A recap of my 5 months here

A recap of my 5 months here

My time here is coming to an end. So let’s recap my five months in Blagoevgrad.
Arriving in August, the other volunteers and I were not only confronted with high temperatures but also with a culture shock. It was not my first time in Bulgaria. Therefore, I knew what I was getting myself into, still, it is something else to live here.
The first month was hard. Not knowing anyone for longer than a week or so made me feel lonely. We met many amazing people and with time we developed friendships.
What also came with time, was getting used to our surroundings. We settled into a routine, figured out our living situation and got to know the city with its soviet flair. It took time.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we weren’t able to implement our projects. We still worked on their concepts, had a promotion event at the local university and organized events like a ChatClub.
The two things that made my time here unforgettable were, on one hand, the people, of course. I made friends from all over Europe: from France, Italy, Turkey, Portugal, Georgia, Ukraine and obviously Bulgaria. We discovered Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria and its neighboring countries together which made us bond even more.
The other thing was being able to travel so much. I’m so glad that we had the opportunity to not only explore Bulgaria but also Greece and Turkey. With my flatmates and the other volunteers here at Euni Partners, we planned a weekend in Sofia in September and another one in Thessaloniki, Greece in October. Both trips were amazing and I loved the two places a lot. Throughout the months we discovered the region around Blagoevgrad as well. The nature around here is beautiful and a visit worth any time, but I would recommend visiting it in the fall. Especially, seeing the Rila monastery with colorful trees and the mountain in the background was almost as stunning as the building complex itself. Luckily, I had the chance to see the Rila lakes as well. Incredible nature. Probably, the things I would always want to see again. Otherwise, we visited Bankso by bus and other small villages close by. But by far my most favorite trip was our week in Istanbul. Since Bulgaria is pretty close to Turkey, mostly way closer than it is to Germany, we took a night bus to Istanbul in November. After an exhausting night, we woke up in Istanbul. A crazy big city with amazing food and so much culture. We spend eight nights there with volunteers from another organization here in Blago. Fortunately, Selin, our former volunteer, showed us around and introduced us to her friends. They gave us amazing insights into the Turkish culture and life in Istanbul. We had a wonderful time there.
After Istanbul, I had six weeks left, which went by incredibly fast with enjoying the time together with friends, partying and living the routine here.
What can I say? It was an emotional rollercoaster. The time here was unforgettable. Although I had my struggles, I will leave a small piece of my heart in Blagoevgrad and more importantly with the people I met here.
Thank you to everyone who made my experience to what it was. Special thanks to my boys.
Lots of love,

intercultural picknick with dishes from all over Europe
day trip to Bansko
Greek dinner in Thessaloniki
the nature around the Rila Lakes
Rila monastery in fall
a walk to the cross
Istanbul group

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