Finally, after what seems like several lifetimes waiting, it’s looking like we’ve sold our house and will be off to Bulgaria this week.
It’s been a roller-coaster few months, deciding how to get there and what to take, as well as riding the waves of “We’re so excited to be going to a new life” and “WTF are we doing?!”. I still get a lurch of vertigo when I think that in a month’s time we could be sat in our own house in Bulgaria, with so much to do before winter comes.
Getting to Bulgaria
We’ve decided to drive to Bulgaria with a trailer to take all our belongings. It was going to cost a small fortune to pay to have a removal company take everything for us, plus cost of storage and a flight back to the UK to arrange everything. A trailer worked out cheaper, plus we end in in Bulgaria with a really useful big trailer in case we need to move building materials, livestock or farm produce. We needed to buy a brand new one so we have all the paperwork needed to register the trailer in Bulgaria; in much of Europe, a trailer is registered as a separate vehicle, and gets its own licence plate!
Our chosen route takes us across the English Channel by the Channel Tunnel, through Belgium to Germany, then across Germany, Austria and Hungary before entering Bulgaria via Romania and the bridge across the Danube at Ruse. It will probably take about three days and we will take sleeping bags so we can sleep in the car. Basically we will sleep and drive for three days solid; we don’t fancy using a campsite and leaving the trailer unattended!
What to take with us?
As we’re taking everything with us in a trailer we’ve decided not to take any furniture, apart from what can be flat-packed, like our beds. We’ve decided not to take mattresses, as ours are old and need replacing anyway. We’ll probably end up using the bed frames to make something else, as Bulgarian mattresses are different sizes to UK mattresses! We’ll probably end up with a really useful bench or sofa out of the frames. We’re taking all or our tools, as recommended by just about every expat we spoke to, as well as clothes, bedding, kitchen gear etc. Everything will need to be weighed as we load the trailer to make sure we don’t go over our weight limit.
When we get there
Some Bulgarian friends of ours who have a house in a village near where we want to end up have found us a house to rent. We’re not sure what it looks like, the brief we gave them was that it needed to have a roof, water, and a door. So they found us something for an extortionate rent of £33 a month, where we can stay indefinitely while we find somewhere to buy. The house hasn’t been lived in for over 25 years, so we have visions of nightly battles with spiders, but at least we have a base to work from!
We’ve made contact with various people who can help us in our search for a suitable property, so it shouldn’t take us too long. We hope to be in our new home by September at the latest, so we have time to prepare for a hard winter.