Who are you?
My name is Daniel Montiglio, I’m originally from Chile and I have been living in Varna, Bulgaria for the last 15 years.
Where, when and why did you move abroad?
I left Chile in 2002 to work in the cruise industry I wanted to see the world and learn from new experiences.A few years after in 2005, I decide to move to Bulgaria and continue my life here.
What challenges did you face during the move?
There were many challenges, the biggest one was the language barrier, the problems to communicate and the necessity to have somebody else with me to be my interpreter was complicated. I didn’t like to be dependant on others for simple things like go shopping or so, that pushed me to quickly learn the Bulgarian language.
How did you find somewhere to live?
Fortunately, my wife is Bulgarian (our relationship was the reason for my move to Bulgaria) and she had a place for us to live.
Are there many other expats in your area?
Over the years the number of expats in Varna has been steadily increasing, and they come from all over the world, from South America to India, all European countries, the United States and from many other places. There is a Facebook group called Expats in Varna, that periodically organizes live meetings for the expat community.
What is your relationship like with the locals?
Since I learned the language, my relationship with the locals is very good. I have many friends here, and I like to play football (and I play in a couple of amateur teams), then all the time I have the opportunity to interact with people that have similar interests.
I’m also part of the startup community in Varna and in this sector I have the opportunity to interect with interesting people.
And for my social project “Foreigner BG” I have the opportunity to contact expats from all over Bulgaria and the world.
What do you like about life where you are?
I like the tranquility of life in Bulgaria, I consider it a great place to have a family, it’s a safe country with stunning natural beauty.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
Chile and Bulgaria are far away, I would like to have the opportunity to bring my family to Chile more often, my kids to know part of their roots, but it’s very expensive to travel from Bulgaria to Chile.
What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?
Unlike what people may think Chile and Bulgaria aren’t that different in terms of mentality.
Both cultures give great importance to the family and helping each other, but if I have to mark a difference I have to say the fact that Bulgarians normally have one or two children, sometimes this makes them overprotect their kids, and in Chile families with more children (this is quickly changing) tend to give more freedom to their kids, and I think that is something positive.
What do you think of the food and drink in your new country? What are your particular likes or dislikes?
I love Bulgarian food, it’s tasty and varied, I love the salads, shopska and Snejanka and the grilled and baked dishes, like musaka.
Of course, the Bulgarian yogurt that deserves a full chapter!
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
My advice is always the same: if you are thinking to move abroad, try, do it, don’t be afraid. It can be the best decision of your life if it works, and if it doesn’t work, you can always come back to your country.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans are to continue growing the Foreigner BG project, and keep providing the best info for expats in Bulgaria for free and in an interesting way.
You can keep up to date with Daniel's adventures on Foreigner.bg.
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