Jess and Joe

We decided to make the move to Bulgaria 3 years ago. We were struggling, like many to fulfill our passions and dreams while maintaining a busy work life.

Joe had visited Bulgaria a few times previous and was drawn in by the freedom and the natural beauty of the area, and after visiting twice, we were both sure this was the right move for us. The culture of growing and caring for your own food, and living a much more alternative lifestyle ticked our boxes straight away. This was something that would not have been easily established in the UK for us. Throw in the mountains, the ' work to live, not live to work ' attitude of many and the freedom to be left alone to create your own patch of happiness, we had packed the car with musical instruments and a few clothes and we set off to find our patch.

We were welcomed immediately into Siva Reka by the locals, a village at the bottom of the Rhodope mountains, and despite the house having no windows, doors and floors, the view from the top window and the amount of land was too hard to resist. The generosity and welcome from our neighbours felt like no place we had lived before, they slotted us in to the community like we had always been a part of it and continue to teach us alternative and eco lifestyles.

We have spent 3 years slowly doing the house up, room by room, each space our own creation. We have turned half of our land into a vegetable garden and can comfortably live off this through the winter. We spend many of our days climbing mountains with the dogs, wild camping, pickling vegetables, caring for our chickens/ducks, and spending quality time together. We found time such a constraint in the UK, whereas here we are time-rich.

Moving to Bulgaria has been one of the best decisions of our lives so far, and we look forward to many adventures to come!