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“Welcome to Bulgaria . . .”

Well I’ve got some great news – I picked up my Visa today at the Bulgarian Consulate in NYC! As it turns out there was a crash in the new electronic system at the Foreign Ministry and some Visa applicants’ data was lost, including mine. I have been really lucky to have the help of Maria at the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission who has kept me informed about what was going on and called many times on my behalf to find out when I’d be able to get my Visa. When I shared my visa horror stories with a few acquaintances/friends who have lived in or are living in Bulgaria I was met with the same exact response – “Welcome to Bulgaria.” I guess the inefficiency of our bureaucracy in the U.S. pales in comparison to the bureaucratic systems in Bulgaria. Something I’ll have to keep in mind when reaching out to government agencies and officials.

So I am definitely flying to Bulgaria on Saturday afternoon and should probably be packing instead of writing this blog post. But, those who know me should already know that I am the “Queen of Procrastination.”

It’s such a relief to finally have a definitive date to leave. I am not good when it comes to unknowns. I always try to plan as much as I can – like buying my plane ticket for Bulgaria in May and applying earlier than I needed to for my Visa. Don’t get me wrong, I can adapt to change very well and have dealt with my own share of surprise road blocks along the way (ie. Visa situation), but I like stability and strive to have it in my life when possible. So this week was . . well . . the week of the unknown. I didn’t know when I would get my visa and therefore didn’t know if I would need to ultimately cancel my flight or reschedule. I didn’t know if I should be packing or not and I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. It was a good week in that I got to spend additional time with my parents and took a random trip or 2 into the city to meet up with friends.

That being said I also found myself getting antsy and more nervous about flying away from home to live in Sofia for a year. I was ready to go last Saturday and had prepared myself for it, but now I found myself with this extra time to think about it. I know I’ll be fine and will be able to find my way around in no time, but it’s those darned unknowns that get me every time. All and all I am looking forward to the year ahead and the adventures that await me. And yes, I will miss you all very much.

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