A Week in the Life of a Digital Nomad in Bansko, Bulgaria

A week in the life of digital nomad in Bansko, Bulgaria, including cost of living.
[The view of the woods from the gondola up to the slopes]
Wondering what life is like for digital nomads in Bansko, Bulgaria? Or what the cost of living is like? What is there to do? What exactly is Bulgaria like??? If you have these questions, well, I’ve got answers!

I spent 3 months at Coworking Bansko, from December to March. I really loved spending the colder months in a real “winter” destination (it is a ski resort, after all!), although it was an unseasonably warm year. In my head, snow would fall continuously as I looked out my balcony window. Inside, I would be cuddled up with a chunky knit blanket and a cup of tea while fairy lights twinkled and a fire roared in the fireplace.

House in the woods in Bansko, Bulgaria
[Saw this house on our hike to the monastery in Bansko]
But as you can imagine, that was not the case. My winter wonderland fantasy was unfortunately trumped (pun intended?) by unseasonably warm weather. Think temperatures in the 40’s F (like 4-8 C, finally starting to understand Celsius after being in Europe for over a year LOL) and sunny (an abomination) most of the time. Nor did my apartment have a fireplace.

Ah well, I still really enjoyed my time in Bansko! So much that I’m already planning to head back, possibly as early as summer!

I thought it might be fun to show what an average week might look like. And since Bansko is a little bit more affordable than other destinations in Western Europe, I decided to track my spending, too (I should probably be doing this anyway…).

To be honest, I probably I could have saved more but I was too busy having lots of fun with new friends…Ooops. But gotta live, ya know?

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How to Become a Digital Nomad: What I Wish I Knew

How to get started as a digital nomad, remote worker, or location independent! Tips for living the digital nomad lifestyle and for becoming a digital nomad are in this blog post.

So you want to become a digital nomad but just aren’t sure, like, how? How does one go from owning an apartment with a 9-5 job to essentially being homeless in a foreign country?

I feel ya – becoming location independent was something I knew I wanted to do for at least a full year before actually taking the leap! I KNEW I wanted to travel and have more freedom, but felt totally overwhelmed even starting to think about all the logistics.

For me, I had an extremely (un)healthy obsession with Europe. I’d wanted to visit ever since I was a kid, and knew I wanted to see more of it after putting my first foot (well, and then the second) on English soil during a study abroad program in university.

I was working at an environmental nonprofit in California. I loved my job, but was tired of Bay Area life and wanted something new. (Here’s more about how & why I left, in addition to how I navigated my first year of digital nomad life!)

I really wanted to travel and experience different places for longer than the standard 2 weeks of vacation time in America (although I was one of the ‘lucky’ ones because my job gave me 3, lol).

I desperately wanted to feel what it was like to live in various places on my favorite continent (the aforementioned Europe).

Digital nomad life in Plovdiv, Bulgaria - Here's how to live a location independent lifestyle!
[Exploring Plovdiv, Bulgaria on an overnight trip from Bansko]
I wanted to spend the summer in Greece, swimming and eating Spanikopita from bakeries.

I wanted to hunker down and live out a winter fantasy in the Arctic, watching the Northern lights from my porch.

I wanted to bike through rural Ireland while volunteering on a farm.

And I wanted to meet all the European men – what IS IT about accents???

That said, keep in mind that working while you travel is VERY different from just traveling.

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House Sitting: How to Travel & Get Free Accommodation Around the World

How to start house sitting and traveling the world for free! House sitting gives you free accommodation, which allows you to spend money on what you really want! This was a view from one of my house sits in Norway.
[A view from my house sit in Norway]
How exactly do I travel as much as I do and NOT spend $37334069584 a year on accommodation?

House sitting.

I’ll say it a little louder for the people in the back: HOUSE SITTING!!!

What exactly is house (and pet) sitting?

If people own pets, they’ll need someone to look after them when they go on their sunny vacay. That’s where I (you!) come in. So far, I’ve watched a total of 6 dogs, 15 cats, and 1 snake (but like, not all at once lol). Occasionally, someone will post a sit where all you need to do is water their garden or get their mail, but I’d say 98% of the time they have pets.

I love it personally – I’d LOVE to have a cat or dog, but I don’t want to right now since I still like to travel so much. So this is the perfect way to get some animal time (aka cuddle time) in without actually having one of my own!

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One Day in Melnik, Bulgaria

One day itinerary for Melnik, Bulgaria including wine, the Rozhen Monastery, Melnik Pyramids, and the best view of the town!
[Want to see this view? Read on!]
I’m mainly writing this post out of my own frustration. It was SO HARD to find much information on what to do in Melnik, Bulgaria! Maybe because it’s also the smallest town in Bulgaria?

Melnik is a really cute little town located in southern Bulgaria. Known for its wine, Melnik is a fantastic stop for any lover of fermented grapes. We also saw so many signs for different flavors of wine – I really wanted to try them all, but we were driving, so I had to make do with just the raspberry…

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13 Things to do in Bansko, Bulgaria in Winter (That Aren’t Snow Sports)

13 things to do in Bansko, Bulgaria in winter that aren't snow sports!I don’t really ski. Or snowboard. I did when I was a kid, and remember it being kinda fun. But even then I never remember loving it so much that I was willing to make 3.5+ hours long trek each way with my dad from Fremont to Lake Tahoe. That’s what ya gotta do if you wanna find snow in California, anyway.

And staying in Tahoe is expensive so we often did day trips, which meant super early mornings and a looooot of time in the car.

Then we had to rent everything, and wait in line at the chair lift (and don’t try and tell me that getting on and off is not the most nerve racking thing ever), and because we didn’t go often there was always a learning curve during which I’d fall a lot and stare down a giant hill and wonder how EXACTLY I was supposed to get down that thing in one piece on 2 toothpicks of plastic strapped to my wobbly feet.

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My 9 Favorite European Destinations of 2019 (& To Consider for 2020)

My favorite destinations of 2019 and some places to travel in 2020.

I traveled quite a bit in 2019 – I quit my job to become a digital nomad right at the beginning of the year, and thus was able to see a lot more than I did in 2018. Hence why I don’t really have a “favorite destinations of 2018” because I didn’t travel nearly as much!

If you’re curious about 2017, though, I gotchu – here’s a list of my favorite destinations from 2017.

And so, here are my favorite destinations from 2019 and ones you might want to think about for 2020!

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How to Spend One Day in Hamburg

How to spend one day in Hamburg, Germany, including Miniatur Wunderland, St. Michael's Church, the Elbphilharmonie, and Christmas Markets!

Have you ended up with one day in Hamburg and just aren’t sure what to do???

Well, let me do the hard work and plan the best day for you! You can just relax, follow this list, and see exactly what Hamburg has to offer. (Which is a lot!)

I’ve spent a total of 4.5 months in Hamburg so far (1.5 in the spring and 3 in the fall) so I’ve gotten around to exploring the city quite a bit. And, I had some help – I made friends with some locals and expats who showed me some insider spots, as well!

Here’s how I’d recommend spending one day in Hamburg:

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