I’m still in shock. I can’t believe I’m writing these words, but I am.
If buying my flight out didn’t settle it in, packing & cleaning sure did.
Reality is punching me in the face, but it still feels like just another day.
I’ve emotionally gone between numbness, anger, sadness, and shock. Sometimes I don’t even feel like I’m actually being kicked out of my new home, but I am.
Welcome To Bulgaria
When I arrived in Bulgaria early November of 2016, I knew that it would be a fun adventure.
What I didn’t realize is that I would begin healing from physical & emotional pain, meet the love of my life, grow in so many ways, and find a place I can always call home.
The one month vacation turned into two. Then three. Next thing I knew I was spending my time at the immigration office, turning 3 months into 5.
I finally got to 7 months before they decided to deport me.
This is great considering that a normal tourist can only stay 3 months.
Bulgaria became a place I could call “home.” Sofia, Bulgaria is a magical city, filled with adventure and liveliness.
When I started my world travel journey about a year ago, I never thought I’d spend more than 3 months in one place; it was always “go go go!”
There is the whole world to see, yet Sofia enchanted me.
For whatever reason Sofia, Bulgaria became a home base. I had always felt drawn to Bulgaria, and now I know why.
Bye Bye, Bulgaria!
Like any country, immigration & government bureaucracy sure knows how to turn everything upside down.
A normal tourist can stay 90 days per 180 days. In Bulgaria you can extend if you have a “valid reason” for 2-3 more months, then further if you have work (and are lucky or pay lots of money with an amazing lawyer).
Unlike Germany, you can’t “immigrate” to Bulgaria from within Bulgaria. In Germany, I could go to the migration office and apply for residency or a longer visa. In Bulgaria I would have to return to the USA and apply for a long-term visa that would take months.
Once you’ve stayed 90 days in Bulgaria, even if you extend your visa, as soon as you leave you get “banned” for 90 days. When I depart on June 6, I won’t be allowed to re-enter Bulgaria until September 7.
No reason was given for the rejection of my last visa application. Instead I got a call that went like this:
“Hey, we have good news and bad news. The bad news is that you’re getting deported. The good news is that instead of being kicked out within 3 days, you’re going to have a whole week before you must go!”
Settling the Shock
Imagine being told you have 7 days to leave your home & find a new place to live. It’s kind of…. shocking.
I left the USA with the intention of traveling the world, and I guess the travel life chose me too. I wish to stay in Bulgaria at least a little longer; the universe wishes I travel onward.
Bulgaria wasn’t just “some destination.” This place became my fucking home!
My friends, lifestyle, girlfriend, and everything is here. I know the city of Sofia better than the locals.
I know the best coffee shops, restaurants, bars, and well.. everything. No matter the occasion, I know how to go out and have a great time.
Traveling the world is fantastic, but I really enjoyed having a “home.” No flights, jet lag, or heavy baggage. Instead I could settle in, and live life more relaxed.
I also got to make extremely deep connections which I’m very grateful for. I’m 100% my girlfriend is my soulmate, and I’ve also made other fantastic friends.
The personal growth I’ve made here in Bulgaria is tremendous too. Me & my girlfriend were reminiscing last night about how we were when we first met- we improved so much!
Logistically speaking (ie. money, flights, accommodation) the travel isn’t the hard part. The hard part is saying good-bye to my soulmate, best friends, and coffee shops.
Me & my girlfriend’s favorite coffee shop owner was crying for us! I must admit it made me a bit teary, too.
Enjoying Every Fleeting Moment
I’ve processed anger, sadness, gratitude, and all kinds of emotions from this unexpected “fuck you” from Bulgaria’s immigration department.
One thing I noticed though is that I have a lot more urgency. Me & my girlfriend wrote up a bucket list, and while I don’t think we’ll get everything on it, we’ve had a lot more purposeful hang-outs.
I’ve been a lot more purposeful as well. Bulgaria has an end date, at least for 3 months, and I’m trying to make the best of enjoying every fleeting moment.
Travel makes me realize one day I will die too. Traveling between cities & countries really hammers in that “time” exists.
Bulgaria feels like both my whole life but no time at all. I’ve countless memories, but the 7 months also went by “just like that.”
I also have memories in Belgium, UK, Hungary, and Canada. These moments are all gone…
This is a reminder that life is fleeting. Be purposeful while you can, live every moment fully, because one day it all ends.
Bulgaria has an expiration date now. I’ll be damned if I’ll give up another moment to apathy. I’m enjoying every moment I can while I’m still here.
The sites, sounds, and language will temporarily be a thing of the past. Time is so fast yet so slow; just enjoy every moment.
Cyprus: The Next Destination
Cyprus looks cool, it has extremely cheap flights to Sofia, and it’s close. It also has amazing surf, which is why I chose it. Bonus points to Cyprus for being outside of the “Schengen Zone” as well.
It’s quite comical to me to think that my first intention of traveling the world is being forced upon me. I found a home, but now I must leave the home.
Travel chose me, not the other way around.
I will be staying in Cyprus from the 6th of June to the 25th of July. On July 25 I’ll head to Germany with my girlfriend.
Missing My Girlfriend
I will miss my bars, coffee shops, lifestyle, and best friends. Most of all, I will miss my soulmate.
Before meeting her, I didn’t believe “soulmates” existed. Now I do.
I won’t bore you with the details, but there are several “weird signs” that prove some supernatural force brought us together. This is not stuff we made up after-the-fact.
There are literally too many strange coincidences and happenings that brought us together. I could write a whole ‘nother post on it (should I???).
We’ve enjoyed the most amazing relationship in the world. I truly believe she’s the best girlfriend in the world, and I want to be my best for her.
She’s become such an integral part of my daily life that I can’t imagine my life without her anymore.
We obviously aren’t splitting, and will make the temporary long-distance work. We are staying together, no question about it.
Not seeing her will be the hardest part of everything. The travel itself wouldn’t be bad if she could come.
It’ll be a little over a month before we can meet again. This isn’t long by most long-distance standards, but it already feels like forever.
I’m planning on filling my life with surf & business to account for “the hole.” We will also be texting & calling a LOT too!
Going With The Flow
I’m banned from Bulgaria for 90 days. There might be a way temporarily back in, but it doesn’t seem too appetizing because it probably won’t work.
Trusting the process of the Universe is the hardest thing in the world, but I’m trusting it knows what’s best for me & my girlfriend.
In Budapest, my apartment had toxic mold. I got super sick and randomly bought a ticket to Sofia. If this hadn’t happened, I would’ve stayed in Budapest and perhaps not met my girlfriend so early in our lives.
One bad thing (Budapest fucking up) turned into a greater thing (finding my home in Bulgaria).
I’m hoping that one horrible thing (Bulgaria kicking me out) will turn into a fantastic thing (something epic in Cyprus???).
Feeling anger & sadness is normal, but I also feel a sense of peace & acceptance. I’ve had enough experiences in life now to see that following The Path is the right thing to do.
Who knows what will happen in Cyprus. I shall hold no expectations; instead I hold faith that things are happening for the Best.
Goals In Cyprus
My goals in Cyprus are to develop a lot more self-discipline. I want to eat healthier, sleep better, grow my business, and create more healthy habits.
I also plan on surfing almost every single day. The water temperature is actually quite warm, even when the mornings/nights are cool.
I’m taking this opportunity to work on myself, and become better.
I want to create sustainable, healthy habits that will improve me & my relationship for when we come back together.
Right now my sleep is very messed up. I’d like to wake up early, and have a morning routine. I’d like to meditate every day, take cold showers (the Ocean will count for this), eat super healthy (more fruits & veggies in addition to my current no-sugar), and most of all grow the business.
I’ll also get new friends there, that may end up becoming even more best friends!
The primary focus is going to be about me, habits, and work.
Settling The Dust
It’s happening. I can’t believe it. It doesn’t feel real, but it is.
In 2 days I leave Bulgaria to Cyprus.
I’ve got nothing to say or think. Let’s see what happens…