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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Varna, Bulgaria


Beautiful Varna, Bulgaria

Vinitsa, a "modern" village 12km above Varna is the most delightful place I've lived. It is the beautiful simplicity of life.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Varna

Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?

My maternal side is of Slavic decent, I read, write and speak Greek, thus making it less cumbersome to learn Bulgarian. The combination of knowledge of a Slavic language and a Cyrillic script eased the language and custom barriers. I also married a Bulgarian in the US, thus learning first-hand a bit about the country prior to moving there.

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If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

I covered that above.

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?

Absolutely not. My husband was the one who insisted I would feel "out of place", but it never happened.

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How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

Zilch. Zero. None.

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

The honeymoon phase never ended and I still love Varna like a newly wed.

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

I ate better and healthier foods, but experienced nothing but joy and love for Varna.

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

Vinitsa, a "modern" village 12km above Varna is the most delightful place I've lived.

#1 is the beautiful simplicity of life.

#2 the blue skies and rolling hills overlooking Cherno More.

#3 My apartment is like a miniature palace and I feel like a queen in my home.

#4 the fresh air

#5 the Romani, who in stark contrast to the over-serious Bulgarian are quick to smile, chat, laugh and run barefoot in the rain!

#6 the fact that I have every single possible convenience from transportation to veterinarian care; food, restaurants, post, hospital, optician, riding stables, etc..., etc..., etc..., within walking distance - and I mean a few blocks, not kilometers!

#7 for me, it is perfect.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Trying to understand Bulgarian "humor" - they seem to have lost that somewhere along the way. :)

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!

I wore my first Martinitsa well in June, when a kind friend told me it was time to put it away.

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

If you expect culture shock, you will probably have it. If you are anticipating an entire new world opening up to you, that is what you will find.

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Expats VarnaExpats in Varna

Expats, digital nomads & retirees talk about what it's like living in Varna.

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An index of all of our site's Varna information.

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7-Things-to-Know-Before-You-Move-to-Bulgaria7 Things to Know Before You Move to Bulgaria

Expats who move to Bulgaria have a wide variety of options to choose from in terms of where to live. Whether you want to live off the grid, in the mountains, or by the sea, it's all there to be had as long as you do the appropriate research and understand some of the unique aspects of successfully moving to Bulgaria.

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Expats VarnaExpats in Varna

Expats, digital nomads & retirees talk about what it's like living in Varna.

Bulgaria Index Varna Index
An index of all of our site's Varna information.

Bulgaria Forum Bulgaria Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Bulgaria on our Bulgaria forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Contribute to Bulgaria Network Contribute
Help others in Bulgaria by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Bulgaria.

Expat Healthcare Advice in BulgariaHealthcare & Health Insurance in Bulgaria

Expats in Bulgaria offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Bulgaria.

Real Estate in BulgariaReal Estate in Bulgaria

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Bulgaria.

Pros Cons of Living in BulgariaPros & Cons of Living in Bulgaria

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what digital nomads & expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Bulgaria.

7-Things-to-Know-Before-You-Move-to-Bulgaria7 Things to Know Before You Move to Bulgaria

Expats who move to Bulgaria have a wide variety of options to choose from in terms of where to live. Whether you want to live off the grid, in the mountains, or by the sea, it's all there to be had as long as you do the appropriate research and understand some of the unique aspects of successfully moving to Bulgaria.

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