Girl Meets Bulgaria

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

1 Comment

Randomly Me Monday: Volume Twelve | 10 Day You Challenge

I’ve slacked on the 10 Day You Challenge posts lately. I think it’s because I am a bit bored of talking about myself, but I hate to quit right before the end. So here I am in the final stretch.

Up today is three movies

I’ve mentioned my love for film on my blog before. I’ve also mentioned Amelie as my favorite movie overall. It’s truly the perfect blend of humor, romance, mystery, and silliness.

Today, I thought I would list three more favorites. Really, they are just the three that popped into my head first!


1) The Royal Tenenbaums.

I love pretty much everything Wes Anderson does. His movies are quirky, witty, smart, and unlike most other movies produced today. The Royal Tenenbaums is a bit (OK, a lot) depressing, but in a way that completely captures your heart and endears you to the somewhat damaged characters. It’s got a kickass soundtrack as well.

♥Love it.♥

My other Anderson favorites include Darjeeling Limited (portrays India in such a cool way) and Fantastic Mr. Fox. His new movie, Moonrise Kingdom, looks fantastic and I can’t wait to get back home to UT to see it.

Continue reading



Randomly Me Monday: Volume Eleven | 10 Day You Challenge

Up today: five foods

Thought I’d do a bit of a love/hate combo for this one…


1) Pizza–Yum! I’m not into the pies with a huge number of toppings or gourmet ingredients, I am a plain ol’ pepperoni and cheese kind of girl. When I visited Chicago last fall, I made sure to hit up some of the city’s most famous pizzerias. My opinion? Chicago deep dish doesn’t hold a candle to New York thin crust.

2) Seafood–Crab legs are a particular favorite. When I sit and think about it, crabs and lobsters are a bit gross, but they sure do taste delicious!

3) Veggies–There really isn’t a vegetable that I don’t like. I am much more a veggie person than a fruit person. Thankfully, the salad bars offered in Princess employee dining are well stocked. This will come in handy next month when I attempt to become vegetarian for 30 days (one of my 30 before 30 goals).


4) Cheese–OK, not all cheese, but most. I like real cheddar and mozzarella. That’s about it. Anything that smells like feet, comes from a goat, or  has visible mold? NO THANKS!

5) Veal–I am not a big red meat eater in general, but I will eat steak and hamburger. I have never eaten veal and I don’t think I ever will. I know it’s hypocritical not to eat it because of the way the calfs (or is it calves?) are treated when the adults are treated poorly as well, but mentally I just can’t do it.


There you have it. A bit of a boring blurb on my eating habits.

I think four books will be a bit more interesting!



Want to see previous posts in this series?

Randomly Me: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

10 Day You Challenge: ten secrets, nine loves, eight fears, seven wants, six places


Please support my blog through following, subscribing to my RSS feed, connecting with me on Twitter, or liking GMB on Facebook.

I truly appreciate it!


Randomly Me Monday (on a Tuesday!): Volume Ten | 10 Day You Challenge

It might be Tuesday, but I didn’t want to miss another Randomly Me post. Mondays can’t get all the fun!

Truckin’ along with the 10 Day You Challenge…

A fun one for me…

six places:

1) Scotland– OK, OK. I know I have gushed about Scotland many times before, but I can’t help it. I’ve been all over the world, but the beauty of the country still stands out amongst the rest. It’s been 8 years since I visited, so I think a return trip is in order…soon!

Loch Ness

2) Bulgaria–My new home. I’ve only spent about 4 months total in the country, but I am completely in love with it. Of course, part of that is because my hubs is Bulgarian, but I think I’d love it anyway even if he weren’t! I moved to BG over the winter and will be returning soon after I leave Alaska in the fall.

Veliko Tarnovo

3) Alaska–At the end of this summer I will have lived in Alaska for over a year of my life. Alaska, and Denali in particular, embed themselves in people’s hearts. I am no exception. Coming back to Denali always feels like coming home.

Denali National Park

4) Utah–My home state. I was born and raised in Utah and if Vince and I decide to settle in the U.S., it will likely be in UT. Utah is stunning. From the “greatest snow on earth” at the state’s many ski resorts, to 5 world-famous National Parks; Utah is one of the most beautiful and diverse states in the nation (of course, I am a little biased).

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park

5) India–I visited the country on a volunteer trip with some friends in 2007. My feelings on my time in the country are hard to articulate. I saw some things that broke my heart, but at the same time I saw and experienced things that touched my soul, changed my life, and created lifelong memories. Having traveled in India, I feel like I can travel anywhere in the world. There probably is not another country in the world that can so strongly stimulate all 5 senses ALL.THE.TIME. Sometimes this is an awesome thing, other times not so much. Those of you who have visited will understand what I mean.

6) Egypt–The only country on this list where I haven’t traveled…yet. I have been enamored with Egypt since grade school. In fact, I once had dreams of becoming an Egyptologist (I was fascinated with mummies as a kid). Those childhood career plans may have faded, but my fascination with the country and its history have not. The current political state of the country makes a visit something that will have to wait.

Whew! I can’t believe I was able to narrow down “places” to just six! There are so many more that I could talk about. But I suppose that is a blog post for another day.


Want to see previous posts in this series?

Randomly Me: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

10 Day You Challenge: ten secrets, nine loves, eight fears, seven wants


Please support my blog through following, subscribing to my RSS feed, connecting with me on Twitter, or liking GMB on Facebook.

I truly appreciate it!



Randomly Me Monday: Volume Nine | 10 Day You Challenge


I’m back again with a Randomly Me post and the 10 Day You Challenge.

This one is going to be short and sweet {probably}.

Seven wants:

1) A baby— Yep. I am baby hungry and not ashamed to admit it! Soon… Soon…

2) A return trip to Scotland–I visited in 2004 when I was 18 years old and it has embedded itself deep into my heart. I look forward to visiting with my hubby and experiencing more of that famous Scottish charm (and sexy as hell accent!).

3) A successful career–Ideally, when I have kids I would love to stay home until they are older. But if that isn’t in the cards, I hope to have a fulfilling career in some sort of tourism, hospitality, or recreation capacity. I would love to stay with Princess in a year round position, whether it be in California, Seattle, or Alaska. I would also love to have my own business selling my handmade jewelry or something else I handcraft. I have also contemplated returning to school to get my Masters degree. Oh! And maybe work as a photographer. Clearly I have not narrowed down my plans!

4) Visit every continent–I once had this as a goal for before I got married, but obviously that didn’t work out!

5) Better my health–AKA lose weight and become more active! I want to be the best me possible.

6) Accomplish all my 30 Before 30 goals–I am slowing making progress and have about 3.5 years to go!

7) Stay passionate–I think having passions in life, whatever they may be, keeps us young, interesting, and happy. I have mine and I am sure I will develop more as I get older.


Up next week: six places (SO hard to nail down for a travel bum like me!)

Check out previous weeks’ Randomly Me posts:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5,

10 Day You Challenge posts:

ten secrets, nine loves, eight fears




Randomly Me Monday: Volume Eight | 10 Day You Challenge

Hey, ya’ll!

I made it to Healy (Alaska) on Thursday and I think I have finally settled in.

The past few days have been a blur of training, unpacking, organizing, and just plain lazing about.

I don’t have any internet yet in my housing, so blog posts will be few and far between for the time being, unfortunately.

But, I thought I’d walk my butt across the road for some internet so I could get this post up.

Aren’t you thrilled?! 😉

Carrying on this week with the 10 Day You Challenge.

ten secrets, nine loves

Eight fears:

First off, I should say that I am not an overly fearful person. I try to have an optimistic view on life and see fear mostly as a waste of precious time. That being said, there are a few things that came to mind for this prompt…

1) Creepy crawlies–I have mentioned it before, but I have a huge fear of bugs. Spiders are especially scream inducing. I just think they are gross and don’t want them anywhere near me.

2) Heights–As long as I am strapped into/onto something, heights don’t really bother me; but if I am not…no thank you!

3) Being accused or convicted of a crime I didn’t commit–I can’t imagine anything worse than being thrown into jail for a crime I did not do. The thought freaks me out to no end. This is why the death penalty doesn’t sit so well with me. There have been cases of inmates on death row being exonerated of their crimes after years spent behind bars. It’s definitely something that gets me thinking.

4) Car accidents–This may sound morbid, but I think I would rather die of a disease or sickness than in a car crash. I know it may often be a quicker way to go, but the fear associated with it just scares me. I am fanatic about wearing a seat belt and I make any passengers in a car I am driving buckle up.

5) Being away from home if something happens–As a nomad at heart, being away from “home” (family and friends) for extended periods of time always makes my worrisome nature intensify. I fear that something major will happen and I won’t be able to get back quick enough. I am sure this is a fear that many expats and travelers have, but it’s something that is always in the back of my mind when I am away from Utah (and now Bulgaria).

6) Failure–I have a competitive nature and I hate failing. I think the fear comes in when I think about my long term future. I want to be successful in whatever it is that I choose to do. Right now these fears involve my career plans, family plans, and the big question of where Vince and I will find ourselves settled.

7) Hippos–Alright. Go ahead and laugh. But I think hippos are terrifying. Did you know they kill more people in Africa than any other wild animal?

8) I fear that I am out of things to say for this prompt! Kudos to you if you read this far. 🙂


Hope to be back in action with more posts and updates as soon as the internet is up.

Keep in touch!


Check out previous Randomly Me posts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7


Randomly Me Monday: Volume Seven | 10 Day You Challenge

ten secrets


Continuing the 10 Day You Challenge today with nine loves

1) Travel–Honestly, when I think of the one overriding love or passion in my life, traveling and exploring the world is the first thing to come to mind. There really isn’t anywhere on earth I wouldn’t love to explore. I am forever planning my next trip and dreaming about the new experiences I will encounter. It really doesn’t matter if it’s a road trip somewhere close or a trip halfway around the world: I am in! To get really specific, out of everywhere I have been, Scotland takes the cake as my favorite destination. I was only there a few days, but the breathtaking countryside and genuinely warm people burrowed their way deep into my heart and soul. I would love to live there one day.

2) Photography–I can still remember my first camera, a cheapo 110 film Kodak given to me by my grandparents when I was a young child. People have often told me how good my photographs are, but until a few years ago I never really saw it. Now I feel like my personal photography style and unique way of seeing the world is coming through in the photos I take. I still have a HUGE amount to learn about the art itself (and using my camera in manual mode), but I feel that this is what makes photography great–there is always room for learning and growing.

3) Arts and crafts–Ever since I was little I have loved making things with my hands. I cannot draw or paint for the life of me, but I love making jewelry, scrapbooking, and doing needlework. Now by no means am I fantastic at any of them (although I am pretty proud of some of my jewelry pieces), but I sure try! My dream job would be to work out of a home studio making something beautiful for the world to enjoy. And while it may not be an art or craft, I enjoy cooking and am looking forward to improving my talents (with my husband as guinea pig, of course!).

Continue reading


Randomly Me Monday: Volume Six | 10 Day You Challenge

Previous Volumes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


I am such a sucker for these “About Me” tags and challenges. Came across this one on The Daily Visual Inspiration and thought I’d do it myself. If you have done it already or start your own challenge, feel free to link it up in the comments!

Let’s get crackin’…

10 “Secrets”:

(some of these may not be so secret to all my readers)

1) I hate loud music or noises. I have really sensitive ears so I never went through that loud, blaring music phase when I was a teen. Luckily, I found a man who hates it as much as me, so we are a couple of oldies in our car with our quiet music playing in the background!

2) Speaking of loud noises (*said in a Brick Tamland voice ala Anchorman*), I cannot sleep with any sort of noise or lights around me. I have to have complete silence and darkness. I sleep with earplugs in almost every night and even an eye mask every so often.

3) I am a big Josh Groban fan (aka, a “Grobie”). I sing at the top of my lungs to his songs. And contrary to secret #1, he is one of the few people I can stand listening to at full volume. That voice of his is beautiful!

4) I feel super awkward going to certain places alone. I have only ever been to one movie by myself and have never gone to a restaurant and eaten at a table by myself. I would feel like I needed a book or laptop or something to distract me.

5) I have a bad habit of getting very excited about something and investing myself (and my money, unfortunately) in it full throttle. Sadly, nearly every time my interest fades quickly. Some examples: many types of arts and crafts,  diet and exercise regimes, and learning Bulgarian. I am working on this part of myself. I am proud that I have stuck with blogging and building my photography skills.

6) I am a Christian, but I do not follow any one denomination. I am open to all sorts of ideas and beliefs and am still figuring out my own faith. I do not prescribe to the notion that everyone must believe in one thing/ideal to be a good person. I value differences in people; that’s what makes us unique, after all! I think the world be such a boring place if we all believed the same things.

7) When I think about travel, I almost always think about other countries. In fact, I have been to far more countries than I have U.S. states. It’s not that exploring more of my own country isn’t important to me, it’s just that I find overseas travel more interesting. However, this has begun to change in recent years. There are so many U.S. cities that I want to visit and learn more about.

8) I am not an overly untidy person and in some areas of my life I am compulsively organized. But (and it’s a BIG but) my bedroom almost always resembles the aftermath of a bomb. I am a bit of a pack rat and tend to hang on to things that have some sentimental value to them. My room here in Utah is quite small, so it looks cluttered even when things are in order. Right now, however, it’s just plain messy! I still have my suitcase from Bulgaria wide open on the floor. I leave for Alaska in a week, so I figured it would be dumb to completely unpack and put it away only to get it back out and repack.

9) My parents divorced about 4 years ago. Growing up, a lot of my friends’ parents were divorced, but I never thought my parents would. Now that they are (and considering the way in which it went down), we all know it’s for the best and everyone is better off. I love my dad, but he isn’t the greatest person in the world. Luckily, I have an awesome mom and extended family.

10) I have extremely vivid and in-depth dreams. Some of them are pretty frightening (think Apocalypse dreams, all the time). This seems to run in my family as most of the women on my mom’s side have the same thing, we call them “Workman” dreams, as that is my Grandma’s maiden name. I can still remember full details of dreams I had as a child. Another weird thing, I can wake up and then fall back asleep and go back into my dreams. They are sometimes a bit changed but generally the same as before I woke up. It’s pretty cool, I think.


Well there you go, 10 “secrets” I could think of at this moment. Not sure how interesting they are!

Instead of doing this challenge for 10 straight days, I will do one or two posts per week. Once I am done I think my “Randomly Me” posts will be few and far between. I am sure most of you are getting sick of hearing so much about me!