How do we typically travel? We dive in head first. We pack our bags, buy one-way ticket and off we go. This time, however, it’s different. This time the pre-departure preparations are extensive (at least by our standards). In our eyes Bulgaria is a “wild country” and its mountains are no joke. Stories of savage strayed dogs and the knowledge that we won’t understand shit once we get there do not really add to our peace of mind. Not only we won’t be able to speak to the locals but also we won’t be able to read a single sign or a name of a street (Bulgarians use cyrillic as a script). The concerns are only deepened with a search for literature. The first book about Bulgaria I come across has words like “Culture Shock” and “Survival guide” in its name.
How did these extensive preparations look like?
- We buy a book about Bulgaria
- We buy a guide (Rila, Pirin)…unfortunatelly the particular one that we bought is only in available in Czech or German, so I’m adding an English alternative under the link
- We buy a paper map (Rila, Pirin)
- We buy pepper sprays for the self-defence in case of emergency
- We buy (two-way) plane tickets
- We pack our backpacks
- I try to learn Cyrillic (last minute)
- We fly