People used to ask me why I decided to come to Bulgaria in such a situation when we have to count onset of restrictions, not everything is open, I cannot enjoy it as much as I would under “normal” circumstances and also if I find it safe to travel without risk of getting infected. I used to reply that in this situation, Bulgaria is one of the best choices I could take.
It has been already more than one year we have to deal with pandemic and related restrictions. Now we are used to wearing masks, social distancing, quarantine, lockdowns and the fact that we cannot travel or go everywhere we want. At least I am the one who got used to it – in Slovakia, the restrictions are even stricter. Pandemic is everywhere regardless on the location, but what makes a difference, is people’s attitude. Bulgarians are more relaxed and do not take it so seriously. I cannot say what kind of approach is better, but I can say that here I have much more freedom than in Slovakia and I can enjoy Bulgaria more than I expected.
I am also grateful that these ESC projects work anyway and offer youngsters the opportunity to visit another country, get to know people, use their potential and learn something new. Even though the whole volunteering experience might be slightly affected by pandemic and we cannot do everything we were planning to, there is still a lot we can work on – keeping in mind that we should be flexible enough to take the advantage of what is offered, because it can change easily from one day to another.
As one might say that it is not an ideal time for volunteering, my point of view is somehow different. It may sound like a cliché, but ultimately, depends just on us and our approach what we take from it, how we spend our time and how can we contribute. Therefore, I do not regret I came to Bulgaria during a pandemic.