Bulgaria: Ancient Yet Hip
Want to learn about the latest imaging travel destination guaranteed to make it onto every no meds. Tina Myself Kim alongside you phil. That's Bang. We're about to share the news. Welcome to the war nomads. Podcast delivered by were nomads. The trouble lifestyle and insurance brand is not your usual trouble podcast. It's everything for the adventurous independent Trumpeter as mentioned Kim and fill with you and the destination I've heard describe. Phyllis Chiang Mai of Europe is featured in these destination episode. And what is that Bulgaria? I didn't know but it's got beaches affordable and it's the hits another fantastic factitious digital nomad. It's got the fastest Internet download speed in Europe. Well one of them one of them. We don't want to go out to our because we've just sledded there by mentioning but that's the similarities. Probably yet stopped because Bulgaria is the oldest country in Europe. And look at that nine change since it was first establishing six eighty one so history buffs will love the place plus it's covered in forest and mountains so it's great for hiking and skiing quickey fact as if that's not enough. Bulgarians and I love saying that express approval by shaking their heads rather than nodding Indians to as well. I am not quickey but it is interesting. Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg is named after. He's Bulgarian Grandfather Marco who emigrated to the US from the Gary in nineteen forty. Well we're going to learn so much about Bulgaria in this episode and kicking off with Anna. Who RUNS A TRAVEL? Lifestyle SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL BLOG. And we'll share that insurance as we do with all that guests analytic career in the software industry to become a solo female world traveler. Back in two thousand sixteen. I was living in Benton house at the time as an expert I had already been on the road for a year and a half solo female travel of being on the road for a while so I just wanted to have my base for legitimate So I was leading there and I was teaching English. And but you know having said that logging has always been in back of my mind Was wanted to do it and yeah I guess it's more like timing. You know so I had been a time in my hands on. I said shore so I was. I still remember that day. I was sitting in my lounge room invention and I decided. I'm going to do it right now. So it was like eleven. Pm and I was like just starting. A blog has been really loads of ups and downs. I've come to realize that it's really hard to manage. You know blogging and traveling at the same time so there is a fine line between how you manage. How you balance You know violence that work and travelling but the other things I want makes me Joyce or FEMA travel is also definitely meeting. None of people from different walks of life and I've met some really truly inspiring an amazing people who have done amazing things in life in our living a living. The Dream Live. It's really inspiring to me. Unique individuals and Yeah and also of course trying. New Food going to learn new skills getting to know new cultures. I think all these things. Actually these are all my favorite things in life and I definitely enjoy them. Enjoy them more when traveling. Because there's nobody to tell me that I can't do or I can't eat something right. So how many countries have you been to Look now I am. I just finished my forty seven country. I was in east more A now I've done all the Southeast Asian countries but You know I know the list is quite long. You know there are two hundred ninety five countries in the world. So I've just been to forty seven so I wouldn't say just that's a good effort. Well this this podcast is about Bulgaria and you spend some time in Sofia the capital. Am I pronouncing that correct? Is it like the girl's name or glad I've been told that it's why at the end. So so FIO- yeah right right. Yeah look I locked to have a crack and then. I'm happy to be corrected. Is it worth visiting absolutely? Because it's such an interesting place you know. It's like the SEC. It's actually one of the oldest oldest city or capital in Europe in actually in fact is the second oldest capital in Europe. And if he has so much history is so much history. But again if you're not into history been there is also the whole new mode and things happening in the capital now. It's really interesting to be there and tubes of that new thing happening for example you know there are over eighty museums in Sofia loan and then If you walk on the street you'll see amazing architecture. An old buildings and historical buildings. But then you crossley extreme. And you're looking at these amazing straight off that seems to be common everywhere on the world like Iceland is one of the capital's was straight up. So what sort of St Optus Bulgaria have? Well the Bulgaria has will particularly Sophia. Had this amazing girl on the wall like any. It's not just like small Wall. It was like big house and I think it's really famous Straight out made by the guy who is quite famous artists. I'm not sure about the name but Yeah I'm sure that you can find these online as well. These particular odd of the girl on the big side of side wall of the House. So it's more like autistic it's not just like graffiti you know it's like more like can. I just say. There is a huge distinction between graffiti tagging and just ruining stuff and straight up which is rightly beautiful exactly exactly and then you know beside that they have amazing food so much food and then it's like not so expensive it's it's I think it's really great. Basin offers slightly different Feeling than experience than you know other cities in Europe so I would say definitely worth checking out. Yeah did you come across anything that you probably wouldn't have found in a guidebook on so many came or ub so surprised. People haven't got there yet so you should go now. I found so many interesting things to do that. I actually didn't really have Before I got there. So for example You know there. Is this a doc restaurant cold till laborers and I do know that it will it? Was there in. I was like I always wanted to go to this restaurant since I watched that movie called the La La Land. It's really good thing. They're doing because the restaurant. Employees people wait no site so they are disabled because they con- C Asser. They're employing them and the whole restaurant is completely doc. It's a very unique experience. You know Perhaps for adventure seeking foodies and When you when you go into the restaurant you know you can check to the way too. And she was really nice like I was by myself so she actually Spoke with me. We chatted for a little bit. She told me how her life is in Sofia. Like in this some circumstances so it kind of like opened up a whole new world for me in a way and I was like literally motion. You know me being there by myself and then also having experienced this whole thing. It was actually a little bit too much for me for that evening. but incredible unique experience. I'd hundred seven recommend to everyone. I mean it's not I mean. This is think one of the unique experience in Sofia in Jones of food and supporting the local communities. While right so I think it's great thing The Knicks the other. One that I remember is The place called. I think it's a place called red flats It's basically it's like Everyday life in Communist Bulgaria back in the day in nineteen eighty sort of Era that that that experience you get when you go here so if you will feel you know visiting Home Fan everage Bulgarian family and then discovering what everyday life was like for like an ordinary Bulgarians during the Cold War and then Yeah of course. The whole works in during that era gets experience. And it's just like nine euro for that and so I think this is also something that is A highly recommended. I think one of the best Mexican to go. And if you don't want to spend a lot of money I think and shopping and eat a lot of good food wine. Yeah thanks Donna. And I believe the artwork that she mentioned in that chat is by the street. Artist must CMO probably not pronounced. We didn't associate straight out with Bulgaria. He may also enjoy learning about the town. The that is internationally recognized as the capital of comedy. And that's lighter in this episode. Lucy is our next guest. She runs a blog lucy on locale when she kickstarted this amid her love for Solo Travel. I have been traveling so low for several years and I realized there was so much information. That was really difficult for me to find as a solo traveller about researching locations. I wanted to go about some of the best things for Solo travelers to do so. I decided to create my own blog to focus on all the information. I wish I had known for Future Solo travelers early in the podcast. We thought to Anna who is also a solo female traveller. This seems to be a bit of a movement of women that are just happy to go line. I think so I think it's becoming more and more society acceptable. I think there used to be a lot of very negative stigmas around it but I think that more and more of us who are doing it. We're writing about it. We're encouraging others to do it are Are hopefully maybe turning that around and making other women realize it something they can do to if they want to Bulgaria. Then how did you find that as a Solo Female Trepelo? I loved Bulgaria. It was one of the most off the beaten path destinations. I've been to Europe It just had this guy that it hasn't quite been discovered like a lot of other European cities and towns that I didn't do. This is kind of the field that I'm getting that it's a field off the beaten track. Is that because it's part of based in Europe and not normally on the typical tourist reuss that makes sense. I think those that one part of it was that there just weren't that many tourists there and win you venture outside of sort of the few tourist hotspots There's even fewer tourists. There and everything feels very authentic. It doesn't feel like a lot of these towns or cities have developed specifically for tourists. When I was there I genuinely felt like everything I was seeing all the places I was going. That that's how they are all the time how they have been and they haven't been developed specifically for foreign visitors so take a story nice places that you found that would in a country. That's off the beaten track the off the beaten track places to visit my favorite place in the entire country was Melnik. It's this tiny town. It's actually the smallest town in the country. It's almost to the Greek border in the south. Southwestern part of the country It is a premier wind destination in eastern Europe I know about it. It's got incredible variety of imported in local grape varieties that are grown there. The town was just picturesque. It was authentic. It was almost seemed like a village. That was sort of situated. Back in time zone on you saw you have attained. Tinari for Bulgaria. There's a photo of a stunning cave. Tell me about that. That is the president a cave. It makes for a really easy day trip from Sofia. The capital of the country where a lot of people usually start or in their trip and so the cave is also referred to as the eyes of the. God is of God Because of the two holes in its very accessible cave on that makes for a really fascinating Nature trip in Sofia the capital. Is that even talking about a lot of the towns that Phil haven't been developed. Does the capital fill like that as well? It felt more touristy than most of the rest of the country but compared to capital cities of almost every other European country that I visited. It still seemed less discovered in. She's more authentic now. Annual ultimate guide to Bulgaria outside of you attain day suggested itinerary. You mentioned You know the typical costs when travelling in one of the great things. We're finding out about this country to is really expensive. Yes it's relatively cheap Especially compared to other European countries. And what about getting around is that easy? There's great train systems between the larger cities They have a really good bus network. The buses take quite a bit longer. I rented a car when I was there and found that that was an amazing way to see the country. I could travel on my own schedule. There were so many times that I was driving and I would just pull off because I came upon this incredible panoramic view of the mountains or I drove through this little town that I wanted to stop at a cafe in and I know a lot of people are hesitant about driving overseas. I've found driving in Bulgaria to be very straightforward. The roads were in good. Sha- I had a gps in with that everything was really well marked So I think if you're comfortable that's probably your best option when you visit Bulgaria these destination. Who would appeal to? I think history buffs would be fascinated by this country. It's this incredible blend of Eastern European. When you think about You know post communist architecture culture food but it has a lot of western European influences and a lot of Middle Eastern North African influences. And so you can really find all of those everywhere that you go in the country. A gripe some up there thanks. Lucy this is the part of the podcast. We we give you some practical information on Bulgaria useful for something useful for judge based on the most searched questions and the first one Phil. Do you need a visa? This is this is a question. Everyone wants to countries. Okay look you can stay there for up to ninety days without a visa while it's part of the E U. It's not actually part of. The Schengen area does twenty-six insights which have got open borders and no passports. And what have you? So you've gotTa make sure your passport with you but you can. It's like a quasi Shaneco you can get a visa for ninety days. Well just on that got sick and most popular Christian travelers want to know why. Bulgaria isn't part of the Schengen area backed off from a law Oh that were in line to join up. Because they were concerned about the so-called migrant invasion and control of the of the borders fit became borderless great. And finally. We've heard it's a good place for digital nomad. But any downsides that you need to be aware of the language barrier or I think Most locals may have limited knowledge of English while the older generations of Bulgarians will probably not have any English at all. So make sure you take that victory. Well we are going to learn about. The older generation Mug area was fit. Who's written travel safety article and we'll address some of the other questions that people are wanting to know about Bulgaria but before he gets into that hour's pretty excited to discover that he has done a takes presentation so had to kick off the chat with the cane. Tonight what he actually spike about. Well I spoke about travel so My topic was what does it mean to be a citizen of the world and currently am I actually translating because it was in Bulgaria. We hosted here in Sofia. Yeah it was in Bulgarian. I'm translating nothing during lunch. And it's GONNA be ready probably in a couple of weeks that that is. I want the whole philosophies behind will Armez is is being a world citizen being responsible exactly especially with all these things that are happening. Environmentally shoes viruses. And all that stuff. We have to be more responsible nowadays especially in twenty twentieth so now the story that you write for us that we sharing in China is about safety in Bulgaria. One thing again stuck out for me because I'm not good with animals that I don't buy as sprite. Animals Bulgaria not the place for me then actually used to be much worse like five hundred ten years ago so they have made great strides to curbing this program. So I put it there because there are like you can see on occasional Outside sometimes and I would say like because people are like on the door kid. I wanted to peddle. I want to like color with an accurate I would suggest that don't do that because you never know whether they are domestic whether they are stray. Maybe that strange. Maybe they carry some viruses or parasites or something. Yeah this would be my concern. They are not. I haven't seen anything aggressive or else or that especially in the city centre that Kevin. See any butts. I just put it there a safe to because it could be something. That could disturb. People are not used to that but something to look at something to look out for for someone like me. Plenty of safety tips that you have in there. One of them is FICO exchange rights now. That's pretty important isn't it is especially because our currency is to to the euro and it's it's which is a good thing but The exchange rate is one point nine five of Bijon which is about getting let's exchanging for one euro and sometimes because people especially tourists and foreigners when they're visiting they are not very aware in the exchange kiosks at especially at the seaside because they have a local tourists in summer at the seaside. They they add an extra visits elections one so we can get cheated very easily especially like I know. Some friends almost got almost felt. I also almost fell once for that but that it too and you write a lot about travel that could be A university really isn't it? It's troy and that's true here that that that's why I gave a specific example With the euro because Sir Euro is like well. We have the. Most Theresa are coming from From Europe that's by the euro is the most used currency like to exchange in Bulgaria Malaria series of very good tips. There fake taxis as well. The good thing is that they introduced the law saying that they can charge more than foreign level. Which is around two. Euros. I'm not sure how much is in Australian dollars. Maybe like to appoint the thing is there are some that could charged with. Dabo or more. They're similar to the FEC exchanges because they resemble the legit toxic companies like yellow. Okay Mega extend some others. But they just changed one digit in their phone number or the like pain. The cars very soon the lower taxes. That's a like the other alleged companies so is the thing that Foreign should watch for yeah old common sense the fake exchange rates inflated bills fake. Taxis one about new. You mentioned this in the attic to ease it. Lgbtq plus friendly. Is it a place? If you're in a same sex relationship you could comfortably visit and be open about your sexuality. Well I would say you could comfortably comfortable visit. But don't be very open about it especially in public places like on the street because guerrier is part of eastern Europe bands On all the Balkan countries are not super friendly against public affection. E- add there are a few gay bars and clubs here. Things are changing. I will say it's dangerous to be queer or LGBT in Bulgaria but just tried to be a little bit more secret about it or dunce project the tower on show. It's very publicly. It's not even what I think. That's what's Society looks at it so I would say if if there are like two women that are in the same sex relationship with would be probably better than two months so yeah but just generally public displays of affection to yourself. Reserve it for the army dabbled recommend not to be very public about it. So avoid any unnecessary and pleasant situations because book is a great country. And you don't want to ruin your experience but just like wanting to show because some some people are trying to even like show is like I don't know people here are also not very very friendly. Two words people that are either queer or eligibility and sometimes especially for Regan's they are like especially those vegans Vegetarians To show an entertainment that you should also be Therrien or whenever is especially Bulgaria? Heaven traveled a lot in the world. Because when you travel you'll get to accept more and more cultures and you see there's nothing nothing wrong with being gay vegan whatever from other religions or whatever so the younger Bulgarians travelling along I was saying. Yeah but I don't know some people just don't don't like throwing i. I don't understand those people because I I love traveling but tight on Joe Johnson. Either because everybody can choose whatever they want with their life and I'm just wondering in terms of a generation shift toward the attitudes of people that have perceived differences whether it's you know my generation change when you've got younger people that are more accepting about the coaches or aware of other cultures. Yeah younger people will be much more receptive to other cultures other different habits from all over the world because younger people are the ones that travel more. I guess very true Svet. The world gets bigger every day links to fix article and he's blogs in China. It's back to the strike folks that he mentioned in his travel safety article. Rabies is common in Bulgaria circuits and medical. Help straight away if you are but on. Some people ask about whether they should get a rabies before that go to an area. That's prime to rabies. You actually need three different injections. It feels suspected of having rabies to make sure you don't get it I when you get is assigned one they give you as the preventative. So okay you you might shorten. You're still going to need three. Yes get the first one before you go and get the other two. If you believe you've been exposed so up to you talk to you. Travel Dr Bet what you today. But if you suspect if he suspects you've got rabies. Please do go. Get those shots untraded. It's one hundred percents vital. Yep Well Ron Senator. Name I win. Who will chatting about Bulgaria podcast at nine Dot Com? By the way he's visited before and is visiting again shortly and he did say the stray dog and cat situation across the country was very hard for him to witness Phil. Okay and what else did he mention look? He mentioned the first time it was a. They struggled with food in pretty much. All of the Balkan countries because each of those countries really made century and he's a Vegan and he and his partner finding it very hard to eat out now the travel slow and cook. Must've they meals at home. So it's not such a big issue which brings us to our next chat with Bridie. She runs world vegan travel offering all inclusive adventures designed specifically for vegans and the vague and curious and I kicked off the chat asking where she gets protein from from plants gorillas and elephants. Get it. I've read your website. Tillis us about Your Business. Sure so we are. Wealthy can travel man. My partner owns the vegan group tool company vacant travel and we organize unforgettable. Experiences are full. Vegans and beacon curious will I actually goods ahead of these interviews to see what the sort of top trains were people typing into find out about vague travel and the one there are two specific? Things they want an eye. How do you do it? And as you said on your website so you not only in the room and where can you do it? I would maybe push back on that a little bit in that I. I really think that you know you can travel anyone anywhere as Vegan. I do believe that and I do think that there are places in the world where it will be a little bit more challenging than others butts best always something to eat as usually fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Available fried rice without eggs is really good. Stand a standby Fried veggies Tofu in a lot of Asia. So there's usually something to eight but of course a lot Egan's and like everybody. They want to really enjoy food. Because let's face it. We we love to eat and their plight. Plenty of places around the world that are you'd is real standout places like Thailand is an amazing place Vietnam can't be an amazing place. Many countries in Europe the United States. There are a lot of places and not just to sort of give a little bit of perspective. I mean I've I've traveled a lot since I've been feeding which is ten years now and I've never gone hungry the whole time so it might not be particularly inspiring. But there's there's definite need something they're going to without. What is your favorites on a Vegan dish? I I am not particularly fussy. I really like everything I can be happy with. A bowl of roasted Brussels sprouts and I can also be happy with a really big dirty burger. I Love Thai food. I love Italian food. I love Vegan versions of food from the destination that I'm going to I. I just really liked it. It's so hot. It's like picking a favorite child or favorite pet hard to do well. We'll have a link to world vegan travel dot com in our show nights. But anyone that joins one of you to is. What can they expect if that vegans they expect to just speak really really spoiled so our trips are like fully inclusive apart from the flights. So you absolutely don't to think about anything so you know you don't have to think about tips. You don't have to think about paying for laundry. All of your meals assaulted only be drinks. Assorted ATIP civil salted. So the idea is to really have our guests beyond holiday and really really spoil them. We work with hotels and restaurants for about six months in the lead up to a trip. They can expect really really great foods that can also expect really good Experienced that sort of designed for vegans. So that might be for example Going and visiting animal organizations that are doing amazing what Cuban animals organized human animal organizations. That did doing Mike as well. So for example in Rwanda. When we we? We had a special tool by the IKAGARA pox which is run by African pots where they gave her a tour of like how this park has come up from being after the Rwandan genocide. Just there was basically. No animals slept and now being incredible place and we all said. Try as as much as we can to. We obviously don't visit Any places that do activities that involve animal exploitation. So we'll start. Try as best as we can to choose hotels that that don't have obvious animal exploitation around the hotel so for example in out. Alsatian hotel because we take over. The hotel in our hotel is very nice. We lost them to take the head off the wall and All of those kinds of things because these things out so nice. Speaking to to sort of save time we'll feel now that it's still bad but which is sort of trying to have a holiday from that but also one of the most important things is Vegans traveling with other vegans. The Camaraderie I mean. I'm sure you nod. When you travel with people in a group tour you often make friendships really really quickly and Of course when your feet and on your with other that's really really nice thing as well and everyone is on the same page and It's really safe. Space than people can express themselves without Spero's upsetting people. You know what I mean. We have Macon curious people join us as well. They will send a spouse of a Vegan and of course we try to make them feel as welcome as possible. And we we get feedback from the non vegans as well and night. No one who said yet they feel judge that for not being big and they feel very happy with how they were included and they really enjoyed the food and they didn't feel like they were missing missing out on anything. Yeah I'M PRETTY INSPIRED BY WHIPS HEIGHTS. We all know sweet. Thank you so much. You'll very welcome at any time. Lovely detect your laps. Drink one I with you vegetables. Cross thank you. We do have some vacant dislike. They would be non vacancies. Well that don't drink and you know you don't need to feel like you have to or the But of course there is plenty to drink was wise. Bridie head soy much information to share and semi lots of links shy nights and we'll have to catch up with her again. Vegas Chapel is huge huge protest lots of info out there so catching up with arrogant like Joe who is becoming a regular on the cast. And he's heated. Share a very different side of Bulgaria with US block. Many allies of the Soviet Union Bulgaria's always got short shrift from the West Kreis Lug `Romania hungry pick any eastern European country. Any country it was lampooned as a place of food. Queues Rabbit Hodge accommodation by privation. Was the only facts of life is just a west and miss once. The Iron Curtain has been drawn back in it stop. Becoming a member of the Warsaw Pact. In ninety-one it didn't take long for Bulgaria to show his true colors which are amazingly vivid and they go back on faded to the seventh century. And that's what the Bulga which are a people's bunch of the gals. I'm Gary that's when they took over a shrunk kits expanded but more or less that was the cool and it's still the case Cabrillo and it depends where you are in Bulgaria to house pronounced Ghabra. Vote in the West Gabrovo in the east. It takes a far enough to learn the difference because they done took to Java and people in the Center I'm told to the west of these differences of opinion they prize and they value each other for not agreeing with the other. If you know what I mean. It's a place that is easy with disagreement at least as far as the whole of Bulgaria goats how gets on with its neighbors is a different matter but Bulgaria is a it's preposterously raucous and at least the news itself you name laughing at themselves. It is primarily but it's also humor of the darkest here you know. It's not like this stuff. There's unfunny not like when someone tells you. A joke is one that was told of when the first day two Gabrovo drivers may on this really narrows bridge and the though wants to back up Because they don't WanNa waste fuel because this This title the comedy capital of the world. It quieted sixty five. And then they started holding festivals and stuff you to send he wants me to. Bulgaria was a close ally of the Soviet Union. The member of the whistle packed. And it's a big big deal and so they knew what it was to want so two drivers on a narrow bridge. Neither wants to backups. They don't WanNA waste fuel was out. Newspaper in begins the read taking the other would send get fed up and then back up but the other driver gets out sits on the hood of his car and says of the Piper Cub borrow it. And that's the kind of kind of almost Jewish humor to be honest even amongst European of East European countries while Garin saw themselves as uniquely afflicted and disaffected and they had this brilliant kind of like counter technique. If you laugh you cry counting if yeah if you laugh you'll cry and you might still crying and they get the joke that big unfunny about funniness. You don't need to be from Bulgaria. He's out needs to have a knowledge of Eastern European Culture. But it does help. It's been a country full of itself that's to say fully acknowledging its place in the world if no anything else was so. Yeah it's got a real sense of its intellectual vigor and what you can do that. I mean intellectual. Bigger can kill a joke because Mike it so on again that own downtrodden kind of comedy. The Scots wonderfully Scottish but they also not English and the Bulgarians though they are funny in their own rights a role so funny because they're not uncaring and the not remain in every kind of culture every culture Scott Huma of its own will pick on its nearest neighbor. English have been cracking jokes. The Irish for white too long. I'd say obviously and Estonia about New Zealand. Exactly and English about Welsh says well I think those sorts of jokes very similar to the ones that the ozzy's crack about the Kiwis. There's a peasant culture that when a countries possessed of exhaustion intellectual might it will always turn on its smallest less culturally kind of with it neither and they'll become the Butler joke. Aboagye definitely has them. It's a way of owning. Its own status amongst statements. Thanks Nice to have you back. Fully Guide. The WILL NYMEX traveled writing. Scholarship to the Caribbean is now open at the time of recording. Of course so if you want to get your application in follow the show notes. We're going to link the coming up next. Week is an amazing nomad. Her name is Nora and she claims to have coined the phrase financially Sustainable Travel Zia.