The last five years have all been about planning – getting the right house, in the right location, for the right price, deciding what we’ll need to:
1. Renovate the house
2. Survive without income for a period of time
3. Integrate into the village life
4. Create an income for when we do need it
And of course building a pot of gold to take to the end of our rainbow – easier said than done sometimes!
I’ve read lots of forums and blogs and facebook posts about if you are a capitalist and work in the city then the only way you think is “how much things cost”, well this may be true to an extent but there is a limit to what you can do these day without a little bit of paper in your pocket.
We intend to do most things ourselves so we have been reading up on “how to rewire a house”, “installing solar power”, “building a natural pool”, plumbing, building, plastering all sorts of useful skills that we may or may not be successful at but we sure will give it a go! We will however need help and hardware at some point and that will require some cash…there’s a limit to what you can barter, even in Bulgaria.
Also we plan to be a self sustainable as possible but there are certain things that we cannot expect to provide for ourselves, at least not instantly anyway (we have a lot of learning to do).
Vegetables – oh yes we will grow our own, but they are not instantly available so we will need to buy or barter for a time.
Fruit – this is instant as we have mature fruit trees (apple, sweet cherry, plum, apricot, peach and nut) in the garden and grape vines (red and white) so this means alcohol is not a problem either (damson and elderberry wine will be brought from the UK to keep us going our first year)
Meat – we’ll start with chickens (for eggs and meat) but if we kill one a week we’ll soon run out of eggs … we need to breed and rear some more (this again is not instant) – later in our adventure we may expand to include a couple of goats too 🙂
Toiletries – we will need to buy.
Other – sugar, flour, cheese (until we get goats), tea, coffee, milk etc all need to be bought
So you see unless we plan to live in the woods in a cabin build from the the trees around us and hunt for a living (and smell a bit), we are going to need some money to survive – probably more the first year than subsequent years.
Right so we have set ourselves a budget to renovate our house, doing much of the work ourselves – all the high level stuff we’ll have to pay for though as neither of us are good with heights! We have estimated what it will cost to survive the first year having to buy most of our food from shops (heaven forbid) and pay for registering cars, ourselves etc etc etc
We have (well I have) started to learn Bulgarian “I learn it from a booook” a la Fawlty Towers star Manuel…I’m not sure it will translate into relevant when I’m there on the ground but at least it has given me a grounding. This should help us integrate into the community but it is only part of it – being part of their traditions, part of their community, helping and being helped, taking time to talk (or wave arms around)…all this will help.
And now we come to how to earn an income….so many ideas, so much preparation…I think this needs a whole blog of its own, I’ve got 4.5 months to make the right choice!
The great thing is I know we are going to make mistakes, some big some small and I am inviting you guys to witness these along the way – for goodness sake we have already made plenty!!