1-Living in Bulgaria will be an adventure, doesn’t matter what kind of person you are and what you want out of life.
Bulgaria can provide you with very different experiences depending on whether you live in one of the cities, or in smaller towns and villages. When people describe villages in Bulgaria, they describe “horse and cart” type of villages. So, make sure you are willing to live in that kind of environment if you are considering a rustic existence in Bulgaria, any way you won’t be alone there are many expats that choose those regions and enjoy the positive side of a simpler life, there are regions close to Veliko Tarnovo, Dobrich, and Elhovo just to mention a few, with relatively big expats communities.
You should know:
2-Bulgaria’s population is reducing fast. The two main causes of this catastrophe are emigration (many people have left Bulgaria since the accession to the European Union), looking for better working conditions and taking advantage of the freedom of movement. Bulgaria has a Net loss of one person every 11 minutes. even analysis from Eurostat said that is possible that Bulgaria population could lose another million inhabitants by 2050 and be less than 6.000 000.
3-low birth rates since Bulgarian families normally have one child, maximum two. the fertility rate in Bulgaria is 1.43 child per woman. You will definitely be valued as an immigrant or an expat. Especially if you are educated and hard-working.
Here’s the deal:
4-Bulgaria is a very beautiful country. The scenery is just beautiful. The mountains are stunning and the ski resorts are so breathtaking nothing to envy to any other country in the world. There are a lot of natural honey producers here. You can see jars for sale on the sides of roads and in any of the villages. Fruit and vegetables are for sale everywhere and are most delicious. Hot summers and cold winters. Winters can be below -15. Summers can touch 35 or even 40 in some areas like Plovdiv and south Bulgaria.
5- Another thing that makes Bulgaria famous its the nice sandy beaches, and the warm water temperature of the Black Sea in the summer season, the beaches can vary from lively and sports-facilitated beach stripes to calm and beautiful campsites.
The beaches along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast can be located in the resorts, which are normally crowded during the high season (July-august), but between the resorts, you can find hidden beaches that will amaze you, take your time go and see the country, you won’t regret it!
Moving around the country;
6- Traveling inside the country is relatively easy because everything is close together, trip Sofia- Varna (one of the longer distances to travel is only 450 km.) and there are also few flights that connect both cities in less than an hour. But if you would like to appreciate the beautiful landscape and have enough time, you can take the slow train service, you can pass from the mountains to the Black Sea coastline in a couple hours and in between, you will find beautiful valleys.
It gets better:
7- Agriculture is probably what defines Bulgarian roots best. especially older generations have extensive knowledge on small farming, food conservation, and of course, the best way to grow your own tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. almost every family has their own 1000 sqm. Place where they grow fruits and vegetables for their needs, its a tradition to go on weekends and on vacations to the small farm and work the land.
8- Bulgarian Cuisine: That’s why food is amazing a Balcan mixture that produces an interesting cuisine that relies on fresh vegetables during the summer, like Chopska Salad (on the picture) and Tarator soup, the traditional cold cucumber soup, more strong dishes for the winter time: baked Pork with sourekraut…. its Just delicious, and national classic Bulgarian breakfast is coffee and a cigarette, joke, the traditional breakfast is at banitza filled with Bulgarian white cheese.
9- Food and drink are very cheap and convenient if you aren’t from the fancy type. Most restaurants have lunch specials generally between 12– 2 pm and you can have the special for about 5–6 leva. Coffees are much cheaper here than in the rest of Europe. You could go to a modern coffee shop in the morning for a coffee and it costs 2.00 leva. 1 Euro. You can also get a beer for 2 leva about a Euro. All the international coffee and fast food chains are here, Starbucks, KFC, Subway, McDonald’s, etc, cost of living in Bulgaria is 42.72% lower than in the United States.
Want to know the best part?
10- We can set aside a paragraph about local wine and Rakia (kind of Brandy), the climate allows grow grapes for homemade wine preparation, and fruits especially plums and apricots for Rakia, many people have their own small distillery at home, but lately, the government is trying to cut down moonshine production, not sure it is working anyway.
11- Bulgarians are a very proud nation. This country was established in 681 A.D. and has survived things you wouldn’t imagine, they also are the inventors of the Bulgarian alphabet that through the centuries expand to most of the Slavic countries, they even have a day for celebrating the Bulgarian alphabet and culture, its on the 24th of May, you will see student take the streets with their parade .
12- Bulgarian people was described as outrageously beautiful. And in my opinion is absolutely correct. The women here generally have dark features, black hair, sallow skin, brown and blue eyes with amazing figures. Some of them would effortlessly win modeling competitions. The men tend to physically look after themselves well, that makes it a good place to look for your better half and get married if you still don’t.
13- Most young educated Bulgarians generally speak English and are so helpful and a pleasure to be around. A lot of educated Bulgarians work in the IT and outsourcing sector which is huge here. Bulgarians are also known for their IT abilities. They attract a very good salary which they can live on here exceptionally well, especially if they work remotely for a company from abroad.
The ugly part of the story:
14- There is still poverty in Bulgaria. A lot of people here work for very low salaries especially outside of Sofia. National minimum wage in Bulgaria remained fixed at 260.8 € per month. That’s for a 40 hour week. Normally men and women in a family work and a lot of Bulgarians don’t have mortgages. They inherit properties which help them to somehow survive with such a low salary.
Driving around can be a challenge for you if you come for a Western European country, there are a mix of rainy weather, low maintenance, short-term repairments, and corruption, make Bulgarian roads one of the most dangerous in the EU. Ad to these old cars and you can imagine yourself the result. You also need to check the validity of your driver license in Bulgaria before start driving, paying bribes to the police is a practice that slowly disappearing (this is my own experience since I have got few tickets on the road, but never been asked for money)
An example of good infrastructure:
We don’t need to be so negative about Bulgaria, there are things getting better every day, and you can see this all arround, were Internet mobile internet and WIFI is a major success story.
15- Bulgaria has some fastest internet speed in the world, you get great value for money. It’s very cheap, super reliable and very widespread. One of the factors behind the outsourcing success. Mobile phone packages are cheap for 25 leva you get unlimited calls to all networks with some GB internet.
Bulgaria is a place with many problems where life isn’t easy. Being the poorest and maybe the most corrupted EU member country takes some comfort away. but there aren’t perfect countries, you can feel miserable in a rich country and vice-versa, the important is to accept the things how they are, don’t waste energy in what can be changed, and when you see a possibility to make the improvements, do it one at the time.
Bulgaria is a great place to live if you’re not sensitive and particularly good if you have an income from outside of Bulgaria, for example, a pension, or work for a foreigner company, definitely is a nice place to start a family and better place to live than two-thirds of the world