Sofia, so good.

16853475708_50c3851045_bI’ve bought a one-way ticket, and I’m moving to Bulgaria.

(For a few months, at least. I’ll be back. I just don’t know exactly when).

There are multiple factors that have led me to head to Sofia, but hopefully this blog will answer a few of them, should you be interested.

1 – Work. 

Towards the end of last year we had an investment deal go sour at the very last minute, and it was a huge blow to us. We’re still financially paying the penalty for what happened. However, it resulted (in a roundabout way) in us taking part in the Ignite accelerator programme, which totally changed (improved) the way we look at what we do, and how we operate. We’re really excited about the future again after a pretty dark period.

I won’t bore you with the complete rationale of our decision for Bulgaria but the mix of low cost of living, and one of my business partners being Bulgarian, made it a compelling one. We feel we can really grow the company very quickly from Sofia.

Bulgaria-Sofia-alexander-nevsky-cathedral

2 – Personal.

Partly because of the sheer intensity of work (see above) and, as many of you will know, I’ve been through the mill personally this year. I feel a bit of time out of the country, away from everything and everyone, will do me good. I’ve had a very tough 5 years, but nothing prepared me for this year. I’ve had 7 regular beds, lived in London for about 6 months, sold/donated 70% of everything I own, not really known what town to call home, or whether I’ll have a business this time next year.

2016 has been a crucible. Let’s hope that what they say about crucibles is true. It’s been a year of astonishing highs and lows. I’ve had both some of the most painful and magical moments of my life this year, and it’s been utterly exhausting. The bags under my eyes can be seen from the International Space Station.

A change is as good as a rest. I hope.

Sofia-vitosha-kempinski

Other stuff

  • A sense of adventure. I’m free to do something like this, so I’m doing it.
  • A “f**k you” to the Brexit vote. I’m doing it while I can, maybe. Who knows how all this stuff will pan out. But I know that I’m just getting on a plane to freely live and work in another country. And there is zero impediment.
  • It’s a part of Europe I don’t really know. It’s a 90 min drive to Macedonia. A 3.5hr drive to the Greek coast. I’ll definitely be exploring.
  • The weather – the tail end of the summer in south east Europe should be pretty nice!

Questions?

When are you going?

  • 8th/9th September. So, in a few weeks.

Will I learn Bulgarian?

  • I’ve already started a podcast course on my phone. If all else fails, Daf tells me he knows the Bulgarian for “mustard”. It’ll be fine.

What are you doing with all your stuff?

  • To be honest, I don’t have much “stuff” left. It’s going in storage.

Where will you live?

  • In a flat about 30 mins walk east of the city centre.

Where will you work?

  • There are a few options. I’ll be checking out a handful of co-working spaces when I first get there.

Can I visit?

  • Yes. Please! Flights are very cheap. Come for a weekend and we’ll go exploring.

 

That’s it for now. Hopefully I’ll see many of you before I go, but I’ll be back soon!

 

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13 thoughts on “Sofia, so good.

  1. Neil, all I can say is Wow! and it sounds like a fantastic adventure. I don’t know half the stuff you have been through but you are a top man and a pleasure to know. Here’s to the next instalment – and enjoy the ride (as if I needed to tell you). TP 💜

  2. Hi Neil, Ages since I’ve seen you….all the best for your adventure! I’ve got a few contacts in Sofia\Bulgaria.. Happy to make introductions once you settle in if helpful.
    Louise

    1. Hi Louise – that would be great, thanks. I’ll tweet you!

  3. Oh man, that’s great! Have a lovely time and be adventurous with everything.

  4. Wish you the best man, I am sure it’s a good decision, it’s always important to take care of yourself and to explore new things.

  5. Neil, you’re an inspiration as always. Best of luck and keep blogging.

  6. Hey Neil. That sounds exciting, fabulous and terrifying all at the same time. I have no doubt that it will be a thrilling adventure, and one that will be challenging and rewarding in equal measure. Moving country is always a chance for renewal and growth, so grab this opportunity with both hands and hang on! Oh, and if you want a holiday in Oz at any point, you can stay with us as long as you want – Brisvegas is a great base from which to explore… xx

  7. P.s. that was me, by the way …

    1. Thanks Dino / Annabelle / Swych!!! 😉 Hope to see you one day soon.

      1. Come and visit anytime!

  8. Neil, sorry to hear things have been tough. You are not alone. Just an added note, this appeared on my phone with a pro-Trump ad.

    1. Thanks Jeremy. And, oh blimey, that’s one reason to pay for a pro account with WP. Don’t want to be associated with that muppet!

  9. Do it man! And make the most of it. Arguably a cliché but you never know what’s around the corner old fruit! Enjoy 😊

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