Last month I told a fellow Remote Year colleague how excited I was about traveling to Sofia, Bulgaria. She asked Why did I feel that way? Any particular reason?
My response? “I have no idea. But why the heck wouldn’t I like it?!”
I don’t need to have a reason to like something — sometimes I just assume I will. My positive disposition takes over – us Carr-Joneses ‘like to like things,’ as my sister Tori put it.
I wrote a blog post before I left for this trip about how I may not tell you about all the sad and sucky parts of this journey. Partly because those don’t make for good storytelling and partly because I don’t dwell on that stuff, I move forward. This gets a lot of crap on other blogs – tell it how it is, be raw, be real bullshit. I am being real. I haven’t had any freakouts yet. I’m not homesick (what is home to me anyway?). I miss my friends and family sometimes but am staying fairly connected via video chats and email. I don’t get overwhelmed by their absence because I made a decision before I left: I will miss birthdays and weddings and holidays and babies. I will deal with it, because the tradeoff is moving to a new country every month. Which is, by the way, freaking incredible.
You might be asking yourself, Why is Casey so gosh-darn happy in her blogs? It can’t be reality.
It is reality – for me. Not for everyone here, but for me, I am loving it. This can get me in trouble if I try to force people to feel the same way (working on this one).
I’m happy with the big events and I’m happy with the day-to-day routine —- the otherwise normal mediocrity except for the fact that I’m doing all of these things in a new, exciting place. I spent this past weekend doing work and laundry and buying groceries and shopping for a new white shirt (red wine be damned) and getting an iced cappuccino from Dunkin Donuts and none of that is remarkable except I did it all in Sofia, Bulgaria and I HAVEN’T HAD DUNKIN IN THREE MONTHS AND IT WAS HEAVEN. And I’m not trying to write a blog about my boring commonplace weekend (except I just did?).
I like to like things. I seek them out. I go into adventures thinking I already like what I’m about to do. No, I’ve never done a yoga retreat in Bulgaria BUT I’M SURE I WILL LOVE IT. Thailand sounds great, I SHOULD GO THERE. Do I like hiking? SURE! LET’S GIVE IT A GO! Do I want to go on a pub crawl? Well that one should be obvious.
I liked Morocco, and it’s okay to like a place and still be happy to leave it. I may have not liked getting a bit sick from the water, and maybe it was dirty and hot sometimes and maybe we ate the same food over and over but I still liked it. I liked my apartment and I liked our coworking space and I liked the medina and the argan oil and the fresh fruit and I liked how much my group bonded by adjusting to a totally new culture. And I really like Sofia! In a completely different way.
This particular stop on our itinerary was a dark horse. It was a place I would never have visited had I not joined Remote Year. I had no clue what to expect, and as per usual I did a minimal amount of research before arriving. So I leave the airport and drop my bags in my apartment and start to walk. As we wander around town to get our bearings and enjoy our first traditional Bulgarian meal, the golden light hit the green and gold domes on the Nevsky cathedral and WHAM – my original theory “I will like Sofia” came to be. It may be a self-fulfilling prophecy but I’ll take it either way.
I like to like things. And I especially like to like things that involve a nice Bulgarian beer.