One Year On !

So it’s been one year ( actually one year and three weeks ),since we arrived in Bulgaria and what a year it’s been. After a lot of discussions and plenty of soul searching, we have come to the conclusion that it’s time to go back to the UK !!! ……………Just joking 🙂
A year ago we arrived in a country we had never visited, to a house we had only seen pictures of, unable to speak or understand the language and to a new lifestyle that was going to be completely opposite to how we lived in the UK. One word that could sum it all up….. crazy !
People say, that when you relocate to another country, you should at least give it a full year before deciding if you have made the right choice. I couldn’t agree more. This past year has been a mixture of roller coaster emotions, a few tears, good times and bad and plenty of soul searching. There have been moments where I have struggled, mostly because I could no longer see my kids on a regular basis. I struggled with the winter, not because of the cold, more due to cabin fever, I loathe being stuck inside for days on end.
Despite the odd struggles, we have fallen in love with Bulgaria. Not only is the country beautiful but we have found the people warm, generous and extremely helpful. We have lovely neighbours that have welcomed us with open arms and we have met a lovely English couple who have helped us so much and have become close friends. We love the village life, so peaceful and stress free and we’ve learnt a lot . Not only about how to grow our own veg but how to recycle everything. It’s amazing what you can do or make ( with a little imagination ) with things you find in the garden or house.
Everything we are doing to the house or garden, we are doing ourselves. It’s been difficult and stressful at times and a huge learning curve but there’s an enormous satisfaction and a sense of achievement whenever we complete a job.
Since being here, our lifestyle has completely changed,for the better I might add. If we’re not working on the house, we are outdoors working in the garden enjoying the weather which has improved our health tremendously. Andy has been asthmatic all his life, every month in the UK, he would go through four salbutamol inhalers and two seretide inhalers. Since being here he only uses one salbutamol every 6-8 weeks and no longer takes the seretide, plus he’s lost over 4 stone in weight ( which has obviously helped his asthma ). I have also lost a little weight and I feel a lot fitter, mainly due to all the work we’ve been doing and eating healthier due to us growing a lot of our own veg.
The language barrier can be difficult at times and have caused us problems at times, like the other week when we were having a conversation with our neighbour ( more of a game of charades really ), trying to explain our plans for the garden. We were telling them we planned to have chickens next year, they asked how many, we said 10. Our neighbour proceeded to have a half hour conversation about chickens, which we struggled to understand exactly what she was saying other than the few words ‘chicken, 10, shop and telephone ‘. Well the following week she came round to tell us we had to go and collect our chickens from a shop! Yes it turns out she ordered 10 chickens for us ! So the day was spent running around like ‘ headless chickens’ trying to sort out a place for the chickens and a secure run! Now, I hasten to say, we try to be careful in what we say 🙂 . We are slowly learning the language but it is a struggle, mostly for me, Andy seems to pick it up easier but I’m sure we’ll get to grips with it in time.
So here we are, one year on and all that’s left to really say is what an amazing year we’ve had. Would we change it for the world…no. Do we have any regrets… Would we consider going back to live in the UK….never!
Bulgaria is now our home 🙂

Retired at 30 ?

Well I was at my last day at work today and I am now what you would call retired. Quite weird to think that at the age of 30 I have no future plans to be back in either full or part time employment, so I guess I am retired?
I’m not ready for my pipe or slippers yet, nor am I ready for my Zimmer frame, although the better half might disagree (years of playing rugby and alot of injuries have taken their toll).
So how can I be retired already, well with the relative low cost of living in Bulgaria coupled with the beautiful scenery, relaxed lifestyle, and being able to buy a house for less than the price of a second hand car, who wouldn’t retire as early as possible.
Although in reality I won’t be retired I will be working for myself, we have got a house to renovate, barns to either repair or renovate, gardening to do, rewiring, plumbing, kitchen and bathroom to build and install, the list really does go on. I already know that there will be days when I wish I was sat back in the office, behind my desk where I wouldn’t have an aching back, blisters on my hands, sun burn etc, but then alternatively there will be days when the weather is nice and I will be able to enjoy our little piece of heaven and not miss the rush hour traffic, the dreary UK weather etc.
I know that I will miss the guys I have been working with, after all they welcomed me into the company, supported me when I needed it, and guided me when I was learning completely new skills, products, etc. it will be a bit surreal not getting up in the morning and getting ready for work, or driving up and down motorways to do site visits, but I think I will be able to get over it when I am sat outside with my morning coffee, with nothing to disturb the silence but some birds, bees, and possibly the odd passing goat.
Our new adventure is going to take some adjustment as I’ve spent nearly the last year designing computer networks and now I will be designing chicken coops and planting schemes, but life is one big adventure and this will definitely be the biggest in our lives.
With less than one week to go before we hook up the caravan and set off on our journey we look round the house and realise just how much we have left to get done, but I suppose what we have left to do will seem like nothing compared what we have to do when we get to Bulgaria.
This will be a big adventure, but it will be ours!