Leaving Sofia, 2020 Plans, Life Thoughts

It’s officially November, which means that my days here in Sofia are numbered for the rest of the year- I leave on Nov 5 to Bangkok, and then on Nov 8 I’ll be back in Chiang Mai.

It’s a strange feeling… A mix of excitement, but colored primarily by sadness. In this blog post I’ll be sharing some of my feelings about the past few months, and my thoughts about moving into 2020.

I feel like I’ve grown A TON in the past 45 days- in the first half of returning to Sofia, I didn’t really enjoy it.

A mix of bad luck and unresolved emotional issues regarding my past relationship negatively colored my experience. I entered a workaholic state as I tend to do, and in my mind I thought that “there” would make me happy.

There was, at the time, the United States. Surely if I go back “home,” I’ll be happy- right?

After the first brutal month, in which I dealt with work problems, a failing laptop, a second failing laptop, jet lag, heat problems (no AC in my apartment despite summer), unresolved emotional issues, etc. I found that I really started to enjoy it here.

It happened when I made a shift to consciously be more happy. I feel that I had forgotten a lot of the ways I could make myself happy, I forgot in a way how to take care of myself.

In the beginning of my travels, I was motivated to make friends, meet girls, etc. But then I switched from this when I got into the relationship, and my focus became other things, primarily health.

When that relationship ended, I had forgotten how to take care of myself in the social regard.

Now that I’ve “come full circle,” I feel great. I feel confident. I feel powerful. I feel “okay” with wherever I go because I know that I can take care of myself.

I made it my mission to go out and meet people, and stop hanging out with old, stagnant friends that I wasn’t really connecting with anymore. I made some super awesome friends, and began to meet girls.

For dating I decided that I had to do about 100 approaches, so I re-committed to “NoFAP” and proceeded to talk to almost 100 girls. I had an approach-number/contact ratio of about 47%, which is great but keep in mind that many of those contacts flaked, ended up just as friends, etc.

That is to be expected. Recently I’ve made a mindset shift where I’m totally okay with “rejection.”

I know who I am and what I want, and most girls will not fit that ideal and I will not fit for most girls. So when a girl rejects me sooner than later, it’s a blessing because I can find the right girls sooner.

Very quickly I found some girls that I LOVED. And I write that seriously- I’m really grateful for the girls that I’ve met, it feels like we were meant to meet, and I feel so sad that we couldn’t spend more time together.

Before I did this challenge, I also have to express gratitude to various friends that helped me get past my emotional issues regarding my past relationship. I realized that it was deep things within me being triggered, not anything to do with the relationship.

One friend took me through an insane meditation that went so deep I was seeing deep childhood memories and strange visuals- and no, the water was not spiked.

After that meditation I began to feel, open up, and let out the deep pain within. I was never that heart-broken, I just had deep childhood trauma that needed to be resolved and was simply triggered by the ending of the relationship, by the needs that were unmet.

As soon as I started to heal quickly, and learn how to observe my feelings and go deeper into them, my healing accelerated greatly. Connecting with new girls became a natural and exciting thing, no longer fueled by a slight ache in the heart.

New connections became genuine. My heart could love again, this time without possessiveness or neediness.

Old friendships became deeper, some drifted off and were replaced by new friendships.

Everything feels like it happened as it should, especially in the past couple months.

I am seriously considering living permanently in Sofia, but more on that later.

Despite its downsides, it’s “good enough.” No need to be a perfectionist. I’ve found my belonging through my friends, and we’ve agreed to mitigate the downsides of Bulgarian culture together.

There are many positives which we enjoy, but as with every place there are negatives. When surrounded by the right people, that doesn’t matter.

In healing myself, I also feel re-inspired to adventure again! A part of me feels called to Kiev, Ukraine, or Italy, or Finland, and so many other places to see!

I feel confident in my ability to take care of myself. Should I land in a new city, I now have an action plan to follow to quickly socially integrate.

The plan involves hitting up several events to make friends, rapidly creating groups (I’ve learned a lot about creating cool group social circles), and then talking to at least 100 girls to find the right 1-3 that I can create a relationship with.

That being said, I’m not actually considering starting over in a new city just yet. Most likely what I’ll do is live permanently in Sofia or somewhere else and then adventure to these places, instead of constantly remaining nomadic.

The plan now is to go to Thailand until about Christmas time, then I’ll be back in America for holidays + fun with my family. I’ll scope out Phoenix as a place to live, maybe Vegas too.

To be honest though, I’m highly considering a new plan for 2020:

The idea is to live in Thailand/Bulgaria only, no USA. You see, I got into this “digital nomad life” to be free. I wanted to live super cheaply and grow my financial resources as best as possible.

In mid 2018 I blew that all up and lost a ton of resources, and also fell behind on taxes. Now I’m okay, but I feel like I should be a lot farther than I actually am.

I love Sofia, and I love Chiang Mai. I also enjoy Bangkok, as much of a crazy place it is.

My current idea involves getting a 12-month lease on an apartment in Bulgaria, and then splitting my time between Bulgaria and Thailand.

I never considered this before, I was always getting new accommodation everywhere I landed because I don’t want to pay rent on a place I’m not using.

BUT then I did the calculation! And I discovered that if I were to rent a local apartment in Bulgaria, it could actually save funds, OR equal my current spend. If I live in Thailand also, my total accommodation costs will be LESS than my current AirBNB life that I’m running.

As much as I DON’T like spending funds on a place I’m not using, the calculations make sense.

We humans are loss-averse, even to the ridiculous point in which we actually make ourselves lose more than we need to because we don’t want to consciously lose funds on a place that in the long-term would benefit us.

I won’t share the math calculations, but basically it’s simple: paying for 12-months of a Bulgarian apartment but staying for only 6 months and then living in Thailand also is cheaper than getting an AirBNB every time I come back to Bulgaria.

This idea aside, I’m also considering revisiting the visa options to live in Bulgaria. There are two possible options, one more expensive than the other (and this other being more sketchy).

The fact is I am happy here in Bulgaria, and deeply saddened to have to leave. I want to spend more time with my friends, my routine, my life here! But my visa is making me leave. Grr immigration rules are ridiculous.

The possibility of living in America is still on the tables, but becoming less and less of a reality.

Though I guess we’ll see when I’m there… There’s a chance I could get stuck there! However, I really like the pace of life here, I’ve got many friends, and it’s also perfectly located between Europe & Asia making it perfect for my other travel adventures!

For business, I’ve just hired an agency to help me with some holes. I now have a full-time assistant working with me which is EPIC. The agency appears to already be delivering on their end of the contract, which is amazing.

Instead of pridefully trying to do it all, I’m hiring help where I need help- I’m trying to focus on what I do great and hire people to do everything else.

This is also why I’m considering living in Thailand or Bulgaria over USA. As hinted at earlier, it’s cheaper, and because it’s cheaper this means I can re-invest more into my business!

I want to save more, live better, and most importantly be able to re-invest into my business. It is kind of ridiculous actually looking at how I lived in 2018 compared to my original goals set out in 2017.

I fell off track- a lot of the “being lost” was necessary, but now I need to get back on my goals.

They’re simple: find awesome girlfriend (or girlfriends), have great friends, adventure, have awesome home, grow business, etc.

If I live in the USA, my cost of living will be higher, and thus there is less to re-invest into my savings or business.

Also, I’m at a strange point in life where living in Bulgaria or Thailand is MORE FAMILIAR than living in my own country. I was researching some things and realized just how different it is in USA- the fact is I’m more situated to this life.

We’ll see how things play out…

For now I feel sad to be leaving Bulgaria. It’s way too soon. I’ve made new, deeper friends and also connected deeper with some of my old friends. I’ve met some super awesome girls.

I’ve gotta go, so we’re gonna own that- back in Thailand it is! I’ve already got multiple meetings scheduled for the first week, which is amazing. I’m excited to go back to that life, but until I’m back in that life, I’ll be sad to leave this one.

Overall, I’m starting to feel more relaxed in life. My self-belief is increasing as I have proven to myself that I can overcome adversity and take care of myself. I have plans to make friends, meet girls, and grow my business.

Now it’s just a matter of living it, day by day, and enjoying the process.

-Michael