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Expand your social circle in Bulgaria

Hello everyone,

Moving to Bulgaria means leaving one's family and friends behind. Creating a circle of friends or joining an existing one should therefore be paramount in order to fight loneliness in your host country.

But how can one develop a social network in Bulgaria? Where and how to meet people there?

How easy is it to meet locals? What about cultural specificities?

Share your advice and experience!

Many thanks in advance,

Priscilla

Hello,

I would suggest to attend some social gathering/events, for example:

https://www.facebook.com/gallery2.0urbanspace/

Sincerely

Hello everyone,

We have been here 3 years and find it extremely difficult to find likeminded people.

Pete & Gill

As a single woman over 50 moving to Bulgaria in 2005 I found it almost impossible to have much social life. Most people are couples. Couples are pleasant enough in a one-off but most do not try to interact often with single women. It took me a year just to know a couple of people. I believe men  fare better in Bulgaria and in the world in general, for very obvious reasons.

I was embarrassed to find at work that 'foreigners' were considered to be drunks and could be found passed out on village greens, filling a certain local hostelry all day and generally behaving like slobs. I was even asked if I knew these people and if I spent time in the bar in question.

I'm not a village or gardner type of person  so I had hoped to be able to make friends for socialising such as I know my relatives have done at their holiday home in Greece. I needed to work full time and did not have time nor inclination to sit around chugging beer and watching the world go by. Not everybody did that, but quite a few.  It seemed that most were retired or had chosen to retire from working.

As a person who has worked in many countries, I have found this to be the situation wherever I go. Perhaps younger single women feel that an older woman cramps their style? Maybe the guys think I may hit on them?? Maybe women think I will hit on their husbands?

Countless young, very young, men have hit on me, particularly Americans, and young men from Internations in Turkey, not all of whom are Turkish, and one was from UK. I do not think they were looking for a relationship! I once met an American woman here of 53 who told me directly of all the young, Turkish  men she was 'dating'. This is not my style but is certainly easily available as an option for those who like it.

I'm selling up in Bulgaria because there is nothing for me there. The lack of social life when I did live there full-time is a large part of the reason. Also, although I worked full time for my entire stay, I could not earn enough to live on. I believe that, as the economy stands, two salaries are needed. (I don't include those who come with a generous pension, of course).

A place is, for me, largely about the people around you. Here in Turkey, I enjoy working with my students, and my boss is wonderfully appreciative - not something I have much experience of. The pay and working conditions are terrible but I do like having a job at all! Also, I have considerable opportunity to be creative and to write plays, which are used as an official part of the curriculum.

For the future, I hope to publish a couple of books as well as to sell my home in BG. As for social life, I grab the odd Saturday night when I get the chance but spend most of them at home. This was the same in BG but in BG I didn't have the compensation of such a fulfilling job.

St190dnr - So you have been in Bulgaria 3 years and find it difficult to meet likeminded people. Perhaps you should alter your parameters as people do not wish to be like you. I have been in Bulgaria for 6 years and have countless Bulgarian friends and have never had difficulty socialising and meeting people. I am not in Sofia but live in a large prestigious village close to Yambol. During my time here I have met and courted a Bulgarian woman, half my age, and have become married to her.
I do not say I like all Bulgarians but the majority I do know I find to be pleasant and friendly. I shall carry on as usual and live out my pleasant life.

QED. Mr Fingers is  male.

Yes, I can understand and identify with your remarks concerning socializing , and ...I am a male.
Of course my lack of Bulgarian skills has not helped.
I believe the length of the winter season is another contributing factor.
I have a property in the Gabrovo, Sivlievo area and hardly ever come across any expats from English speaking backgrounds, although I am sure there must be a few in the region.

Sorry to hear you are finding it difficult, too, RogerCH.

Frankly, my best advice to you is to look for a Bulgarian girlfriend, if that is your orientation. This will help with the language as well as with companionship.

Round the world I have noticed that men do that very successfully, no matter whether they're in good nick or not! You don't have to go for a child bride. There are friendly and attractive single Bulgarian ladies of mature age. Like much of the world, Bulgarian men tend to reject women over a certain age, but this does mean that there are decent and independent ladies without partners. The more mature women can be very hard-working and ready to put effort into a relationship and a life together.

Bulgaria does have much to offer and, had I had more companionship or a partner, I'm sure I would have found it a more positive experience.

Very best of luck.

RogerCH :

Yes, I can understand and identify with your remarks concerning socializing , and ...I am a male.
Of course my lack of Bulgarian skills has not helped.
I believe the length of the winter season is another contributing factor.
I have a property in the Gabrovo, Sivlievo area and hardly ever come across any expats from English speaking backgrounds, although I am sure there must be a few in the region.

Hello Roger,

Yes I agree with all your points  above and we struggle with the language and winter season here.we live in the Shumen area and are looking to widen our social circle maybe a meet up now and then not to live in each other's pockets, my husband Pete would like to meet people as well.
Regards Gill & Pete

Gill & Pete,
As I have never visited Shumen , I just checked on Google Maps & Wikipedia , looks like a historic and picturesque place - then again, many places in Bulgaria fall into this category (when you are able to ignore the communist influences that are , unfortunately, too evident )
Roger

Thanks for the advice , but I already did - 10 years ago.

Roger---

Hey there, my family is also living in Gabrovo (setting to move out to a village between here and sevlievo sometime this year). There don't seem to be a ton of expats around here- I have met a few but they mostly all have their own thing going on. Also, not tons of English (at least, not like in Sofia or Varna), but again, little pockets of English speakers. The YMCA in Gabrovo is usually looking for volunteers to speak English to the kids there and/or help foster families, if you are into volunteering your time.

All the best,

Koji

Thanks for the advice Koji,
Have you selected a area/village where you plan to move?

If you don't mind looking a fool, a good way to start talking to people is by telling them you're trying to learn Bulgarian. Bulgarians have been described as seemingly unfriendly on the outside, but very hospitable, generous, and friendly on the inside. You can always find someone to strike up a conversation with, and you learn so much about the culture that way. Bulgarians know how to be neighbors, so take time to try to introduce yourself, and they'll probably invite you in. They're also always swapping fruits and vegetables and goodies, so offer something you grew or bought as an icebreaker.

If you're religious, a natural group of friends would be your fellow church-goers. When we moved here, our church friends automatically became our extended family.

Yep Roger, we are looking at a house in Armenite at the moment. It is off the road past yankovtsi. Rather small, but there are a few families who live there year round (important to us, because we have a toddler). Where are you?

RogerCH :

Gill & Pete,
As I have never visited Shumen , I just checked on Google Maps & Wikipedia , looks like a historic and picturesque place - then again, many places in Bulgaria fall into this category (when you are able to ignore the communist influences that are , unfortunately, too evident )
Roger

Hello Roger,

We have also googled and you seem to be about 2.45 hrs away from ourselves, we visited VT late last year.

Again we can agree with your statement found Shumen to be very historical but again we live on the outskirts in a village called Ivanski, find it hard to communicate with neighbours we get as far as hello and coffee but that's our limits there does not seem anyone around here our age group and we are not young!!!!

Just wondering how you pass your time as my wife struggles with this?? I seem to occupy my self with house repair jobs (self taught) but our house is finished now.

If you are interested in meeting half way?? Not sure if you drive ???

Regards
Pete & Gill
Our e mail is st190dnr[at]yahoo.co.uk

We have a house in the village of Muzga , in the area of Gorna Rosisa /  Gabene / Draganovitsi , approx midway between Gabrovo & Sivelievo

Ah- you are just across the main road from where we will be. We were looking at a few places in muzga, gubene, and rainovtsi, but in the end went with armenite. :)

just sent you an email.

I checked the village of Armenite and yes , just across the Gabrovo-Sivlievo road , population 97 , Only 20 less than Muzga,

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