Our most amazing editor tells her story
Written and photos by Lindsay Martin, edited by Lina Jarad.
I’m from San Diego, California, and moved here in summer 2018 with my family. My family is made up of husband (Jarod), two kids (ages 14 & 12) and our cute dog (Piper). Life in California was great, but we were looking for a new adventure and new challenge. Living abroad is something I’ve always wanted to do.
We chose Sofia because of a job opening. My husband is a high school math teacher, and there was a position at an international school in town. Through our research, we quickly realized what a great city Sofia is. So far, Sofia has not disappointed.
Moving to Sofia has provided me the chance to reinvent my career from an office job to an online portable business that can move around the world with us. I have a consulting business that does fundraising for NGOs through grant writing. I am also a copy editor focused primarily on editing support for non-native English speakers. It’s been exciting editing for Open Sofia and working with such a dynamic and international team. And, I teach English at a local language center, which is a nice change from sitting in front of a computer all day.
I’ve heard Americans are known for excessive smiling and being so friendly that it can come across as fake. Bulgaria is not that way. The seriousness of strangers and the unfriendliness of some took some getting used to. But, once you get to know people, I find many Bulgarians to be friendly, happy, welcoming, fun, and engaging.
Fun fact: I wish I’d known before moving here how much I’d miss Mexican food. I miss my family far more, but also Mexican food!
When we first arrived, a taxi driver tried to quote me a high rate for a short ride. I shook my head “no” (not realizing I was gesturing the Bulgarian headshake for yes), with a stern look to convey, “no way, that’s too expensive!” Since I was shaking my head, he thought I had agreed to the price, so he was nodding/wobbling in agreement with a look of confusion about why I wouldn’t get in the taxi.
We stared at each other for an awkwardly long time. He, nodding/wobbling, while I shook my head vigorously back and forth with a “don’t rip me off” scowl. Eventually, I realized the only way to end our standoff was to walk away and laugh.
One thing that comes to mind, if I have to think about what changed since I moved to Bulgaria, is our new friends from all over the world. I love hearing stories about others growing up in different cultures. The faces around the Thanksgiving dinner table this year came from the USA, Canada, S. Korea, Paraguay, and Greece. It was awesome!