Archive for setup

Pets in Paradise

Prior to the unexpected windfall and thus our move to Bulgaria, Dominic and I had settled into the mundane life of the Jones’s.
I was working and getting paid a handsomely amount of money and Dominic was expanding his mind by doing a Maths and Physics degree.
We had the house (actually still do, that’s why I’m stuck in Blighty…. I digress), the car, the standing orders, fortunately minus the 2.4
children and 2 cats – Dave and Alan.

Dave The Cat
Alan The Cat

Now I’m one of these people who believe that ‘a pet is for life, not just for christmas’. If there is
one thing that gets my goat is how people can neglect, abuse and abandon animals. Actually there are a couple of
things that rattle my Karma but I won’t bore you with those. Anyway, back to Pets in Paradise.>br>

Basically, I thought it would be very wrong to leave the two behind, the two being Dave and Alan. Unlike Dom, I like to do
things properly and boy did it cost me dearly. Having searched many websites, scanned expat website etc, I made an appointment
with Mr Vet. (It did make me chuckle when Dave Lewis and Alan Lewis were called into the surgery). So Rabies jab, pet passport and
microchips later, I was presented with a shocker of a bill!!!! Some £260.

Although I do not regret from one minute taking the cats over, I do feel somewhat pained by their travelling experience. We did get some pet
equivalent of Valium to chill them out but being stuck in a travel box (oh yes, additional costs) for three days in the autumn heat is no fun for
man or beast. Do cats suffer from travel sickness?

Never in a million years will I ever get those two cats back into a cat carrier. I believe they are scarred for life.

However, I do believe they have forgiven me. They love the Bulgarian life. To show their appreciation we have been brought field mice,
lizards and even a rat. Dave has learnt that attacking a tortoise is pointless and knows to avoid chickens. In summer, we only see them at
food time, especially when we have a bbq, sleeping out in the derelict building next door. However winter is another story. They love nothing more
than to sleep under the wood burner (who can blame them when temp reaches -15).

Dave in Winter

So points to consider if thinking of taking pets to Bulgaria:

  • Cost: ok so we did not get stopped once during the journey. I think the passports are only needed if you plan to bring them back to the UK – ain’t going to happen to Dave and Alan. Microchips are a waste of time. Microchipping has not reached rural Bulgaria. Also, if you do intend on bringing them back consider the hassle of having to get a rabies test done 6 months before you intend on coming back.
  • Cat food: another source of amusement to the locals is that we buy cat food for our very spoilt cats. Local cats survive on the scraps. Cat food is therefore quite expensive.
  • Vets: The vets in rural Bulgaria specialise in cows, sheep and goats. I should imagine that working on cats would require working from a textbook.
  • Girl cats: See above – Vets. I would therefore recommend that you get your female cat done before you come over otherwise one cat could become a lot more. There are a lot of stray cats and basic instinct is basic instinct at the end of the day.

How Much Does it Cost to Setup

I have often been asked this question so I will try and put figures on the overall cost of setting yourselves up to be more self reliant.
These figures are only based on what we did in Bulgaria. Doing so in different countries will vary enormously I should think.


The largest single item that we had to purchase was obviously our house with its garden, this was one of the determining factors of moving to Bulgaria.
In all honesty we had not even visited the place before we turned up with the sole intention of buying somewhere to carry out our ‘Gud’ life.

I would not recommend this approach, however for us it turned out just perfectly. What is life without a little risk. We didn’t even research that much on the internet. This was actually a good thing. I have since looked into these expat advice forums, and they seem nothing more than forums setup to complain
about the problems and hassles they have had. So looking back it is quite surprising that within three days of our arrival we had successfully setup a
business (required in Bulgaria for non-Bulgarians to purchase house/land) and had put a deposit down on the first house we went to see. Our ‘Estate-Agent’
was quite shocked at our eagerness to buy the first property he had lined up for us to see. Our specification went something like this though:

  1. Does it have a working roof?
  2. Is the garden big enough?
  3. Is it within our Budget?

Well the first house we saw ticked all three boxes, and like many typical men who find the idea of window shopping analogous with castration decided to buy it. Annie my other half had reservations, but for once (and it probably is a first) my ‘Bull in a china shop’ method has proved a success.

Total cost of 4 bedroom detached house with 2500sqm garden, in rural location including business setup and all the other documents Bulgaria so insists on. £10,000. Here it is:

Our House

Our House. 41’25’52N 25’19’42E

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