Bulgaria

  1. Hi Whitney I too took the plunge a few years back and moved to Bourgas, and like you it was for love, a quick trip back to the UK in 2008 and unfortunately I had a heart attack, back on my feet now, took the time in UK to get a Masters Degree in Marketing to add to my Degree in Computing, and I am now looking to relocate back to Bulgaria this Summer, Like you I love BUlgaria, the food, the people and like you also the pace of life. Your right Whitney when you say its about a work / life balance and I will enjoy turning in to see your journey. Would love to know If you have found work in Bulgaria?

  2. I love this, very much, and as another Girl moving to Bulgaria I agree with everything that you’ve said. I’m moving for a few different reasons, and right now the paperwork is causing a slight delay, but I know I will be back in Bulgaria very soon. 🙂

  3. Such an optimistic article for someone moving to a new country. Coming from the states and moving to Europe, especially a non-English speaking country must be daunting. Hope your life in Bulgaria is enjoyable, i like your blog, especially the insights you express on Bulgarian society. Thanks

  4. Congratulations on your move! You have some very good reasons for being excited. I got to spend an awesome week in Bulgaria during high school, and I have been a huge fan ever since. It is a beautiful country with great people and super-yummy food. I’m looking forward to following your adventure!

  5. Just came across your blog, Whitney, and great job! I also made the move across the pond and 8 years later I am still in Belgium. Its hard, but worth it!
    Happy New Year,
    Jess

  6. Congratulations and good luck! I moved to Lebanon from the UK 4 months ago, and though it is sometimes hard it is worth it a hundreds times over. I’m sure you’ll have the time of your life.

  7. Just stumbled upon your post today and am so excited for you! I wish you and your husband a fabulous life together, and many adventures! There are so many things that ring true in your post – I won’t even begin to comment – just have a great time, soak it in and live it up! Congrats.

  8. Looks beautiful. Enjoy!

  9. Congratulations 🙂 it even makes me happy by just reading your post! I wish the best for you and your new life in Bulgaria. I’ve never been there before, but it surely sounds like a wonderful place, full of culture !

  10. Moving to different places is surely fresh and always exciting. Congratulations and I’m happy for you!

  11. Hello from this newcomer, this post is amazing. As an expat from Europe to Australia, I completely understand the huge excitement you must be feeling right now. The excitement is the best part of expatriating, although it doesn’t last forever (no spoilers) so enjoy it as much as you can in your first months as an American Bulgarian! A huge good luck!

  12. The best of everything to you for approaching your move with your eyes wide open. You seem the optimistic type, which is an asset I’m sure will serve you well. My hat off to you and your new husband, and further, “May the best of your past be the worst of your future.” Peace.

    http://mittenmouthmusic.wordpress.com/

  13. Pingback: 2011: Highs and Lows « Girl Meets Bulgaria

  14. Sounds exciting! Good luck with your move. Do you truly mean to expat? There is a whole world of difference between being an American living off the continent and becoming an expat. My uncle is married and living in Germany for almost 30 years now but he’s still an American citizen. I’m just curious, is all.

    • Yes, I am truly an expatriate. You don’t have to give up your citizenship to be an expat, just living in a country other than where you are a citizen. So to me, there is no difference between being an American living off the continent and being an expat, they are one and the same!

  15. Good luck! I’ve been an expat (in Korea) for almost five years, and although it has its challenges, I love it because I still experience something new and amusing almost every day. It sounds like you’re going for all the right reasons 😉

  16. good luck on your new adventure! sure sounds hell exciting. 😀

  17. how exciting! i envy your ease to pick up and go. would love to live in europe and be able to travel all over! congrats on your recent marriage!

  18. That sounds so exciting, and you definitely have plenty of good reasons!! Good luck:-)

  19. aww so cute 🙂 love your new adventure!! just make sure that fridge never becomes anorexic over there like mine is in LA lol

    http://monicafay.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/39-anorexic-refrigerator/

  20. It does sound exciting! 🙂 Good luck with the moving! And yes, please post photos! Show us Bulgaria through your eyes.

  21. That last shot is foreboding – and cool!

  22. All the best reasons in the world!

  23. Wow, how exciting! What a wonderful time for you and your husband — I can’t wait to read more about your adventures in Bulgaria!

  24. Good luck. Moving to a different country, a different continent is serious fun and stress (did it twice) But you gain so so much from it. I hope all your dreams about living in BG will come true and welcome to Europe!

  25. Wow exciting for you congratulations!

  26. Bulgarian is not hard to learn guys. I know quite a few Americans and Brits who speak it fluently, some are so good that you can barely say they’re foreigners. Like with any other language, you have to love learning it. Try to think in it, communicate as much as you can in it, watch TV, movies, read books and the local press, find local friends. It’ll be great fun. True, it may be a bit more difficult than English, but it’s not more difficult than French or German. Btw, the alphabet is very similar to the Greek one 🙂

  27. Congrats!! I hope to be visiting Bulgaria next year! My room mate needs to renew his passport and can only do so from there, so I’ve decided to set a goal to join him on his visit to his homeland.. I hope all goes well with you and your husband in your new venture. Happy holidays.

  28. Great Photography and Merry Christmas!!!

    Have a great day,

    Tom
    http://www.PhotoBotos.com

  29. Bulgaria sounds awesome! I really enjoyed reading your reasons.

  30. As one expat to another be sure you learn to do things on your own too. You’ll have a better experience and be forced to work on your language skills instead of depending on your husband to translate. I’ve been living the expat life for almost four years now and I love it in Cornwall, England where I live with my Brit husband.

    I did spend 2.5 years in Germany with the Army when I was much younger so I know about traveling where the language is different. It’s easier speaking English in England although sometimes we do miscommunicate as the two versions can be very different.

    Good luck and congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  31. A Bulgarian welcomes you and wishes you a very nice adventure here in BG. There has to be cheese in the shopska salad and no meat. This alphabet is the russian one, not the Bulgarian. But I appreciate your effort and wish you all the best in our country. I’ll definitely follow. Enjoy! 🙂

    • Thanks a lot! As far as the salad goes, I know it doesn’t have meat, I just had it in the same bowl with some chicken, and I don’t eat cheese really (especially sirene, feta, etc), so that is why mine is cheese-less! My husband knows by now to make sure anything I order in Bulgaria comes without cheese. It’s a request most restaurants are happy to oblige me.

      Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate the comment!

  32. Welcome to the Balkans! I live in Serbia and moved here from the US because of my love. But I’ve always wanted to live in Eastern Europe since my family is from E. Europe. But I’ve been learning the Serbian language for 2 years now. You’ll love the Balkans! Living here is amazing and the culture and people are some of the best!!

    And rakija, šopska salate, and so many other things are wonderful about Balkan culture!! 😀

    Cheers from Belgrade, Serbia!

  33. Oh and the people there welcome you nicely. They really love people from different countries trying to speak their language, and the TV shows are awesome too 😀
    But Bulgarian is said to be as hard to learn as Chinese if you’re not Bulgarian.

  34. I’m from Bulgaria (but I don’t live there 😦 ). You’ll really love it! There’s everything! From beaches to mountains to lakes…
    Old cities, monuments, and tight knit communities.

  35. You’re going to love the mountains and nature. And if you don’t… it’s like you said, a few hours in any direction will take you to another country.

    Enjoy the Rakia. Nasdrave!

  36. Hi Whitney,

    Here’s a change of pace for you:

    – I’ve never been to Bulgaria.
    – I have never harboured a wish to visit the country. (Nothing personal; just don’t know enough to pull me there.)
    – I didn’t know *exactly* where in Europe it is before I read your post.
    – Other than knowing that Sophia is the capital, I know zilch about your soon-to-be new host country .

    BUT I’ve RSSed your blog and I’m going to read it. Because there’s not enough info about Bulgaria in the mainstream news. And I like that I’ll get to read a first hand experience of a new (to me) place instead of some glossed up version in a glossy brochure.

    Congratulations on being FPed! Good luck with the move!

    Kate

    • Thank you! I feel the same way about other countries that I know little about, and really enjoy reading people’s firsthand accounts on what it is like to live there. I am glad you will be following my adventures!

  37. I’m glad I stumbled upon your blog, I love living vicariously through others on journeys like this. Best to you and good luck with the move!

  38. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed 🙂 My favorite part: “In Utah, we can drive for hours and hours and still be in Utah.” Good luck on your new adventure and have fun.

  39. Great post on a big adventure. I hope you will keep us posted as to how it goes. My good wishes go with you!

  40. Congrats on being featured on Freshly Pressed! What a great post…. love your positive, adventurous spirit!

  41. Here’s to Safe Travels and New Adventures! Thanks for sharing and Congrats on being FP!!!

  42. Congrats on being FP and for a terrific post. I’m of Eastern European descent and there’s nothing like that part of the world. All the best to you!

  43. Hi, my Dad visited Bulgaria when I was a little girl. He brought me back some of their wonderful rose perfume in a vial inside a little handcarved and handpainted wooden bottle with a rose on it. Great stuff! Wish you the best!

  44. What a wonderful sharing of love that this blog represents. It represents to me what the purpose of “Freshly Pressed” should be in every one of its daily selections. Thank you both and a Blessed Christmas to you both.

  45. Good luck and enjoy!! I’m jealous:) Definitely travel and live life to the fullest, whether you are young or old. You miss the point of life if you “put off” enjoyable experiences. I look forward to reading of your adventures.

  46. Hey Whitney… looks like I have someone going through the same experience! I’ve just moved to the Netherlands! And am just as excited as you are! Mine reason are pretty similar to yours! Have fun!

  47. Came here through ‘Freshly Pressed’! Good Luck to you!

  48. I’m from New Mexico and I’m studying at the American University in Bulgaria for the school year. I just finished my first semester and I love it!. I’ve stayed in Sofia a few times and I really like it there. The culture is so unique and I’m glad I made the decision to not study in the conventional foriegn country for my exchange program. Good luck with your move!

  49. I moved to Chile for love and *for the most part* I haven’t regretted it :p

  50. Hi! I moved to Greece in August with my husband and little girl and I can honestly say that I am SO happy here. Of course, we have quite a large problem with our economy right now (!) but there is SO much more to life than money. I wish you the best of luck in your new adventure and I hope you wil be very, very happy!

  51. All the best to you. I’m now in my second stint of being an expat. Years ago I was offered a job in the form of “how’d you like to live in France for six months or so?” Like I had something better to do, right? Well, it turned out to be three years living on the Riviera between Cannes and Nice. Now I’m retired and living in the western province of Chiriqui in Panama close to the Costa Rican border.

    One caveat…be prepared for culture shock. It’s one thing to visit a foreign country and culture, even for an extended time. It’s another thing to actually LIVE there. It’s going to happen to you. It happens to everyone. I even went through it when I returned to the States after being gone for four years. Grit your teeth and work your way through it.

    Good luck.

  52. Success. I moved from Portugal to Belgium in 1993.

  53. You brought me back to when i lived in germany! I feel like heading that way again!!! Any highs &/or lows will turn out to worth it in the end.

  54. I’m a newcomer here, so I just wanted to tell you how much I really enjoyed your post (came to it via the Freshly Pressed feature on the home page).

    I have been living the expat life in Spain for 13+ years now, and so many of the reasons for the excitement you mentioned in your post paralleled my own way back when: the Mediterranean diet, not having a car and walking almost everywhere, the laid back nature of the people and the length of the meals… And I still love living in Spain. There are challenges in making the transition, and you will face plenty of them, but congratulations on this chance to live your dream. Best of luck to you and Merry Christmas!

  55. Among all the reasons you have listed I liked the last one the most: Challenge.
    Being myself a Bulgarian I have always trying disassociate from Bulgaria, considering my country as a source of embarrassment, especially when it comes to women treatment, job opportunities or personal values.
    After reading this joyful post, I should admit, that I am very glad somebody, from the opposite part of the world found love, so strong, being able to make one move and rotate their life on 360 degrees.
    I like the attitude a lot.
    I would follow with great interest the first collected impressions. 🙂
    На добър път, girl 🙂

  56. they are words you almost never hear, Glad to move to Bulgaria. Well done.

  57. Nice to see people in love! I’m happy for you!

  58. I can relate to this post because I moved from the US to Russia. It’s a BIG change, so be prepared! But if you do it for the right reasons, it is totally worth it. You only get one life to live, so you have to try out every oppertunity you get. GOOD LUCK.

    indiraadams.wordpress.com

  59. Congrats on being freshly pressed!!!! I hope that you love Bulgaria when you come back. It has been snowing for the last two days, so get out your warm clothes!!!

  60. Good luck! Being an expat is often frustrating and never easy, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. Having your own personal liaison will make things a lot less difficult. 😉

  61. hey,
    my hometown is sofia. i really can’t wait to move abroad… anyway. i hope you will enjoy it!

    sevda

  62. i loved ur blog…hope u hv an amazing time in Bulgaria
    m following ur blog…and waiting for more exciting blogs
    🙂

  63. A friend just sent me your blog via facebook – I flit between Bulgaria and the UK at the minute setting up a business, though this year its been more Bulgaria than the UK. It is an amazing place with great diversity, with so much to explore I’m sure you’ll love Bulgaria .. ! Will follow your blog with much interest…have a safe journey… 🙂

  64. Hi,
    Congrats on the future move. That alphabet seems more Russian than Bulgarian 😛 Anyways, that one friend (in green sweater), of your husband, is really cute! I wish you both much luck, joy and happiness! Happy Holidays! Drink a lot of rakia 😉 Cheers!

    • Thanks!

      Yep. It’s the Russian alphabet. I didn’t notice until another commenter pointed it out. Just goes to show how little Bulgarian I know! That’s going to change soon though!

    • Btw it is not the Russian alphabet. Please do note: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrillic_script
      “It is named in honor of the two Eastern Roman Empire brothers, Saints Cyril and Methodius, who created the Glagolitic alphabet earlier on.”
      It could be a surprise, but Russian people convert to Christianity a century after the Bulgarian and since then they have been using the same script.
      Actually in the linguist world the Cyrillic is considered to be a Bulgarian invention.

  65. Good luck! I lived in Bulgaria for a couple of months when I was married. It was just a short time, but I loved it. 🙂

  66. How exciting! I’m from the US and now living in India- you brought back great memories of my last week in the states! Best of luck with culture shock- it can be a beast sometimes. Forming friendships with locals always helps me when I get frustrated by culture, etc, and will also be important for making connections beyond your husband. I look forward to reading more about your adventures. Best of luck!

  67. Great blog! I actually went there and had a blast. I sang, I shopped, I’m going to be posting some videos of it (only now bc you totally inspired me to) on my vlog ang blog http://www.youtube.com/helesetalks, and http://www.helesetalks.wordpress.com. Thanks for this

  68. This is so sweet! I wish you the best and can’t wait to see your new photos.

  69. Great post! First time visitor and will definitely be stopping by again. You are so right that livin abroad will be an incredible experience. Can’t wait to read more about your adventures!

    arbohl.wordpress.com

  70. Enjoy the most happiest times ahead of you! and Don’t forget to share your experiences from Bulgaria once you start your Happy Married Life !

    sangeetha
    hwlhblog.com

  71. I am so excited for you! I can so realte to you. 🙂 I will be moving to Taiwan – my husband’s homeland and you basically wrote why I am excited for that. I know what you mean about the American diet. =/ You inspire me to write my own post.

    Happy holidays. 🙂

  72. Sounds fun, congrats on everything! Good luck with life in Bulgaria.

  73. I liked your enthusiasm throughout the post ! Good write up!

  74. You are truly brave! I wish you a lot of luck and a lot of courage.

  75. Great! But looks like bit cold there.

    • I visited in the winter, that’s why all my pictures look like I am freezing me behind off, because I was! Actually, Bulgaria has a similar climate to Utah, where I am from. So I am used to bitter cold winters.

  76. That is so awesome! I’ve always wanted to go there (well, ever since I met some Bulgarians here on working visas in 2007), but I have yet to be able to. I have learned maybe a third of the alphabet, though. Haha.

    I wish you a safe and spectacular trip/stay in Bulgaria!!! I bet it’ll be amazing!!
    🙂

  77. An expat myself, I can feel your excitement! I also like the way you are looking forward to the experience, understanding the change as an opportunity and challenge. I wish you and your husband all the best for a fulfilled future together, whereever your path may take you.
    PS: Congrats on getting freshly pressed, it’s well-deserved.

  78. Because is near Romania.

  79. Sweet list 🙂 For sure you’ll love Europe (by the way, Hi from Europe ;))! I’d love to move to a totally different country someday too, but I think I will be really scared, so, I’m not sure if I’m brave enough (I hope I am ;))
    Good luck! 🙂

  80. very exciting! i wish you the best in your new adventure. enjoy every minute!

  81. It is a big adventure.

    It will also present a rollercoaster of emotion, and being prepared for that will help. I’d strongly urge you to check out some websites and online forums for ex-patriate women, which are filled with wisdom, humor and advice from women who’ve made this sort of transition many times. expatexpert.com is a good one, started by a Canadian journalist who followed her diplomat husband to South Asia.

    I’ve lived in five countries (four outside of my own) and there is always an adjustment.

  82. Best of luck! Enjoy the adventure!

  83. I like it Im self frome Plovdiv but frome 2001 i m marry in Nederland but i often be gathered in the city.so have fun in Bulgaria and be happy with the family

  84. Wish you a great and prosperous journey of life! 🙂

  85. Congratulations! You will enjoy your life in Bulgaria, I’m sure. I’m from Mexico City and lived in Romania for a few years, Eastern Europe is just great. Of course you have to get used to lacking some of the things that make living in America more comfortable but one survives, you know?
    About getting off the couch: I lost a lot of weight when I moved there only because over there I didn’t have a car! therefore I was forced to walk to the bus station when going to work; during the summer I would walk back home or just strolled through the park to catch the tram at a later stop. I know in the US you need a car even for going shopping for groceries, well, almost.

    You’ll be happy! Best wishes!

  86. Have a wonderful time! Living overseas is a great experience — you might like it so much that it becomes permanent. (I may go back some day.) You’ll also get a very different view of American politics and culture (like the car/walk thing). We’re far too insulated here from the rest of the world. Eastern Europe is great, lots of beauty in the old buildings, churches, etc., and even the modern things are a bit different. Plus it’s fun to buy just about anything and learn to read the multilingual directions on the package!

  87. I hope you’ll keep your excitement long time and wish you great time in Bulgaria. Just one remark – that’s not Bulgarian alphabet, this is the Russian one.

  88. The cat is so cute! Congrats on freshly pressed!

  89. I sincerely hope that you will DO enjoy your life here and that you will have a lot of opportunities for traveling around Europe etc.By the way do you have facebook,cause(it might sound strange to you) ,I am not a twitter fan.If it’s ok I may add you to my friend list :)Enjoy your days with the family.

  90. I’m so very happy for you and I wish you and your hubby all the best in Bulgaria. it sounds like an intriguing place. Live life!

  91. What an adventure – enjoy! I was in BG twice, short trips both times, the people are really friendly and the food and drink is amazing (you pob know this anyway). Best of luck!

  92. I went on a walking holiday in the Rodopi Mountains. It’s a really beautiful country with a lovely simple life in the countryside areas. I loved it there and the food was great. I look forward to reading your adventures.

  93. Good luck! A friend of mine retired to Croatia 4 years ago and she loves it, but still marvels at the difference in cultural norms. For example, I noticed that at the table with all of your husband’s friends, you are the only one smiling. Things like that will open up a million blog topics for you!!

    • Good eye! I noticed that after the picture was taken as well. As an American, it is engrained in us to smile and say “cheese” whenever a camera is pointed in our direction. Not so for Buglarians. My husband is sort of smiling, but that is just because he his a smiley boy. To me, based off the picture, it seems like I am the only one having a good time, but in reality, we were all laughing and smiling right up until someone took the picture. It’s so weird! Just another thing I will have to get used to, I guess!

      • Just read this and made me smile – ditto in Greece! Everyone is laughing their heads off, and someone gets a camera out and they all do their serious photo-faces. (I’m still grinning like a maniac though – 26 years of “smile for the camera” can’t be un-learned!)

  94. This sounds totally awesome. I left the US in December 1999 and got back two months ago. Being an expat is definitely an experience not to be missed, and love is the best reason of all. My wife of 11 years is still an expat, since she’s an Australian in North Carolina now. Enjoy! 🙂

  95. Sounds like an adventure! I know a newly wed who is moving to Germany with her hubby, and she seems just as excited as you. Best of Luck!!

  96. As a US Expat since the middle of November ’11 I know exactly how excited you are! Good luck!

  97. I love your blog. It must be amazing to have the opportunity to live abroad. So jealous! Enjoy your new life with Hubby in BG!

  98. Hi, congrats on being freshly-pressed! I really enjoyed reading your list:)

    The idea of an American girl moving to aboard to be with a foreigner always intrigues me lol. I’m actually planning a move aboard as well next year and your 10 reasons pretty much apply to me as well.

    This must be an exciting time for you and I’m sure you and your husband will thrive when learning about each others’ culture. Huge congrats for crossing “the boundary” 🙂

  99. If the concept gets to be too much for you to handle, just pretend you are taking a semester abroad.

    Good luck! It’ll be interesting to see what things you miss about Utah.

    Ronnie

  100. Congratulations on living your life to the fullest!
    I am from Romania (we’ll practically be neighbors, when you move over, lol) and I can say Bulgaria is a FASCINATING place!
    I really enjoyed the article and if you have doubts, I can only say I saw right reasons in your decisions.
    Good luck with everything and a happy life next to your husband! 🙂
    Oh, and Happy Holidays! 😀

  101. I hate to sound like a wet blanket here but I’ve had a client who met a guy through an online matching service. She hooked up with the dude and then after a year she had to escape back to California because said as she worded it “found vampires in his closet”. Even though I hid her well through my office network for over three years, the dude was able to track her down and I actually saw him drag her back to Bulgaria. And recently I saw her in Facebook posing with her husband and one of the alleged vampires.

    • Yikes, that doesn’t sound like a good situation. I am glad I was able to meet my husband in person and get to know his as a friend before we started a relationship. I think the best marriages start out that way.

  102. Enjoyed your post a lot – enjoy your time there, and all the best!

    PS – In Bulgaria, people usually shake their heads when saying ‘yes’, and nod when saying ‘no’. Just thought you might wanna know 😉

  103. Great post and wonderful adventure! Whatever difficulties you encounter will be so worth it in the long run. I’ve lived nearly all my life as an expat, and now that I’ve been back in the States for about a year, I really miss living overseas. Looking forward to the next move back across the ocean! Good luck with everything and congrats on being freshly pressed!

    Happy holidays and have a wonderful time in Bulgaria!

  104. You’re going to have so much fun! Enjoy. 🙂

  105. Sounds great! Wish you the best of luck!

  106. Best of luck with your move! Stumbled on your blog from the WordPress page. Culture shock isn’t always easy (and neither is the inevitable homesickness), but it sounds like you have a fantastic, adventuresome attitude about it. It will indeed be a challenge and an adventure. Good luck with everything!

    • Thank you! I really try to have an open mind and heart towards my move to Bulgaria. I think that if I didn’t, I would be eaten alive and come home with my tail between my legs!

      • I had major bouts of culture shock when I moved to Taiwan. If you start getting moody, look into culture shock symptoms. I agree with Mashunya – you have a great attitude towards the move! Don’t be surprised or upset with yourself if you encounter a bit of culture shock, though. 🙂 It’s natural.

  107. Congrats on being couragous enough to make such a big change! You go!
    http://www.foundobjectbeachart.wordpress.com

  108. Great post. You made some really good points here. The walking thing was definitely something that stood out to me when I worked in California for a while, being Irish. Bulgaria is meant to be stunning so I’m quite a bit jealous! I can empathise with the language thing too. I’ve recently started learning Russian and even getting the Cyrillic alphabet down was tricky. Best of luck with everything, I look forward to reading more.

  109. I thoroughly enjoyed your post and authentic voice. Enjoy your new home and adventures with your husband!

  110. I “adopted” a 14 y/o boy from Sofia, Bulgaria 7 years ago. He was my son’s best friend and now brother. I make bulgarian dishes for him as often as he asks for them. I have Mekitsi posted on my blog. I wish you all the best and look forward to checking on your adventures (and food) in Sofia. Great blog! 🙂

    • Thank you yo much for reading! I will definitely check out your blog for the Mekitsi. Also, kudos for adopting from Bulgaria. More and more I think about adopting there as well. I would hope that it is easier for a citizen (my husband) and a permanent resident (me, someday) than it is for people from overseas. The number of children in orphanages and bad family situations in BG just breaks my heart.

  111. I was in Sofia twice in 2006 – for about 2 months each time. I love the country – it’s a beautiful place with nice people.

    While you will surely have a few low moments, overall I don’t think you will regret your decision.

  112. My partner and I have lived as expats in both Vietnam and Haiti, so I know a bit about how you might be feeling. You are about to have an amazing adventure. Embrace if fully. Allow it to change you. And congratulations–on the move, the man–and being Freshly Pressed, as well! Hang on for the ride!
    Kathy

  113. Just beautiful. You’re going for it and it’s great. Good luck to you and your hub! Enjoy and do what your heart tells you.

    Val

    http://valentinedefrancis.wordpress.com

  114. All the best for your new adventure and I know what it’s like to be separated from the one you love. My guy is British and I’m American. We dated long distance for 13 months. Luckily I was able to get a work visa to come to the UK almost 3 years ago and we have been together ever since. Can’t wait to read about your new life in Bulgaria!

  115. Looks really amazing! Enjoy your journey together!

  116. Europe has a lot of beautiful features to see. My mom married an husband from Italy and they are there right now celebrating Christmas. Good luck with your new adventure.

  117. Your post has just brought back my memories of the beautiful place.
    I must say you are very lucky to have a loving partner and a lovely place like BG.
    I had stayed in Sofia and it was ‘love at first sight’ on arrival. I have travelled to some other beautiful places on the globe also, but am still in love with BG.
    I just didnt find any reason not to have visited the place or not to visit it again. Such was my experience. I just loved everything about the place.
    Wish you a great life ahead 🙂

  118. I am happy for you, Bulgaria is an amazing place, I lived there for the past 2.5 years as a peace corps volunteer. I lived with a family (and consequently was adopted by the family) I wish you luck with the language, although I am fluent in Bulgarian now, that was not always the case, and it took me a good three months of total immersion in the culture and language just to get the hang of it, but I am sure you will be fine, and if not you always have Vince 🙂

    It was good reading your excellent post, it brought back many memories that I hadn’t thought about for a while now. Thank you

  119. Congratulations on your move, It must be exciting to be moving in a new country and learning a new language. Hope all goes well. Connie
    http://7thandvine.wordpress.com/

  120. I really liked reading your post! Best of luck for your journey and staying in Bulgaria! 🙂

  121. Hi Whitney,
    Congratulations on Being freshly pressed! I lived in Romania for about a year and had to leave the country every 90 days in order to renew my visa. One of those journey’s my family and I took a train from Buceresti to Sofia and spent the day there. It’s ironic that I had the best Chinese food in my life in Bulgaria :-). I will be following your blog to see how your journey unfolds.

  122. Enjoy Bulgaria! My family is from Greece and I have always dreamed of moving there.

  123. You know, you really didn’t need 10. #1 was enough, if you ask me!

    But the others contained incredibly cool points, so I’ll give you that.

    Congratulations!

    🙂

    • You are absolutely right! #1 was always all that I needed to know that I would make the move to expat life. However, I was lucky in that I visited BG and also fell in love with the country. BIG help if you ask me! Thanks for reading. Please stop by again. W.

  124. I envy you! Looks like an exciting future awaits you 🙂

  125. Great post, Whit! Good luck with packing up 😀

  126. I enjoyed reading this collection of reasons for excitement about moving to Bulgaria. When I went it was because of a reason not on your list = work. My job was relocated to Sofia for two years. However, because my wife came with me on our Bulgarian adventure, we were able to get excited for the same 10 reasons you stated!

    • Work is something I hope to do one day in Bulgaria. For now, however, I am not allowed to work, so I will travel and just get to know the country. It’s been great “meeting” people who have a connection to BG and who can share their experiences.

      • So, I imagine, you will eventually become a Bulgarian citizen? I know only a little about how that works here in the States and can only imagine how it works in Bulgaria. A friend of mine from college moved from Sofia when he was 4, and currently has dual US/Bulgarian citizenship. Evidently they’re a part of the European Union now too, so I’d imagine you’d have quite a bit of autonomy in terms of what you can do.

      • My understanding is that if I get permanent residence in Bulgaria and live for 5 consecutive years in the country, I am eligible to become a citizen. Obviously, if I did that, I would then have dual U.S./Bulgarian citizenship. I don’t know if that is something I will end up doing, but it does have its attractions (being a citizen of an EU country definitely has its perks).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s