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Real Life Experience: Living in Bulgaria - Rewarding



On the other hand we have had overwhelming kindness from our neighbours, many of whom have been generous with their time and assisting us in anything from how to order our logs to filling out forms for a new driving licence.

In fact a couple of them have moaned to us that the Brits living in Bulgaria don't ask for their help often enough and would like them to ask more. One of the things we did notice when we were first here is that neighbours still chat over the garden fence; it makes for a lovely community feel. There is no violence and the youngsters in town are polite - mind you, that probably comes from the fact that the teachers and parents here will give their kids a sharp smack if needs be.

The Bulgarians can sometimes be a strange bunch to us as they always seem to think they know best. Despite numerous conversations with one of our elderly neighbours he still thinks that a 200 pound a week pension means you can live like a millionaire in Britain. Even though we've explained time and time again how much food, utilities and other items cost in the UK, he tells us we are wrong!

We've also given up serving our Bulgarian guests food which is properly hot or cold as they like everything to be at room temperature but that's ok, it makes serving meals and doing parties much easier. I had to laugh the other day when a neighbour was telling my husband how bad it was to serve such cold beer and that it should be lukewarm.

It's Different and the Highs outweigh the Lows

All in all, the highs outweigh the lows. It has been extraordinarily rewarding moving and living here.

The country is staggeringly beautiful and we are only just over an hour from the coast if we want a day trip to the seaside. We own our home without a mortgage, we run our business working from home on a fast wifi connection and we live well, eat out when we want and generally have a top notch lifestyle which all our friends back in the UK envy. We look back at Britain and wonder if we would have had this quality of life and the answer comes back the same every time - no!

Our advice to expats coming to Bulgaria would be go slowly, take your time. Don't rush to make friends but take it easy. The Brits are too quick to rush in: mainland Europeans take things steadier. Work out how much money you will have to live on. Check things out for yourself and ask your neighbours, as they are a mine of information. Most of all, learn as much of the language as you can. Appreciate the differences rather than criticise them and always remember why you moved here.

Most Brits and Americans living in Bulgaria make their to bulgaria because it's cheap to buy property, an amazingly low cost of living, a much slower pace of life and better weather. We would say that when you are in an ex-communist country where it is so cheap to live, then you are bound to find that some things are missing - but there are other things which are better and make up for it. Life is what you make it!"

If you are considering a move to Bulgaria, choosing the right estate agent is crucial in order to avoid disappointment. We recommend Bulgaria's largest and most respected property agents, Bulgarian Properties.

See our other articles about living in Bulgaria here moving to Bulgaria, Cost of living Bulgaria