Igo My Way

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Category: Travel

Going West. New York City

I believe that traveling alone is great. Yes, a road trip with your friends is a fantastic thing to do, but when you’re going to a place you’ve never been before, you’d better go on your own. Selfish? Maybe. But that way you get out of the safe harbor, free yourself and open to new experiences. It is only you and your emotions and feelings.

New York City welcomed me like no other city on a beautiful Sunday evening. It appeared as a gorgeous mass of steel and glass with a fast beating heart. It seemed monstrous outside, but incredibly ~soulful~ inside. I loved its chaotic lifestyle. It seemed perfect in its imperfections. Everything, absolutely everything was inspiring about New York. Busy and loud, it was creating a symphony. And it felt right being there. Have you ever had this feeling when you come to a new place and you immediately feel like this is the place where you’re supposed to be? That’s what I felt in NYC. Even its confusing subway that I read so many things about appeared to me extremely easy and right. But nothing really compares to the people that make New York what it is now. Without them, it would be just a huge park surrounded by skyscrapers. They shape the city and bring it to life.

I can go on and on about New York, but should I? There are SO many interesting posts, stories and videos about it. I would just suggest one thing: before reading those stories, come to New York first. Alone. Get lost in its inspiring madness. And simply walk and explore the city and let the city explore you.

As the sun was getting down on a warm Monday evening, I headed further to the West. To a place that I call my second home – Colorado.

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Going West

May 5, 2012. Central Bus Station in Sofia, Bulgaria.

I arrived at the bus station with my close friend Alina from the little town called Blagoevgrad where I go to college. We only had a  few hours together at the station before we would go our separate ways. Being incredibly hungry, we immediately caught a cab and went to the closest McDonalds.

And then, one hour later, we said goodbye.

I headed West – to Istanbul, Turkey. The bus ride took 9 hours. At 7 am next day I arrived at the bus station in Istanbul. My flight was gonna be in 5 hours, and I had no idea how to get from the bus station to the airport. Luckily for me, one guy in his 30s, who was on the bus with me, was going to the airport too. And he spoke Russian! He took me to the Turkish subway and together we arrived at the airport. I called my family, passed through security and was on the 11-hour flight to the Big Apple.

It’s been 3 years since my last visit to the US, and now I was going back. What an incredible feeling! My seatmate on the plane turned out to be a young Canadian girl that spoke both English and French. Thanks to her, 11 hours felt like 3. We talked, laughed and shared stories. In a blink of an eye, I was in New York, JFK.

Having no internet at the airport and being extremely tired, I didn’t take subway. It seemed too confusing. And besides, I didn’t know what train to take and what station to go to. A shuttle directly to the Hostel was a perfect and cheap option. I shared the van with a few people including an American from midwest and an old man from England exploring the US for the first time in his life. The shuttle dropped me off. I checked in, left my suitcase in the room and walked around the hostel for an hour. It was about 11 pm, so I didn’t go far. I just strolled in the streets, went to the nearest Deli, ate the best hamburger in my life, came back to the hostel and crashed in the bed. The most desirable dream that I had in 3 years finally came true – I was the USA again. In New York City. In the middle of Manhattan. What more could you wish for? Tomorrow I was going to fly to Denver, Colorado. Ahead of me was a peaceful night and a beautiful day in NYC and then – my second home, my friends and my family in the beautiful state of Colorado.

Thessaloniki, Greece. The city

Soaking wet, we managed to get to the very top of the hill. While walking up, all we saw was mostly the ground and wet pavement. Finally, we stopped and turned around.  At that moment, the clouded sky, the rain and our tiredness didn’t matter. Thessaloniki was in front of us in all its grace and glory. The sky, merged with the sea, was a splendid background for white houses contrasting with red roofs. We were in Ano Poli, or simply the Old Town.

Thessaloniki, Greece. The market

Busy, loud and bustling, the Greek Market was a hidden treasure of Thessaloniki for us. It was full of all kinds of things: juicy olives, huge octopi, prawns, calamari, fresh meat, fruits, vegetables and spices from all over the world. A  paradise for gourmets. Although we spent there just a few minutes, those minutes were as juicy and rich as the black olives shining in the sun.

Thessaloniki, Greece. Seaside promenade

Greece greeted us with a clouded sky, friendly people and a cerulean sea. Even though the weather wasn’t perfect for a walk, we left our luggage in the hotel and began to explore the city.

The reason we came to Greece is the 14th Thessaloniki Film Festival. Thanks to Melody Gilbert (a filmmaker “FrozenFeetFilms” and a JMC professor at my university), we had a chance not only to attend the screenings of various films, but also to talk to the directors and producers of these movies. The magic of cinematography wasn’t  behind the curtain for us anymore. We had watched more than 10 films in 4 days, talked to so many fascinating people: directors, producers, actors and distributors. And walked several miles!

Going from one movie theater to another, we truly enjoyed the beautiful city of Thessaloniki in between screenings. Its gallant European streets, bustling markets and ubiquitous pastry shops mesmerized us to the very core. And the sea… Oh, that never-ending, magnificent sea…

More to come.

Bansko Ski Resort

Last weekend I spent with mu friends skiing, snowboarding and having fun. Bansko Ski Resort is one of the most popular ski resorts in Bulgaria.

On the way to Bulgaria

A flight from Moscow, Russia to Sofia, Bulgaria.

Up The Hill

Hello, everyone! I’m back; haven’t been here for almost 2 months. I’ve been so busy. That was a good break from blogging that  was necessary for me.

For now, here are some pictures I took when I went up the hill in the city I live in (which is Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria).

Holidays in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria

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