How has your life changed in Bulgaria

Hello everyone,

Has your life changed since you moved to Bulgaria? If so, in what way?

Tell us more about all the changes in your life regarding your family, job, or friends. What about your frame of mind? How would you define your mood?

Leisure activities improve our health and social interactions. How much time do you dedicate to leisure activities and networking nowadays?

Would you say that your standard of living has improved in Bulgaria? What income differences have you noticed?

On a scale of 0 to 10, tell us how much your expatriation to Bulgaria has transformed your life (0 = no change, 10 = dramatic change).

We look forward to hearing from you!


On a scale of 1 to 10....perhaps 15!😁

The first three months were the honeymoon stage..each hurdle was an adventure, a steep learning curve, sth to write home about...then the correspondence back and forth lessened, hurdles became around six months...I wondered why in hell I had moved from a sunny South Africa to this ugly, grey, miserable hell-hole. 

Luckily this depression didn't last long and soon I was making local friends not just expat ones and ever widening my social circle.

I was becoming more adept in the language and pole vaulting the hurdles.

Life is very different.  From a sunny climate to harsh winters, a big house to tiny apartment, outdoorsy family bbqs to mehanas with friends.

Much more relaxed way of life here. Work is fun, lots of time to enjoy life (if I weren't a workaholic).  Sociable, pavement cafe society.

Relatively crime-free compared to SA.

Hi ,,"Life Changed",,yes dramatically for the better,,after setbacks of being ripped off & being robbed by local builder in north BG,,I moved to SW of VT & found my bit of paradise,, Peacefull Village surrounded by nature,,local trustworthy friends(Bulgarian & expats) much better slower way of life & humble,a lot cheaper way of life,,less stressed & abundance of Peace which is priceless,,on a scale of 0 to 10 it's ,10 ☺☺

Don't worry Lunastrahil,

You will soon see the sunny part of Bulgaria, with the green trees, the hot weather that you miss, the BBQs, the mountains, seaside and other summer pleasures in Bulgaria.

The hot season here lasts from the end of April  till beginning of October. We are almost there.

And hope you managed to enjoy the winter, the snow and the skiing, cos it will not repeat again until December.

Thanks Kristian,

I have been here 12 years already, so I am well aware of the seasons.

Thanks for the positive words though.

Moved here for marriage in 2002 and the place has changed dramatically for the better since then, though it has also gotten more expensive. At my post-middle age, Sofia is a hell-hole, but the young seem to love it, and and that, unfortunately, is where most jobs are.

Bulgaria is not an easy place to find decently paid work, or any at all- that's the rub. I teach university p/t and the money is enough to live well, but not much left for saving. However even the uni and private schools in Sofia are on hard times for demographic reasons- just aren't enough young people.

The foreign community in Sofia is okay, if you're under 30. In villages, most foreigners are older Brits and many of them very rough types who come over because booze and cigs are cheaper, and they can pick up an old house for nuts. They are basically white trash, but the first to say they moved to Bg because there were too many 'niggers' at home- ie they are rabid Brexiters.  Do not go near them or join any of their facebook sites.

For me, Bulgaria is a joy and hopefully always will be as my modest income stretches pretty far, the countryside is beautiful (I have a home on the Danube) and a wide circle of friends both foreign and Bulgarian. Just stay away from the worst of the Brits, especially on the Black Sea. Absolute tossers.

Bulgaria definitely changed my life in huge ways. Before I moved here I was planning to be child-free for my entire life and to travel for a bit and then settle down in the desert (back home) teaching outdoor education. I came to Bulgaria completely by chance because I was assigned here back before the US Peace Corps let volunteers choose where they want to go. I got the call that I would be heading to Bulgaria and I seriously had to look it up on a map because I had never even heard of it.

I spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer and my values slowly shifted- more towards family and less towards career. The last month that I was here, I fell in love with a Bulgarian and we decided to continue living here together.

Fast forward a few more years and I am the happy mother of two amazing children and currently on maternity leave. I will probably never be an outdoor educator here (simply because they don't have the type of outdoor program that I want to work at and setting one up on my own freaks me out). But I am happy in ways I wasn't in the US.

I am poorer here, as in my income is much lower. But at the same time, that income stretches much further, so I feel more secure here. When I was working, I was not working full time but making enough money to live decently. My extended family teaches me the meaning of family on a daily basis.

So I would say my life changed somewhere along a 7. I am still me and I still do the things I love, but my priorities have shifted and so has my general approach to life.

I came to Bulgaria three years ago to start my doctoral fieldwork and my partner and I decided to stay. It made a huge change for me on many levels.  On the positive side, I was able to buy a house and land, a prospect that was out of reach for me in Western Europe... And, along with the precarious job situation in academia, I had to think about alternatives that were closer to how I imagine a more fulfilling life.

Part of my work is currently computer based, so it does not matter where I live, and now I have more ‘thinking space’ for my research interests, and time to develop my own company. I have definitely become more relaxed and flexible because I had to adjust quickly to a different sense of time here, which is not always easy when working according to deadlines from a more ‘unforgiving’ place. At least, that’s how I experience it. So, to answer another question on this forum, I think that one of the biggest mistakes an expat can make is to think/believe that things happen according to the same time schedule they are used to. :-)

I am happy with my move to Bulgaria, it is such an extremely interesting country. For me, there is intellectual inspiration around every corner. There are so many what’s, why’s, and how’s to ask that I am sure I won’t get bored for a long time. Even though there are also many issues here that I find profoundly difficult and incomprehensible. Through my work, I am dealing with these issues more than perhaps people in other situations, and this has definitely coloured my introduction to Bulgaria.

Other than that, I am in my early thirties and moving to a village in the Bulgarian countryside has big implications for my/our social life. Indeed, I can hear the death bell ring almost every week.. Most people here are well over 70, which is interesting in terms of their life history, but not exactly satisfying me personally. Finding people with some common interests seems to be quite difficult so far. Yes, we can go for a coffee or event in the city, or visit people some hours away, but that is not the same as having continuous social relationships in the (wider) area and the possibility of building real friendships. I would say that's the biggest personal challenge. I hope that in the future young(ish) people (re)discover the Bulgarian countryside and the potential that is there. If you are able to have an income of some kind, the countryside is a great place to be. We have plenty of ideas that we would like to do in our village, but we cannot do everything by ourselves. So, yes, I suppose all just takes a bit longer. :-)

What an interesting read Remedias.

I take it from your post activity that you are close to Plovdiv.  Pity you are not closer to Varna, you sound like such an interesting person.  If you happen to be near Varna, do give me a shout!

What is your area of research? Check out jobs at AUBG, even adjuncting pays ok, and there has been something of a rollover recently. I personally find it very nice to spend part of my year in Blagoevgrad, surrounded by scholars, because indeed there isn't much intellectual stimulation where my summer houses are. Made up for by gardening and bbqs, of course. But it's nice to have some balance.

Thank you Lunastrahil, we will :-)

Thank you for the tip, mbkirova. I have a job so I am not really searching for anything right now. Perhaps in the future, who knows.

Eight years ago, my husband decided there had to be more to life than the daily grind, and having worked shifts his entire life, he felt he couldn't continue this on until he retired. I was working as a district nurse, and although I loved my role, I was finding that constant staff shortages and the demands placed upon us all was impacting on the delivery & quality of the care given, it left me feeling frustrated and stressed.
We had both heard that Bulgaria had much to offer, and started to do some research and planned our next holiday to this fascinating and often overlooked country - we did not stay in Sunny Beach, and nor did we want to. We wanted to experience "real Bulgaria " if we were going to give this country serious consideration as a possible new destination.  We stayed in a village house, sandwiched between locals and loved every single minute of it. I have never felt so relaxed or humbled in my entire life.
We were met at the gate of the property by chickens & goats, it was a totally new experience.

We loved it so much, that we decided to buy a property here, and for several years we did what we call " posh camping " , we had very little in terms of home comforts but that just added to the experience and we were smitten.

Long story short, we down sized our house and got rid of the mortgage and ( our jobs :-) - we rent our modest  uk house out which funds our living here. Like others have said, we are not rich ( although some Bulgarians would believe we are ) but we feel richer in terms of the lifestyle we lead . My husband has renovated our house singlehandedly, with I as his ( mostly
;-) willing assistant- we have given homes to several street dogs- we have hens and a large vegetable plot which I take care of. We still have so much of this amazing country to discover, and hopefully now that the house is pretty much finished, we can start to do this-

We have also met genuine like minded people who we consider to be our very good friends, living only a mile or so away. They are similar in age late 40's. we don't smoke, we like an occasional get together and have a drink or two. And we are definitely not white trash, which I found to be a very offensive comment- We arrived long before Brexit and are not escaping from the multicultural country we live in for any other reason, than to get off the treadmill and live a better quality of life. Too often I hear people say " when I retire, I'll do this, that and the other" , however, during my line of work, I nursed many people of a similar age to myself, with terminal illnesses and this puts things into perspective- live for today and don't plan too far ahead.

Yes, there are things about Bulgaria that I don't particularly like, mostly when I see unkindness to animals, but, I hope that with positive reinforcement we can help to turn this around, and I think it will get better.

My husband and I both feel so much more relaxed and happier here, it's definitely changed our life for the better. We don't need money or material things to give us that, just the simple pleasures in life. So on that score it's certainly a 10 for us.

Jules,,, Awesome experience in Bulgaria,WOW !! Hoping many Brits will read your story,so Inspirational☺☺☺

Thanks Eddieg, it was a huge gamble, but fortune favours the brave, and I like to think it paid off :-)

As I'm just starting my own move to Bg, the search, et al, not being a Britexiter or white trash, I wondered if village life will be for us...

Then I read Jules999's post and think our choice is probably correct for us.

Thinking that the change is going to be a 9+ for the better.

As with Jules999, we will be buying, renovating, transitioning to a different lifestyle, away from the rat race city world we've lived in, to a harder, (more physical), working rural existance.

Hi there!
Do even think about this "whitetrash... that comment which has a very little common with a real situation.
I live near Varna for 12 years and know many Brits, all of them are very kind intelligent and working people. They are friendly, without any kind of abuse, most of them also help charities and care of homeless dogs.
They earned their retirement and now enjoy their life here. 
And yes, 100% of them live in villages going town maybe on weekly basis.
In our particular village there are Brits, Irish, Israeli, Russians, Ukranians among Bulgarians of course ...
In Bulgarian village you have a plenty of choices for quality , active downshifting because of amasing nature, good 4 season weather, low population density and yes, relatively cheap prices of the land and other resources. 
Keep in mind that the closer your are to a major town or attraction (sea, mountains)  the prices will be higher a bit but more options for business and socializing.  Try not to be catches by low prices houses in very distant areas since the human resources and infrastructure are very limited there.

I my experience expats who decided to take a very old property and "renovate" it to a standard for a comfort EU like living paid more than for new built or self construction.

I wish you and other members of this site a lot of luck in this country


But how do you know what villages - areas to avoid ? 

I want to ask on any forum , but don’t want loads of grief from people thinking I’m a snob !

I don’t wanna move out there partly because of Brexit and find the sort of Morons that voted for it , living in Bulgaria

J .

Do you feel that you live with more freedom in Bulgaria than you did in the UK?

If yes, in what ways, besides - there being less people, more physical space, and most things costing less than in the UK?


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