La Bulgarie est encore méconnue… et c’est bien dommage.

On s’était dit que ce coup-ci, notre enfant tenait debout et qu’il était temps de repartir vers une destination dépaysante et disons …”moins évidente”. La Bulgarie… tu as déjà été ? Non. Tu as des amis proches qui ont été ? Non ? Allons voir!

Depuis la Belgique, on ne nous demande jamais pourquoi partir en France, en Espagne, Italie ou même en Grèce. Croatie et Montenegro semblent se démystifier, mais quand on a dit avoir pris nos billets pour partir 2 semaines en Bulgarie, plusieurs personnes nous ont demandé “ce qu’on allait foutre là-bas”.

Pourtant, c’est le même temps de vol que la Grèce, et c’est même à côté.
Pourtant, culturellement, c’est un territoire qui n’a cessé d’accueillir (ou de se faire envahir mais ne chipotons pas : c’est comme tout lopin de terre Européen qui se respecte) des empires et civilisations façonnant pendant des siècles un carrefour presque inévitable entre l’Occident et l’Orient, un mélange rappelant la Roumanie, la Turquie et la Grèce, ou résonnent les contributions Thraces, Russes, ou Ottomanes.
D’ailleurs, il y a aussi neuf sites inscrits sur les listes du patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO. Rien que ça. J’ai pu en voir 4 , ils valent bien le détour.
Pourtant encore, y a de belles montagnes, des villes vibrantes (Sofia, Plovdiv, Véliko Tarnovo,…), une côte ou les Hôtels-Ressorts et autres parcs d’attractions aquatiques n’ont pas grand-chose à envier à certaines plages prisées des Iles Canaries.
Il est relativement facile de s’y déplacer, d’y communiquer en anglais, et l’argument massue des petits budgets : C’est vraiment bon marché tant pour s’y loger, se véhiculer ou se sustenter.

Monastère de Rila

Alors Je me suis demandé pourquoi tant de retenue, et vraisemblablement, je ne suis pas le seul, comme en témoigne Cette opinion parue dans le Figaro lorsque la Bulgarie à repris la présidence tournante de l’UE.

Je crois que très simplement, pour ce genre de destination, les stigmates du Rideau de fer avec l’U.R.S.S. sont encore bien présent : L’Ouest ne s’est pas vraiment intéressé au pays pendant près de 45 ans de domination communiste, et on dirait qu’à la chute du mur, il n’y a pas eu de grosse opération séduction vers notre partie de l’Europe… ou du moins tardivement. La Croatie ou le Monténegro ont réussi cette transition, devenir une destination tendance. les clichés Bulgares gardent la vie dure (Corruption, Roms et pauvreté pour ne citer que les premiers me venant à l’esprit) , et une certaine réalité les a évidemment générés.

En 2019 Plovdiv à décroché le titre de capitale européene de la culture. Qui le savait? Manque de campagnes marketing, de lobby ou peur des clichés… au moins un peu des deux.

Tout ou presque est pourtant en place pour une riche découverte… “alors si la destination reste snobée, tant mieux pour vous”… c’est ce qu’on lit dans les guides touristiques, je le confirme, et j’en garde un super souvenir.

Minimalism

Our society pushes us to buy stuff, mostly stuff that we don’t need. And there are some many temptation. There’s all industry around it, called marketing and adverting. Trying to trick our most basic instincts into buying.
Even we do acknowledge we sometimes still succumb to it, like a smoker to a factually well known full of potential diseases cigarettes. And let’s avoid the drug addict and his too much used needle.

I was raised in a house where there’s nothing too much. The living room is simply two sofas some lights and that’s about it. I’m used to minimalism. Nothingness.
My apartment now is more or less on the same vein. There’s a bit more than what I used to live in, but still quite the minimal.
And I feel good like that. Everytime it’s get cluttered my mind’s not free, it feels like in a traffic jam. Once it’s cleaned and mostly importantly sorted, I feel much better.

And yet, I’m tricked into buying things I don’t really need. Sometimes I can reason myself but it’s more often than not a close call.
Why’s that?
Advertising and buying is so powerful. And there’s also the factor of personal distress through work and family event that buying stuff is an act of relief and brings a huge amount of joy… but for a short stint.

With hindsight I’m quite grateful for my upbringing environment , it saved me quite some money by now.
I pity those who didn’t have my luck, because to be brutally honest, I’m not sure I would be as minimalistic if I had had another life environment. By the same token I can only imagine how hard it can be for someone who’s been in a heavy consumer logic his hole life, from his or her first baby step up until now.

There are some resources now on youtube that helps with that, it becomes a bit of trend that I sincerely hope will grow. But it comes as well about saving our planet from over-consumption.

2019 is a year where I feel I need to “re-adjust myself” and this will be one of the topic. I’ll try to get down to further minimalism while still enjoying life to the fullest – an equation I think is perfectly manageable – and will provide you with some updates along the way.

In the meantime, try to simplify your life, you don’t all what’s in front of you right now. For sure.

Declutter your life.

Why can’t we blog?

A long time ago a friend of mine went to Australia for a year. He was between studies, couldn’t really figure out what to do next, so he took a backpack, a few quid and went for it.
We could follow his adventure through blogposts hosted on a friend’s website.
Later he built up is own website as a platform for a photography project “a place a day”, the goal being to take one photo every day for a year. And he made it.

Since then, the blog platform remained empty. For the best part of 10 years.

One year ago we – a group of 7 inseparable friends – convinced ourselves to start leveraging that website to post articles, blog posts, with the goal to share. Share our views on topics, our frustration, experiences, desires, …

One year down the road, nothing.

And as much as we like the idea of making this work, the first brick, the first piece of writing has yet to come (at the time of writing).

So what’s the excuse?

Lack of time or procrastination?

Our life are so full of activities and chores that time for writing (yet thinking about writing) is close to zero. Especially when you’re building a family like most of my friends do.

Not really for me though, if I’m fully honest. I have the easy way: no wife, no kids, no big commitment. I do have time, I just don’t use it wisely or efficiently.

This first blog post has been started a Friday night (actually Saturday 1.00am) after much browsing on stupid website and YouTube time.

Why am I procrastinating so much?

First there’s simply the lack of writing skills. I know my writing isn’t great in English (nor in French) and that undermines my confidence in translating potentially interesting thoughts into writings that are worth a read by anyone else.
Then, there’s the fact that a blog article seems like a huge well thought after article of x thousand words. It requires a huge time investment, even more so when your writing is poor.
And finally there is the element of regularity. New articles need to come up at a regular (ideally fast) pace, bringing fresh content.
So the feeling is this: getting to climb summits on a regular basis without proper shoes and a total lack of skills or so… It looks impossible.

So why would I try to start then? And if I would start, how could I do it?

Start small and discipline yourself, just produce.

Let’s not go all Everesty from start. It won’t work and I would probably die very quickly just by even looking at the summit. I need training to hope reach some decent summits of blog posting following the aforementioned criteria.

Ali Abdaal in his vlog puts it quite well, discipline matters more than motivation and small regularly is often better than huge only once (in writing blog posts at least). The latter is typically why people fail at writing a diary. More on Ali later.

For the time being, let’s start the “training” with the following rules:

  • One article per month
  • No need to be long or detailed, just an idea and some comments
  • Just write

Let’s be honest, not many people will read this anyway. Train while no one is really looking and let’s see what comes out of this !