When people hear ‘Bulgaria’ they think of Sunny Beach in Varna which is a tourist hot spot in the summers, or they think of the snowy mountains and ski resorts in Borovets and Bansko. Yet there is so much more to Bulgaria than those two destinations.
My mum lived in Veliko Tarnovo for three years which is a city situated in the middle of Bulgaria. It’s about 4 hours away from the capitol, Sofia which is close to the ski resorts, and 4 hours away from Varna where Sunny Beach is situated. It is literally smack bang in the middle of the country. She chose to live here because whilst it is still geared up for tourists and there are things to do and see here, it is a slower paced lifestyle and you’re surrounded by an array of forests, gorges and caves! What’s not to love? Many people who do visit here, opt for a short stay or day excursion. It’s exceptionally beautiful all year round and there are many coaches or tours operating from both sides of Bulgaria to enable you to visit Veliko Tarnovo, perhaps you need a break from skiing and fancy touring around this quaint town covered in snow? With its cobbled stones and traditional buildings what’s not to love? Or maybe after days of sun bathing on the Sunny beach strip you fancy a day of culture? Either season, Veliko Tarnovo is a place you must visit!
Many expats prefer to buy and live in villages just outside Veliko Tarnovo. Land and property is cheap to buy because many young Bulgarians go to work in the cities- preferring a more London-like lifestyle whilst British expats have been renovating these huge farm houses and turning them into Bed & Breakfasts, hotels and retreat centres thus reviving the entire area for the locals to thrive from- tourists bring money which supports local shops and markets.
My mum sadly does not live in Bulgaria anymore. Due to health and personal reasons she has recently moved back to the UK for the time being but she loved living out there. She loved the people, the food and the simple way of life so who knows what the future holds? In comparison to Spain and France, it is is also a cheaper place to live, your money will stretch even further and you’ll feel comfortable.
I loved our family home, I was sad to let go of my childhood home, she still kept it and rented it out to a family back in Blackpool however it was a weird feeling of excitement for this new adventure living abroad and resentment for allowing a new family live in the house I grew up in. But it was a smart financial move to do this, renting out our house in Blackpool gave my mum a small income to live off in Bulgaria (on top of her retirement pay), any savings she had went towards renovation and decoration of her new Bulgarian home.
My childhood was a financially difficult time for my mum as a single parent barely affording food and heating yet things began to change in my late teens and my mum became a retail manager and over the years also became a landlady to 4 properties, that’s when we began to live more comfortably, it was then, she decided to work towards owning a property abroad- for a while she did think about the usual destinations like Spain, France and Cyprus but then she remembered how much she adored our family holiday to Borovets, Bulgaria when I was six years old which she scrimped and saved for, for years! She adored the wooden beamed houses and cabins, she adored the locals and way of life so she went back out there and fell in love with the house in Veliko Tarnovo. She sold all those rental properties in the UK to help buy and renovate it and I was so proud of her for achieving this, we were dirt poor when I was a kid and people were amazed my mother achieved this dream as a single parent, she is living proof that no matter your circumstances you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it and it is her strong willed, tenacious spirit that inspires me and I’ve become a lot like her now I’m a grown woman.
So below are a few photos of the Bulgarian house and its vast garden that my mum owned, I just loved visiting her there, it was a nice break away from England and inspired Jon & I to live abroad because we could physically see the possibilities just from staying with my mum in Bulgaria and both of us dislike the lifestyle in the UK. We even thought about buying a property and land in Veliko Tarnovo to run our businesses from- I’d set up a yoga & belly dance retreat and Jon thought about running photography tours. We are still considering this dream, but not found the right country for us to make that move just yet!
Fancy living in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria? Click on the link to look at properties: Yantra Homes