Why Move To Bulgaria? - World Blog Surf Day

It is World Blog Surf Day today (28th March) and Golden Prague has organised just that. A series of blogs written by expatriates especially for this special day. Essentially a world surfing tour from many expat bloggers telling why they are where they are.


Why did I become an expatriate in Bulgaria? This is often a question asked and not an easy explanation either. There are so many reasons that this happened, but the main reason was perhaps running away from a previous life that had made me ill. It has taken some time to work out that answer and many other expatriates if they are honest with themselves will own up to that fact.

To know what I see and have now found in Bulgaria you really need to know the yearnings of the past so forgive a little history into why I live in Bulgaria

Every since I was a kid aged 6 or 7 years old I'd see a hill in the distance and I wanted to go to that hill. Later as a teenager in London the 70's, green living got a hold of me and the combination of wanting to be somewhere else and self-sufficiency was a pipe dream.

It wasn't until I was 46 that the opportunity came to pass. Owning and working a smallholding I thought was an impossible dream. England was too expensive, then Wales and Scotland became beyond my means and finally France, which was affordable during the 80's and early 90's was left too late and we were priced out there as well.

It was now 2004 and eBay was being surfed, a house was being auctioned and there was only 8 hours to go, and the price was under £2000 with no reserve. I thought it was a scam or a joke and followed the auction through. The house with land was sold for just over £2000! I didn't believe it, but did after I looked into other property in Bulgaria going for roughly the same value It was quite a revelation and an affordable opportunity that I thought had hit a brick wall.

Within 3 months of seeing this site I had done masses of research on Bulgaria, visited it and actually bought a farm smallholding online! Within 6 months of viewing that auction and indeed knowing where Bulgaria was, eBay I escaped the financial and rat raced rut that I was was living in the UK and was living as an expatriate there. It wasn't panic or a mid-life crisis, but a sudden realisation that Bulgaria and me just clicked.

Now there are many things I regret in life, many based on not acting quickly enough, but moving here was the best solution for me and my lifetime ambition. I have sacrificed more than most can ever imagine to get here and many said I was crazy to make the move. To me now on reflection the poverty and simplicity of live here is the great appeal, it was only poverty based and a complex life based on mortgages and credit through a material based culture in the UK.

Many other considering it may prefer more 'up market' countries to move to. Bulgarian life is very rough at the edges for most people here, the infrastructure here is quite unstable. Politics is corrupt in the main and a sense of helplessness from the everyday Bulgarian know there is nothing they can do about it. Mafia infiltrated industry is the only reason it survives as it does here. There is four levels of living here, the rich, mainly Mafia based businesses, the town folk who work for a living and the old pension people in the villages. Then of course there is the gypsy community were in the main live on the fringe of Bulgarian society. Please excuse the generalisation, but that is how I see it here in a snapshot.

Bulgaria is it's own monster and you live and get on with the monster or you try and fight it from your foreign perspective. I gave up fighting the monster quite early on after meeting it face to face everyday.

The Bulgarian countryside is beautiful if you ignore the rubbish that is thrown everywhere. The wildlife and nature excels here and is a major attraction along with the Black Sea Coastal resorts, not totally spoilt from over development yet if you look around. And then there is the skiing resorts if you like skiing and can afford it.

The people seem to be very cold initially, but once you get acquainted you will have a friend for life who can't do enough for you. All you need to do is talk and the thaw starts straight away.

Finally, I am indeed luck enough to now have a Bulgarian partner whose family I know live with. This truly is the most Bulgarian of adventures one could get. A very simple life now is led day to day as that is how most Bulgarians live, on a day to day basis.


Please now can you consider surfing onto Ricky Yates Weblog. He is an Anglican clergyman who moved to Prague to become Chaplain to the English-speaking Anglican Episcopal congregation in the Czech Republic. A great insight of this Chaplain Brit now living and working there. http://rickyyates.com/

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