You never really realize how fast time goes by until you stop and think about it. Yesterday – April 21 – I officially made 1-year since I moved to Bulgaria! Celebrating my move was very important to me because it was a milestone I didn’t think I would reach. I can’t believe that it has been that long and how it only seems like yesterday that I decided to take on this journey. I really don’t know what my expectations were in the beginning, but I am very glad that I made this decision despite the struggles here and there.
My choice to move was pretty spur of the moment, but I figured if not now then when? So, I did it. In my head, this move was supposed to be short-term – and by this, I mean a span of about 6-months. Things obviously changed. Despite taking on this journey on my own, being so far away from my immediate family and friends, and pretty much submerging myself in a country that I have visited dozens of times yet still didn’t know so well, I think it was all worth it.
I figured I would get a little more creative and summarize the highlights of the past 12 months since I moved to Bulgaria.
Honestly, what made this whole move easier for me was that I was by the beach and was able to think of it as a solo-vacation. I had done something similar by studying abroad by myself and being in Florence, Italy (somewhere completely unknown to me at the time). I had an open mindset and made the most out of every experience.
I started work and my time started filling up which kept me busy (A.K.A. my mind was off the fact that I was alone). A couple of days in, my parents actually came to visit – which they do often. They were able to really help me get settled in my apartment and were a huge help. We even did some traveling within Bulgaria.
My twin sister came to visit while my parents were still here! This was the first time in 5 years that we had all been together in Bulgaria so it was all a lot of fun for us. Aside from work, most of our days were spent on the beach, exploring Varna, and eating amazing food – no surprise there.
July means Primetime summer: chances are you would find me on the beach…alone or not. 2 ½ months in since I moved to Bulgaria and I had made amazing friends. I really started getting the hang of living here on my own. I actually got used to everything faster than I thought given how much of an introvert I am.
I took a few weekend trips in August to places I have and haven’t been to in Bulgaria. It’s really amazing how many hidden gems there in this country and how much beauty there is in everything.
Summer was coming to an end, but I was trying to take advantage of every single warm day and go to the beach for as long as possible. My friends and I scored end of the season discounts at the water park and we got together often which was always a lot of fun.
Fall was in the air and the sea garden in Varna is so pretty this time of year with the leaves changing colors. This month is always super busy for me because it is the start of the holiday season – at least in my family. My birthday was at the end of the month and I celebrated it by going out to dinner with my friends. A day later, one of my best friends from America came to visit and we went to Barcelona!
When I got back from my trip to Spain, my parents were here visiting! Both of them have birthdays at the beginning of the month so we had a lot of fun celebrating them together along with some of their best friends. Since Thanksgiving is an American holiday and not really big here – my friends and I took advantage and threw a Friendsgiving!
Varna literally lights up around the holidays. It is so pretty and it always made me so happy walking the streets this time of year. I spent half of this month in Bulgaria and the other half in America with my family. Aside from all of the fun holiday work events and parties, it was nice to go back home for the holidays to see my whole family.
I brought in the New Year in Varna with some friends at a home-gathering. January was an extremely long month for me (and I think for everyone this year), but I did a lot of fun and amazing things. I even went and volunteered for an animal shelter here in Varna!
Since I moved to Bulgaria, I would say February was the busiest month for me – I had a lot of things going on and I had finally launched my blog! I spent my weekends going to brunch in Varna with one of my friends and was always on the move.
My friends and I took a weekend road trip to Veliko Tarnovo and Gabrovo which was really fun. We also ended up celebrating International Women’s Day together later in the month. The end of March had amazing weather and it felt like Summer was coming way earlier – it was a lie. I took advantage of the warmer weather and was always taking walks in the Sea Garden.
Well, this month isn’t over yet, but it’s worth mentioning. I celebrated my 1-year since I moved to Bulgaria with my closest friends here. I made them an American/Bulgarian brunch with French Toast and Crepes – the best of both worlds. They were incredibly thoughtful and got me a gift which I love!
So, one year is down in the books and I am ready to see what comes next in this journey!