Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What I Learned in Bulgaria

by Betsey Ramage of Una Bella Vita blog
I'm very excited to introduce my first guest blogger, Betsey Ramage from the beautiful and inspiring blog, Una Bella Vita. Betsey recently spent six months in Bulgaria and is now pursuing a Master's Degree in Biblical Counseling. Without further ado...

I spent this past summer working and living in Sofia, Bulgaria. Before this opportunity came my way, I had never even heard of Bulgaria and I definitely couldn't find it on a map. Now, almost six months after I returned to the US, Bulgaria is still on my heart and constantly on my mind. My time in Bulgaria taught me about being independent and taking chances, I learned what it means to not only visit a different culture but to live and breathe it. I picked up its customs (did you know that Bulgaria is the ONLY place in the world that shakes their head for 'yes' and nods it for 'no'! Talk about confusing!), became friends with its people, explored its cities, and fell in love with its traditions.
The Bulgarian people taught me about openness and curiosity, and true relationships. They are not quick to call someone a friend, like we are in the United States. They are careful, and intentional, and when they finally do call you a friend - you know they mean it. They loved hearing about life in the US, and loved telling me about Bulgaria (especially the food!). I was surprised by just how similar Bulgarians are to Americans: I taught an ESL class and listened to their stories, stories that were remarkably similar to my own.
When I think about my time in Bulgaria, I am swarmed with beautiful memories of the city of Sofia; the churches, the cobblestone, the smell of the döner stands. I think of the beautiful fields and flowers of Vladaya, the breathtaking Rila Mountains, and the magical history of Plovidiv (the third oldest city in Europe!). But above all, I think of the people I met there: their love and respect for their history and traditions, their eagerness to explore other places, and the warm hospitality they extended to me.I feel like my heart is constantly being pulled back to Bulgaria, and I feel that someday I might even end up there for good.

Thank you Betsey! And, in case you haven't been fully convinced that you should travel to Bulgaria someday, here are some wanderlusty photos for your viewing pleasure.
Photo credits: George Palov and Betsey Ramage

To read past editions of "What I Learned In", click here.


Michelle P said...

Great pictures!

Shaylynn... Red Lipstick and Melodies said...

how beautiful, I feel as if I should go there now.

Quite the girl, quite the adventure.

Monse Fuentes said...

beautiful pictures!



Skinny Moonstick said...

What a stunning re-cap! I LOVE Europe, I've lived in a few Europeans countries myself, and yes, it's very different than anywhere else in the world. I am so glad to read that Bulgaria had touched someone's heart- it's a fantastic country and a place I would love to visit as well one day :)
Have a beautiful day!
Good luck!


two birds said...

wow! what gorgeous photos! i can see why you might want to end up there!

Katie said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog! Good luck not buying any clothes for a year - what a neat thing to challenge yourself with! I want to see updates on how it goes. : ) Your pictures are beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures! Very lovely!


Maiken said...

what an absolutely great post!! I read it with great interest since I had a plan to visit Bulgaria last year but didn't get the chance.. now I feel like I should definitely go there some day in the future :) though I chose Czech Republic for this year.

Maikeni blogi - part of me

The Midwest Muse said...

Such pretty photos!

Tiffany said...

First off, I love love love this series you are doing! I'm a new follower and I'm reading them all right now. If you want someone to write about Switzerland, I'd love to!!


Daniel Gheorghita said...

Bulgaria is a beautiful country and so divers. Great pictures.