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The Way to Bulgaria and to myself

The first moments I experienced here in Bulgaria were a push into the deep end - I had to manage to find something to eat at night, as I had of course not managed to find anything on the way. But despite this rather unexpected situation, this evening brought me directly one step closer to my in the future strongly needed independence in this still foreign country. I also noticed that evening how cheap the food really is here - another positive aspect of the experience.

During the rest of the first week, I got to know my fellow volunteers, who came from 7 different countries in Europe. All of these sudden different impressions awakened a feeling in me that was comparable to both excitement and a kind of intimidation - a feeling I hadn't had in a long time and which signaled to me that the volunteer month would be anything but my usual everyday life.

I experienced a lot during my time here, whether it was a hike across the mountains or even a multi-day city trip, many doors to adventure opened for me; doors that were not all positive excitement, however. I experienced the intolerance of some Bulgarian citizens and also policemen because of my southern appearance, was almost robbed and witnessed the coldness that some residents showed towards strangers.

However, these impressions were greatly overshadowed by what I found attractive. Here are the most beautiful mountain landscapes I have seen in my life so far, a very warm but extremely welcoming climate and not to forget the streets filled with a charm that you would never find in a city in Germany. Also important for me are especially the nice and helpful locals who showed me the cities I was in and gave me tips for the rest of my stay here.

Another highlight was also the people I spent the volunteer service with. I also got along very well with some of them, to the point where their presence came with a certain comfort. It didn't happen often, but sometimes the totality of this new and strange group of people made me feel like I really belonged.

And besides the external impressions and experiences, my introspective also shows a great deal of development. Through self-reflection, which would have been impossible in my usual environment at home, I learned some new things about myself. The path that this trip has given me is a big step towards self-knowledge, a subject that is very close to my personal heart.


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