Girl Meets Bulgaria

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


13 for 2013


Well, folks, it’s officially February! The first month of 2013 has already come and gone.


I’ve had the beginnings of this post in my drafts since early January but never managed to finish it up…until now.

I am a firm believer that it is never too late to set goals and go about tackling them. That being said, I have never been one to set New Years Resolutions. OK…OK… That’s not entirely true. Let’s just say that I’ve never been one to actually accomplish any News Years Resolutions. Like most people, I start out energized and motivated, but just a few weeks later I’ve pretty much forgotten that I even set resolutions. So instead of “New Years” resolutions, I am just setting 13 regular old resolutions to achieve at some point in 2013.

Pretty vague. I know.

But that’s how this girl rolls.

I know I keep alluding to big changes ahead for Mr. Hubs and I, but it’s still just a little too early in the game yet to spill all the beans. I am bursting to tell you all what we have in store for us this year. SOON! Suffice it to say that 2013 is going to be our most life-changing year yet. We’re talkin’ fireworks exploding, Hallelujah music here folks!

(well…maybe not quite that much, but awesome, nonetheless!)

And no. I am NOT pregnant!

13 Resolutions for 2013:

(in no particular order)

  1. Read everything I currently have downloaded on my Kindle. No more downloads until I start reading what I have!
  2. Save more and spend less. This is a BIGGIE! Getting in control of our finances and planning for the future is extremely important to us this year.
  3. Make a bigger effort to keep in touch with family and friends, especially when I am out of the state (Utah) or country. I stay regularly connected with my mom and a few friends, but I can always find more time to send a nice note or email to those I haven’t heard from in awhile.
  4. Take more control of my blog and learn some basic coding and design. Because of the changes ahead for Vince and I this year, I am seriously thinking about making some major blog changes. I’ll let you know if/when that happens!
  5. Clean up my diet. I have been eating really well since getting to Bulgaria but there is always room for improvement. I would still like to try out a vegetarian diet for a month to see how I feel.
  6. Actually try to learn some Bulgarian (beyond the basics) and use it! I’ve been in BG for 3 months now and my Bulgarian has not improved much. I do find myself understanding snippets of conversations here and there, but that’s about it!
  7. Continue to work on my photography skills and tackle a few new techniques. My photography has come a long way since getting my Nikon DSLR (aka, my baby) for Christmas in 2010. I still have TONS to learn, however!
  8. De-clutter and focus on being more organized. AKA stop being such a slob!
  9. Speak (& think) kinder. Sometimes I have a bit of a potty mouth and also say things I shouldn’t. I truly want to strive to have a more positive attitude, both in how I project myself to others and internally as well.
  10. Settle down (a bit) and work on finding a career that I am passionate and excited about. I will always be a vagabond at heart. I have come to realize this. However, it’s also important to me to set down some roots while Vince and I start/raise a family. Don’t get me wrong, there will be LOTS of travels throughout, but we’ll have a home base where we can return to to regroup, relax, and plan our next adventure!
  11. Prioritize time (home/work/hobbies/internet/etc.) As much as I LOVE this little bloggy of mine, I spend far too much time on the internet and computer and not enough enjoying nature, engaging in hobbies, and just being. Between blogging, surfing, social networking, uploading and editing photos, and working, a huge chunk of my time is spent staring at a computer screen. I want to get out more and spend more time with Vince and friends. I know the web will always be a big part of my life but prioritizing how I spend my time online is crucial to keeping my brain from turning into complete mush.
  12. Write! I sat down a few days ago to write out a blog post on paper (thought this might make it easier to organize my thoughts) and I seriously had forgotten how to form letters. Alright, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but the pen definitely felt foreign in my hand. I used to journal and take notes a lot and I would like to get back into that routine.
  13. Cross at least 5 items off my “30 Before 30” list. The big 3-0 is quickly approaching and I have not made much progress on my goal list.

Yeah. That last one is a goal to meet some goals. It’s like Goal Inception! 🙂

What are you resolving to tackle this year? Please Share! I love hearing what other people find important in their lives.


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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



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1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

As I am a huge fan of reading and all things “list-y,” I thought this list of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, was pretty interesting. Although, there were some omissions that I thought were odd.


I skimmed through it and it seems that I have only read about 20 of the 1001 books.*Gasp*

I got a Kindle 3G for my birthday and have already downloaded over one hundred books, most of them from the out-of-copyright, pre-1923 category as they are free. I am on a very tight budget right now (saving for my move to Bulgaria and my wedding), so free is perfect for me!

I suppose it also helps that I am a big fan of the “classics” anyway. Jane Austen is my favorite.

A good portion of the 1001 books on the list were written before 1923.

I know it’s a little early to be setting New Years resolutions and goals, but I’m doing it anyway!

My very realistic and obtainable goal for 2011 is to read at least 12 more books from the list. Should be easy-peasy as there are at least 12 that I have been meaning to read for a long time anyway.

I have to just say that I REALLY love my Kindle! I have always been a reader, but over the past few years I was reading more textbooks than novels. Now that I am done with school, I want to get back into the habit of reading instead of watching TV. Already I am doing it. I am almost done with North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, though I still watch more TV then I’d like.

So there we go, the first of many 2011 resolutions/goals!