Published 2016-06-13 10:18:58
Hello, my name is Rebecca. I’m originally from the UK and now living in Sofia, Bulgaria.
1. Why did you move abroad?
I first moved abroad 2 years ago as I decided that I wanted to live in Dubai. I sold everything I owned, gave up my job and went to Dubai with the dream of finding a job and settling there for a few years. I stayed in Dubai for 2 years and then went on to the Caribbean for a year before moving to Bulgaria.
2. How do you make a living?
I’ve always worked full time in sales and marketing. I have over 10 years of experience in this area and usually my jobs will involve dealing with international clients.
3. How often do you communicate with home and how?
This really depends on how busy we all are. We often email or send Facebook messages and we occasionally use Skype or Facetime. I get to travel home every couple of months so I really don’t feel like I’m ever away from home for that long.
4. What's your favorite thing about being an expat in Sofia?
There are many reasons why I enjoy being an expat in Sofia, it’s difficult to choose a favourite! I would say that the lifestyle is a huge advantage, You can eat out and socialize a lot and it’s not at all expensive. The city is also quote small so it’s really easy to get around.
5. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in Sofia?
This is a tough question. I don’t think there’s anything bad – nothing that really bothers me anyway. I do find the language difficult and as a result I sometimes switch off when I’m involved in group conversations that I can’t keep up with.
6. What do you miss most?
Because I go home a lot there’s not many things I miss. If there were any they’d mostly be food related – like occasionally craving traditional fish and chips or an English roast dinner! Obviously missing family and friends is one of the hardest things when living abroad. I have two young nieces and I’m always sad if I miss their birthday or any other special occasion.
7. What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?
I socialize all the time! There are so many events going on that I could be put every night if I wanted to be! These are usually events with groups like Internations, or events organized by the British Embassy. I also organize get togethers with people that I meet through my blog who are moving to Sofia.
8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
The most obvious one in Bulgaria is the head shake which means yes (a nod means no). This is really hard to get used to at the beginning as you’re never quite sure if someone is agreeing or disagreeing with you! Also, as an English person it’s a little unusual to see how people are so open to chat to strangers. For example, if I’m on the tram people will always make small talk which is really nice but not at all common in the UK!
9. What is a myth about your adopted country?
People say that Bulgarian girls are beautiful which I would agree with. The girls really do like to look glamourous on a night out that’s for sure!
10. Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?
The cost of living in Sofia is far lower than the other cities I’ve lived in. It’s great, however it does make it more difficult when I go home or travel abroad as I’m always comparing the prices of things to Bulgarian prices! In Bulgaria I buy a good bottle of wine for around 5 EUR and can eat a good meal in a decent restaurant for 15 EUR.
11. What advice would you give other expats?
Socialise and be independent. It’s really important to make your own group of friends in your new country, even if you’re travelling with a partner. You need to quickly get your independence in order to fully enjoy your new life. If you don’t do this it’s very easy to feel lonely or homesick.
12. When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog just over 2 years ago when I first arrived in Bulgaria. It began with www.eatstaylovebulgaria.com as I decided that there needed to be some good information in English to help fellow foreigners who were lost like me! It was so hard to find anything useful online about things to do or places to go. I then made www.eatstaylovelife.com
to share stories of all the places I get to travel to while I’m an expat.
Rebecca's Blog, Eat Stay Love Life
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