• Leon de Leeuw

My feelings for Bulgaria


After 3,5 years in Bulgaria, I'm over the phase of deciding whether I like it here or not. I do, otherwise I would have left a long time ago. The first year and a half or so were mostly getting used to the new life although that went faster than I expected. As a single man, it was easy to come here and get into a routine. Work, home, gym, home. Then traveling in my free time. I never regretted my choice to come here. In fact, I always felt confident and never had any negative experience at all. No negative experience out of malice towards me. Yes, life has its ups and downs but my life here has been very positive and rewarding so far. Yet each traveler who settles down wonders if this is the place, or if he'd move on to the next. And it isn't to say I won't, but I'm not tempted to leave any time soon.

Bulgaria is where I grew into the person I am today. Bulgaria is where I became a man. Where I learned to stand on both my feet. One foot back home in The Netherlands, one here in Bulgaria. I got an infinite amount of experience from both my jobs. Working with other cultures, in different languages. Carving out a place for myself, standing up for myself when needed. Building a network of acquaintances, from scratch. I can proudly say my home is here. My whole life takes place here. I made a new person of myself, after being dissatisfied with the way things were back in The Netherlands. Don't get me wrong, it's one of the best places in all statistics. Yet it was the lack of being able to go out, walk into the mountains. I longed for the sunny afternoons and hot evenings. The four seasons. Adventure was calling. New experiences, a new language, new people and new customs. All very tempting. I went and didn't look back.

I felt good the moment I arrived in Bulgaria. It felt as if I stepped into a warm bath. A feeling of comfort, of relaxation I so much needed. A pace of life that's a bit slower, certainly outside the capital. A work culture that is comparably more relaxed and easy-going, even though that doesn't mean we work less hard or fewer hours. Just a more pleasant vibe which I still enjoy to this day. The perfect work-life balance. The pleasant colleagues. I was always treated well, by everyone I met. Bulgaria embraced me, and I embraced her.

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