Friends and family have often asked us why we’re wanting to emigrate to Bulgaria. It doesn’t seem to be the place people first think of when they are wanting to leave the UK. So here’s a bit of background.
A few years ago, when Julie and I lived in Penrith, we experimented with living the Good Life.
We had an allotment, kept chickens and grew lots of our own fruit and veg. We made jams, brewed wine and beer, and were generally self-sufficient for most of our food for nearly a year. We both thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but the problem was that with both of us working full-time, finding the time to do the job properly was difficult. We both agreed that it was not practical to do this while working. When we moved to Carlisle we looked at buying a smallholding in the UK, but it was just too expensive; we’d have to spend so much time working to pay for the land and house, that we wouldn’t have the time to actually work the land. So we abandoned the allotment and smallholding idea, and filed it under “things to think about in the future”.
Now, our future is upon us! We both turn 50 in a couple of years time, and we’ve realised that if we ever want to realise this dream of ours we need to get cracking and do something, before we get too old to manage it. After closing Crown Gallery we decided to have a serious think about how we could make this dream happen.
Make no bones about it, we initially started looking in Bulgaria because it’s cheap. Julie started looking at houses and land, and realised that we could afford to buy a property and run it as a smallholding. When we looked at Bulgaria as a country, we started to fall in love with it; is a beautiful country, with lots of countryside, mountains and wildlife, just what we like. As a predominantly rural country it had the kind of life to offer that we wanted; to be able to work for ourselves, me and Julie working together to put food on our table and a roof over our heads. Everything else seems unimportant.
Having decided we wanted to take a closer look, we thought we’d better actually visit Bulgaria, so we planned a two-week stay, visiting as many people as we could find to talk to about life in Bulgaria, and find out what we could expect to find if we moved there. We joined lots of forums on Facebook and met lots of really friendly, helpful people, some of whom we met when we visited.
Friends often say it sounds like a risky undertaking. Well it is. But we’d rather take a chance and have some good years living the kind of life we want, free, and masters of our own destiny, than spend our lives living a safe existence, shackled to jobs that don’t fulfil us. A South-African friend of ours, Marnus, has a saying; In the UK we are safe, but we’re not free. In South Africa, they are free, but not safe. We think we’d rather take our chances being free to live the life we want and accept a little uncertainty into our lives.
Bulgaria, here we come!