Where to start?
It is very complicated to express all that I have experienced in the past 12 months.
Before arriving in Bulgaria in September 2021 I was stressed and a bit scared as I had to go to an unknown place, but I knew I would not be disappointed.
Once I arrived in Blagoevgrad, I had a few weeks of acclimation which is normal, but then I can say that I have lived my best life here in Bulgaria.
I met people from different backgrounds with whom I was able to share extraordinary moments, exchange about our lives and just have a good time together often over a beer.
I had the chance to participate in a lot of events but also to create some. During these 12 months with the help of the other volunteers of my association we have done different things:
-We did an online conference for one of the universities in Blagoevgrad to explain what Erasmus is and the different opportunities related to it (During Erasmus Day)
-We also created an Escape Room for the High School of Languages in Blagoevgrad. The subject? What would life be without the EU? We have created all the puzzles and the storyline. It was quite a long job but once set up, it was a great pleasure to participate.
-During the winter we had fewer group projects, so we decided to reinstate the Chat Club. I did one on the theme of travel and brain “How does travel impact your brain?” I loved doing this Chat Club because it was interesting and being able to talk about it also allowed me to learn a lot more about the brain and how to improve my oral fluency in English.
-I also participated in 2 clean-up events, for the first one we cleaned a park and the second took place around the Blagoevgrad River.
-Our last project was about social enterprises we created a Monopoly of course by changing the rules to explain how entrepreneurship works in Bulgaria.
I’ve had a lot of challenges with projects in general because it’s never easy to put these things in place, but I’ve had a lot of fun seeing them happen.
And finally, I also did my personal project which was to film my travels in Bulgaria and make videos, so I prepared four videos, two in English and two in French.
My favorite cities in Bulgaria are Veliko Tarnovo, Bansko, Burgas, Plovdiv.
I advise you to visit Bulgaria for its fauna and flora.
It’s crazy to think that in every city in Bulgaria you discover breathtaking views and it’s something in my experience that I never got tired of just looking up and admiring the scenery. I fell in love with this country which is unknown to many people but for me now this country is part of my heart.
But during this experience, I also travelled a lot both in Bulgaria and abroad and tasted specialties from several countries.
I had the chance to visit Greece, then Turkey, Romania, Croatia, and Northern Macedonia.
My favourite Bulgarian specialties are Mich-mach, Banitsa, Princesses, Lutenitsa, Katak, Chopska Salad, and of course the Bulgarian wine and the best for the end the Rakia the famous Bulgarian alcohol.
Thanks to my travels I have tasted many specialties, from any country, but my favourite gastronomy is in Turkey.
Let’s talk about me now!
I could learn so much about myself and develop so many skills, I’m so happy.
Let’s start with my level of English, when I arrived in September my English was really bad. I can say that now I’m doing super well, and I can understand and be understood by everyone, I also feel more confident in all the everyday situations, and I also learned to appreciate my own company, which is to take time for myself, to be alone and to think about the meaning of life, I also managed to face my problems. But also, an important part for me is to have learned to be myself.
I also discovered another part of me who loves to draw and take my time especially!
Take the time to love every moment of life, which I share with the people around me. That’s why I share different photos:
If I go back a year, I would never have seen myself go to Bulgaria to live there that long! Today, I will never change my decision to go abroad for a year.
So I have to say I’m grateful for the opportunity to have this experience and to meet some amazing people.
Thank you for all the good times shared, those cities and countries visited and our struggles in a country that is not ours but that is incredible.
Here I am a few days away from the end of my experience I am sad but at the same time happy to return.
But one thing is certain: I will come back! I give my word.
I’m not saying goodbye, but I’ll see you soon.
“Investing in travel is investing in yourself.” – Matthew Karsten