Girl Meets Bulgaria

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

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2012: A Year in Review


It’s hard to believe that 2012 is coming to a close. This year has been very eventful indeed and saw me moving from America to Bulgaria, confronting life (and a fair amount of culture shock) as a new expat, exploring my new home, venturing back to Denali, Alaska for a third summer working for Princess Cruises; time spent at home in Utah with friends and family, another leap across the pond to Bulgaria, and reveling in a ridiculous amount of incredible travels.

While part of me is sad to see such a jam-packed year pass, the rest of me is looking forward to the BIG changes and adventures that 2013 holds. There is already a lot in the works and Vince and I are excited for everything to come.

As I reflect back on 2012 and all that I have experienced, I wanted to share some of the highlights from this year that made their way into blog posts.

(It’s a long one guys!)




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First Snowfall in Sofia | Dec. 03, 2012

No view of Vitosha today!
It’s snowing in Sofia!

The Utah girl in me is excited to see the white stuff coming down, especially in big, beautiful flakes.

The other part of me, the one who lived through the horrible winter last year in Smolyan, is wishing it away for just a little longer.

I guess Mother Nature doesn’t care what I want and is doing her own thing.

It was hard dragging myself out of my warm blanket and off the couch to go out into the cold on the balconies; but I had to snap a few photos to mark the occasion of the first snowfall in Sofia for winter 2012.

Piling up

Snow on the rooftops

Snowy shops

I even shot a quick video!

(Sheesh, you’d think it was the first time in my life seeing snow!)

Wherever you are, I hope you are warm and safe and enjoying the holiday season.



P.S. You can hover over each photo for a caption or click on the photo to be taken to my Flickr feed. There are lots more photos there!

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2011: Highs and Lows

New Years Eve=lots of snow in Smolyan


It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. 2011 was definitely a jam-packed year for me.

In just a few short hours, I will be celebrating the coming of a new year with my new family in my new home.

Doesn’t get more exciting than that, does it?!

Here are a few of the things that made this year my most memorable yet:

  • In January I was viciously attacked by my friend’s cat (jk Ames, I still love kitty) and ended up with an IV sticking out of my arm for a few days and some scars that prove cats may be cute but can turn deadly with the drop of a hat! 😉
  • Just a couple days after my harrowing animal attack experience, I suddenly found myself in the most pain I have ever experienced. I thought the two may have been related, but a visit to the ER and a CT scan revealed that I had kidney stones (err… well stone, hopefully there are no more in there!). January was not my month. I am so thankful I had amazing health insurance at the time, saved me thousands of dollars.
  • At the end of April I quit my job at the University of Utah Commuter Services. I worked there for over 6 years and I was definitely sad to leave. I still miss the place sometimes!
  • At the beginning of May I headed back to Denali, Alaska for another summer working for Princess Cruises/Tours at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. Highlights of the summer (apart from being in one of the most gorgeous places on earth) include: being back with Vince after nearly 8 months apart, salmon fishing, a glacier landing flight on Mt. McKinley, mini-vacation at the Copper River Princess Lodge, visiting Valdez, taking a glacier cruise of Prince William Sound, eating some amazing food, and meeting some great people.
  • At the end September, Vince and I flew from Anchorage to Las Vegas, Nevada to tie the knot at the LV Hilton in front of a small group of our family and friends at the. It was the perfect day–relaxing and chill, just how I like it. We followed up the ceremony with cocktails, a dip in the pool, and a reception dinner. I was so happy to finally be marrying my sweetheart!
  • A few days after the wedding, Vince had to return to Bulgaria. It sucked. But this time I knew it was only for 3 months and that I would be joining him in BG shortly.
  • October through December were my laziest months ever. Other than an awesome trip to Chicago over my 26th birthday, I spent most of my time sleeping weird hours, surfing the web, and hanging out with friends and family. In that sense, I am grateful for so much free time, I got to spend time with those I love before my move.
  • December was an amazing month for this little blog o’ mine. Being Freshly Pressed on WordPress was an awesome experience. 2,500 hits in one day is something I could definitely get used to! I have lots of new subscribers, but most of all, I am so thankful for all the feedback and comments. It’s truly a heartwarming feeling to know so many people out there are rooting for me. THANK YOU!
  • And that brings me to today. After 3 long years of planning and waiting, I am now living in Bulgaria! It’s only day two but so far I am loving every minute of it. I am ecstatic to finally be living with my husband like any other married couple. It’s truly an amazing opportunity that I have been given.

So there you have it, a brief recap of some memorable moments in 2011. I am eagerly looking forward to all that 2012 has to offer. I hope to go on lots of adventures, learn some Bulgarian, and meet many new people along the way (all with my sweet husband by my side).

We may not know what the future holds, but I am sure this time next year, Vince and I will be looking back with thanks and looking forward with hope.

Happy New Year!