A Forced Minimalist in Bulgaria

“ESC: European Skills and Competencies” project, Bulgaria.

I’m the type of person who plans a trip several weeks in advance, focusing on everything I’m going to need. I love my comfort zone, whenever I am trying to adapt to new environments or countries I have to wear something that reminds me of home.

But on this trip, everything has been totally different. When I arrived at Sofia airport and saw that my luggage was lost, I just felt that I was not going to be able to adjust well. I have lost my identity on the plane and have been forced to buy new clothes and borrow from my roommates since then, which is something that I’ve always been very embarrassed to do.

However, I am fortunate to have met such kind and interesting people with different studies and ambitions. In just one week I have realized that these volunteers are also a bit lost, not in a materialistic but in a personal way. Some of them have finished their degree but still looking for job opportunities, and others do not yet know what they want to do in the future.

I have the feeling that we have all found this volunteer project to escape from our daily routine and live a completely different international experience. And I feel very grateful to have come to Bulgaria because in order to find yourself you should first lose your way.

I still have 2 months ahead of me, and I hope to learn and enjoy all my time here, meet new people and visit more cities in this beautiful country.

As I said I’m the type of person who plans everything, but here everyone is so spontaneous, they aren’t worried about what they are going to eat today or what we are going to visit tomorrow. At first, it was a little bit annoying, but you get used to it and can adapt yourself to everyone in this group of international volunteers.

I have mental notes for everyone, like how much time do I have to wait for Ange to finish cooking his black rice with vegetables, which shoes are Daniela going to use so I can borrow the other pair, and how many times can Elias eat chicken in a single day. I even understand the schedule of prices in Humana, depending on which day is Julia going there. And also, how many songs does Gonçalo and Nika in their Spotify playlists, since they can easily listen to music 7 hours in a row.

Except you Aziz, I wasn’t able to understand your routine here in Bulgaria, and I don’t think I would ever do it. You made my days a wonderful surprise and I am so glad that I was able to share my experience with you and with everyone in this international family.

0 drama, I love you all and I hope I can meet you guys again. Our next trip is to Katmandú, I am 100% sure my lost luggage will be there waiting for us.

This article is created by Claudia Azañedo as part of her personal project. She’s a participant in the “ESC: European Skills and Competencies” project, co-funded by the Bulgarian National Agency of Erasmus+ Program Human Resource Development Center.

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