1. Settle in an IT village. Or create one
Nearly 200 Bulgarian villages are depopulated. Many other will disappear soon. But this demographic trend can be changed thanks to digital nomads looking for serene places to live. There is an innovative project that aims to unite digital nomads from the IT sector who want to co-live and co-work, surrounded by unspoilt nature and help them find a village to populate, bringing fast Internet with them. Pesochnitsa is one such village. Unfortunately, this project is still on a local level but why not get in touch with its owners and help them get international?
2. Launch your start-up from Bulgaria
Launching a start-up requires free time and money to invest in it. It’s great if you have savings but moving to a country with lower living expenses can buy you more time. Usually, Bulgarians live with their parents until they get married unless they move to a different city. Finding your own place when you turn 18 is not only unpopular but might also be considered offensive by some parents. Yet, paying rent is not a huge expense in Bulgaria. You can find a decent flat in the capital for €200-€250 per month, or €100 if you share it. Outside Sofia, prices are even lower. Your Bulgarian home office will definitely make your savings last longer.
3. Enjoy a culture that is still not so spoilt by consumerism
Consumerism is slowly destroying authenticity with its uniform restaurants, shopping malls, fashion brands, food products and confection hotels. Hence, a lot of Bulgarians value and are proud of their authentic food, music, clothes, dances, history and architecture. Many young Bulgarians are reverting to tradition, choosing to learn national dances and songs, baking traditional bread or getting involved in ancient rituals like barefoot fire dancing. Here are 6 adventures locals love that you might also try.
4. Move to Bulgaria and be a trendsetter
If you are a creative genius who can turn crazy ideas into reality, you will have the opportunity to be a trendsetter in Bulgaria. Millions of smart and educated Bulgarians have left or are leaving the country, so now Bulgaria is seriously suffering from brain drain. On top of that, its education system is in desperate need to be modernized and reformed. Nearly half of all Bulgarian students will either choose an Economics or Law degree at university, which can make the nation quite homogeneous. Recent research shows that Bulgaria is on the bottom of the innovation charts in Europe. The country’s business landscape is not favorable due to high levels of corruption. However, there is a flat tax of only 10% and many unexplored markets.
5. Learn an “exotic” language with its own alphabet
With 2-3 million Bulgarians living abroad, you never know when Bulgarian might be a useful language to speak. Knowing it will also help you understand most Serbian, Macedonian, Croatian, Slovenian and a little bit Russian. Some foreigners call Bulgarian the language of love. You can find out why and get your first language lesson by watching this video:
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6. Get plenty of sunshine
Nearly 4/5 of the year is sunny in Bulgaria, which is another reason to love living in this country. Especially if you are the type of person who gets depressed by bad weather. In comparison, 1/6 of the year has sunshiny days in England or Belgium. More sunshine definitely leads to better health and mood and you will definitely feel that when you move to Bulgaria.
7. Meet many hot Bulgarians (who are very likely to speak perfect English)
Every fifth Bulgarian male carries a unique 7800-year-old gene, found only in the Balkans, Egypt, Cyprus and Palestine and passed only from father to son. Genetically, Bulgarians are very heterogeneous due to the many nations who have passed through this region, leaving Thracian, Proto-Bulgarian, Slavic, Proto-Indo-European, Mediterranean, European and Eurasian genes. There are many claims that gene mixing is linked to beauty but you don’t have to be a scientist to appreciate nature’s good creations.
8. Take on a new challenge
How many times have you said the “I need to get out of my comfort zone” cliche phrase but done nothing about it? Why not be a little bit irrational and quit your 9-5 office job for an exciting long-term adventure in a weird Eastern European country. Bulgaria is a place with many problems where life isn’t easy. Being the poorest and most corrupted EU member country takes all comfort away. But this is where you can find just causes to win. Overall, the tough moments are our best teachers in life.
9. … and help Bulgaria cope with its demographic crisis
Bulgaria’s population is reducing so fast, that in the next 20 years it will lose 2 million more people. But the worst thing about the crisis is that in the coming years the country will lose 30% of its working force. This prognosis makes locals feel desperate, sad, angry, scared and hopeless. The two main causes of this catastrophe are emigration and low birth rates. You will definitely be valued as an immigrant or an expat. Especially if you are well-educated and hard-working. This paragraph is not an actual reason to move to Bulgaria. It is an honest call for help.