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Cutting the Ties of the Past

Whilst living in Bulgaria, many expats gain a wider sense of cultures which exist outside their home country. However, many try to compare their own experiences in Bulgaria with those in their home land but so much in another country is not possible to compare. Thousands move every year to other countries or other continents to experience expat life. At the same time they don't want to cut all ties and try to stay connected with the way they lived back home.

 

Not quite living the life of the new country really as they never let go and so cannot enjoy life to the full in the new location.

There are numerous ways people hold on to the past, using the internet with messengers, social networks, long distance phone calls, flying to and fro and so on. It seems that there are different levels to the way of living an expat life but if you are going to do it, then just do it. Throw yourself in and enjoy; cut the ties of the past to take advantage of your new surroundings and the local culture.

Those expats who have married a local Bulgarian say that this has given them a different outlook. They are often raising a family which is all mixed, with children from a previous marriage and culture and new arrivals. Many of these families maintain their cultural practices with regard to Bulgaria religion but otherwise combine the best of both cultures so that everything can be shared with each other. Of course there are differences but generally these are minor and don't create any issues. The key is for the couple to adapt, without this it is possible that communication breaks down. Communication in such families is really important.

Expat families with children in the Bulgarian school system usually have a broader view of the world through what their children are being taught, as they are learning from a Bulgarian perspective not a Brit one. When they do talk politics, they do so with the views of Bulgaria and the UK, learning how the decisions of each affect people in other countries.

Shopping in open air markets is one of the best things in Bulgaria. Too many expats stick to the larger supermarkets because it makes them feel more comfortable - like back home. But the fresh vegetables are wonderful and tasty without all the pesticides in western Europe. There is always a great selection and you can pick and choose what you want without plastic wrapping. It's well worth changing your shopping habits to take advantage of these markets.

Another thing is public transport. Whilst old and rickety at times, wherever you go there is usually a bus or train which will take you there at incredibly low prices. Most of the locals use the transport system extensively. How different to where you come from where everyone uses the car for every trip, let alone often having two cars per family.

Just living the Bulgarian lifestyle, rather than hankering after the past makes everything a lot easier and worth living!