Expat living in Bulgaria is nothing new. But I have been meeting as regular as clockwork every ski season a number of people taking “mini retirements” in Bansko. Often these retirees are expats just for the winter ski season.
Ski and mountain enthusiasts brings most. Moving to Bansko for pure work reasons has never been the sole reason. The lowest average salaries in Europe are my best guess for that! But whatever form of expat living is taken, a move abroad is an idea that floats in and around the minds of many many people as they stare at another spreadsheet — longing for freedom from the 9 to 5 routine.
How I remember those feelings. “A bad day on the piste is better than a good day in the office” sums it up. A move to Bansko may offer up a tantalising taste for a more permanent move when the timing is right. It has a lot to recommend it. But many things need to be considered and online help is a good place to start.
But if you have a passion for a particular thing; such as skiing, snow boarding, hiking, mountain biking, golf, travel or culture, then Bulgaria could be the place to give it a go. And the crazy thing is that so many more people could be negotiating a career break with their boss. It is a risk perhaps, but not so bog one. In Bansko I’ve seen and heard people saying they have had more good times in one “ski bum” season than they thought possible.
Mini retirement economics
Often a property rental income in UK, Germany, France, US etc for four months will cover all living expenses in Bansko for the same period. In my maths I am including a season ticket and paying property rental in Bansko. This rental cost could be a half to just a quarter of what the rental you may receive in a western European capital or large city.
The balance from income provides additional cash for living in Bulgaria. Excluding rental costs, a mini retirement for snow boarding / skiing, heating, eating and drinking, for sixteen weeks, can be a genuine option for many. This is a nice way to trial expat life, improve riding/ski skills and have fun. Taking a luxury ski season in a high spec apartment is also a real option for many.
Bansko offers realtive affordability and comfort to suit those whose days of “roughing it” are long since past. that One that really could be had for less than a few weeks in a top flight Swiss or French ski resort such as Verbier or Val D’Isere.
If you are waiting for some time in the future to so this thinking you need a stash of cash to come to Bulgaria then you need to think again. If it’s your dream to try a spot of expat living then take a career break this coming ski season.
Head over to Bulgaria. The cheapest place in the EU.
Assuming no commitments in your home country then taking a “mini retirement” is cost effective and a load of fun. And like me, those living in Bansko and other places in Bulgaria often use online resources to help them. One such web site I like is called expat-blog.com.
Expat online resources
I was contacted by Julien, the owner of this website to say he has two new sections: dedicated to jobs and housing in Bulgaria. I then decided to write more about expat living and ask Julien more about him and expat blog…
Are you an expat? If so, where?
Yes, I am an expat. It all started in 2003, when I left France for the UK (London). In 2005, I left London for Madrid. And I moved toMauritius in 2007 (initially for 6 months) … I wonder what will be the next destination.
What are the top 3 things you did that helped grow your site to the size it is today?
Well, the very first thing, and the most important one, is that I have found a lot of help and support from expatriates since the beginningof the expat blog adventure. A few expat bloggers even became real friends that I met in real life. The expat blog wouldn’t be the same without them. The second one, is that my vision never changed in 7 years.
My objective is to help people, and it means a lot to me. I am not selling any service or product, I am just doing my best to help people. Expat-blog.com is my way to change the world. When I go back home after working all day, I always feel happy with what I have accomplished within the day. The third one, is that I am doing my best to understand our members’needs. And as I’ve been myself an expat for nine years now, I know what can help people in living abroad.
How many blogs are listed on your site?
Almost 11,000 expat blogs are listed on expat-blog.com
What are your own personal favourite top five sites?
Well, it may sound funny, but the website I use the most “as a user” is expat blog; mostly for networking and leisure. Then, there is Google. I use Google services and apps a lot. I guess I am an early adopter of all their products. I consult Yahoo! News everyday. Three other sites I love are of course LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. (reminds me, please like Banskoblog on facebook; and on twitter too)
In what ways has expat blog has helped expats the most?
Two main ways I think: Expat blog helps people before they move. We are trying to create some kind of bridge between people who would like to live abroad and people who have already moved. And we invite expatriates to share their expat experience with everyone. Expat blog also helps settled expats in making new contacts. When you’re abroad, it’s always nice to meet new people.
Thank you Julien for your time.
- Are you thinking of a move to Bulgaria?
- Have you spent a ski season in Bansko?
- What are your reasons to move to Bansko?
- Are you looking to spend a season in Bansko
- Are you an owner who takes several trips a year?
Your comments are welcome here.
Whatever you do, take (and give) advice. Visit quality websites like expat-blog.com — arm yourself with as much info as possible BEFORE moving and try a season first to see if it’s for you.