Author - Julian James

How to Easily Travel the Best Bulgarian Beach Towns

Bulgarian Beach Towns Sozopol

If you were to imagine a typical Bulgarian beach, would you think of powdery sand, warm tropical water, and day after day of golden sunshine?

I know I wouldn’t have – at least not before spending two weeks exploring the Black Sea coast. Over 80 miles of prime coastal beach culture, all mixed into seaside resort cities, ancient towns, and sleepy villages… In Bulgaria?! Believe it. Even better, traveling between the most popular areas is both extremely cheap and convenient once you know how to get around.

Figuring out the specifics of each route can initially be a pain, especially when you throw the cyrillic alphabet into the mix. That’s where this guide comes in! Even if you don’t follow my itinerary exactly, the information below will still help you to confidently navigate between the most popular Bulgarian beach towns.

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Why I’m So Excited About Traveling to Bulgaria

“Why are you traveling to Bulgaria? Where in the world is it? Are they known for…anything?”

These are the types of questions I hear whenever my next travel destination comes up. The truth is, I’m not 100% sure about any of these. Like many of the Balkan countries, Bulgaria represents a big question mark for most Westerners – myself included.

So, what exactly convinced me that Bulgaria needs to be my next destination? What exciting experiences will you be joining me on over the next few weeks? Read More

My Past and Future Collide at BlogHouse Philadelphia

Let’s get personal for a second here. 7 years ago, the city of Philadelphia unexpectedly established itself as an important chapter in my life.

Less than 3-months into dating, I found out that Tristen would be moving to the opposite side of the country. She had applied to Drexel University’s accelerated nursing school program and, much to her surprise, ended up getting accepted! Of course, this meant that she would be leaving California to spend the next year in Philly – plans would need to be updated; decisions would need to be made. Where did that leave us (and when does Bloghouse Philadelphia enter the picture)?

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Journey to Freedom: Life in a Thai Karen Village

Thus far, my time with the Journey to Freedom program, Elephant Nature Park’s “premier volunteering experience,” had been incredible.

Even though the weather had been wet and dreary, this couldn’t stifle the raw excitement I felt of actually getting to interact with Asian elephants in their natural habitat. While this is definitely the major selling point that convinces visitors to fork over 15,000 THB (about $425 USD) for the 7-day excursion, there is another aspect that had me just as excited. As part of the overall experience, volunteers spend 5-nights embedded in a small Northern Thai Karen village, providing a unique perspective not offered by other programs in the area. Read More

My Week with the Journey to Freedom Elephants

Squeezing through waves of banana leaves and thorny roots, I’m able to find it – the perfect angle to capture this small herd of Journey to Freedom elephants.

Preoccupied with all the Thai jungle foliage, they could care less about my presence. I make the mistake of looking away for just a moment, only to be startled by a loud crackle-pop that echoes through the treetops. As my vision through the viewfinder comes back into focus, I have only a half-second to snap a picture of a large banana tree as it tumbles towards the rest of my group.

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