Girl Meets Bulgaria

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

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Catching Up…Again!

I am a huge slacker. Plain and simple.

Since getting to AK, I have only turned my laptop on a few times. My iPhone is enough for most things, but clearly not for blogging as I haven’t posted much of anything for weeks!

Many apologies.

My boss and I picked up Vince and one of my employees in Anchorage earlier this week. He’s thrilled to be back; that boy LOVES Alaska! He doesn’t start working for another week, so he has just been hanging out.Vince's first night back in Alaska.

This weekend we drove the 2 hours to Denali and Healy to spend the night and go to a former co-worker’s annual wine party. It was a blast seeing everyone and enjoying free-flowing adult beverages, fancy appetizers, and their stunning view. Visiting our peeps in HealyUntitled#sunset over #denali #alaska

We also got to eat at our favorite dive bar/diner (Totem Inn). Their Monte Cristo sandwich is To.Die.For! Yum! #montecristo #denalieats #toteminn #alaska

About 2am this morning, I got a call from a friend that the Northern Lights were out. I bundled up and headed out into the below zero temps. They were indeed performing their usual swirling dance. Even though they weren’t super bright, they are still so beautiful and I am in awe every time I am lucky enough to see them.I didn’t have my Nikon with me, unfortunately, so I wasn’t able to get any photos. Untitled


Another weekend has come and gone far too quickly. Back to work tomorrow! We are planning on a more low key weekend next week. I have gone to Denali the past two weekends, and although the drive is beautiful, I am looking forward to sticking closer to home for awhile!

What have you been up to lately? I miss interacting with everyone! 



Fun in Plovdiv with the Denali Crew

My friend K. who is visiting from Alaska also happens to be my boss in Denali (for Princess Cruises). She’s been there for years and has always had a large staff of Bulgarians working for her–mostly big, burly Bell staff men. She sometimes refers to them as her “Bulgarian Mafia.” Don’t know how accurate that really is, but you never know! 😉 All I do know is that they are a great bunch of guys (and one gal who is a supervisor in housekeeping) that I am happy to call my friends.

*cue sappy muzak*

When she made plans to come to Bulgaria we knew that a large get together with everyone was in order. Almost all of us (besides Vince and I and another married Bulgarian/American couple who live in the states) live in or around Plovdiv and Asenovgrad. We made Plovdiv our home base for a night last weekend and booked a room at a hostel (Hostel Mostel, which wasn’t all that great, btw). All of the plans were made and all we had to do was show up at Restaurant Arbanasi ready to party.
Denali Gang

The food was delicious but the entertainment was what it was all about. We had the best table in the house (thanks F. for making the reservation “for your American friends who get the best table in the house.”) When Vince hears Bulgarian music and has any amount of alcohol in him…he turns into a dancing fool. Having a few glasses of wine myself, I eventually joined in as well.

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Making Friends As a Grown Woman

I came across I Never Grew Up (written by a fellow Utahn) through another blog that I read fairly regularly.

For the past week or so, I Never Grew Up, has had guest posts from various female bloggers on a topic that I’ve thought about quite a bit as of late: how to make friends as a grown woman.

The concept seems fairly straightforward until you really start to think about it. Gone are the days of meeting a fellow kid on the playground and being best buds by lunch time. Gone are the days of bonding over sleepovers and late night talks about cute boys.

Although, adult females have their own version of these ubiquitous childhood events. I still have sleepovers occasionally with a few of my friends and even now that a lot of us are married, we still talk about men we think are especially yummy!

I suppose that the reason why this series of (very well-written) posts got to me so much is that I now find myself 6,000 miles from home. An ocean away from my closest confidants and hang-out pals.

Truth be told, I find myself pretty much friend-less these days.

Yes, I have my awesome group of friends back home. Friends whom I have known for years and count amongst my favorite people on the planet. Friends who were nothing but supportive of my decision to pack up my life and move overseas.

Unfortunately, they aren’t here. I can’t simply pick up the phone and organize a movie date, plans to meet for coffee, or quick (who am I kidding? Hours long marathon is more like it!) trip to Target to check out the new merch.

Which brings me to my current sad-sap state. Two weeks into life as an expat and I am desperate for female company. I love my husband and our quirky, fun-loving relationship, but there are just some things a girl needs another girl for!

Trying to make friends as an adult is not something I am extremely used to nor comfortable with.

You see, I am a bit of a wallflower/homebody. I have never been one for going out clubbing or to parties thrown by people I have never met. It’s just not my thing. I have a small group of friends that I have known for years and, given the choice, I would rather go to a movie or have a nice dinner with them than get my inebriated dance on.

My friends, because they know me so well now, would argue this but I have to also point out that I can be pretty shy. I take some time to warm up, but once I do… Bow howdy, watch out!

I’m a simple girl with simple tastes. In fact, some of my best memories include sitting around at a friend’s house knitting and going for late night drives to Hobbitville and Emo’s Grave (you SLC peeps will know what I am talking about). Nothing big. Nothing fancy. Just small moments that will stick with me forever.

I cherish these relationships with girls I met as long ago as Kindergarten to as recently as college and summers working in Alaska.

However, I’m at a {very} different point in my life now and I know that if I want to make new friends, I need to put some effort into it.

I have some unique obstacles: language barrier, cultural differences, travel distance, etc.

But, if I am going to maintain even a little bit of my sanity, I need to focus on having a life outside my husband and our home. I need to cultivate new relationships. This is an especially important endeavor to undertake before I have children. I think that once many woman become mothers, their entire lives become wrapped up in that identity. I know that being a mother is the most important and rewarding job a woman can have, but I also believe that having a life outside of that role is essential.

So, that brings me to today. I guess what I am attempting with this post is to throw my net out into the friend-ocean and see what I reel in. I won’t ever meet anyone just sitting in my apartment. One of the reasons I started this blog was to meet new people and I think I have certainly accomplished that. Now I just need to move beyond the world of the web and meet people in person (like I did recently with Lauren and Martin).

If you’re like me and looking to meet new people, let me know! It takes some courage to put oneself out there, but I think the rewards can far outweigh the risks.