Nomad’s log: day 1. Three weeks as a nomad in residency in Coworking Bansko are ahead of me. I’m heading out from Plovdiv, second largest town in Bulgaria, on a sunny Sunday. Weather is hot and the town reminds me of Tallinn residential areas at the end of the 90s. A gray concrete towering overhead and plenty of empty houses. I can see why Bulgaria has the cheapest property available in EU.
Three hours bus ride takes me from the 90s to the mountains. Bansko turns out to be the one before last in line. A town that lives for skiing winter and apparently coworking summer. As I was arriving at an unpredictable (late) time on late Sunday afternoon, I expected to have the office empty and having to chase down the key all over the town. Turns out that nothing could be further from reality.
First Impressions of CoWorking in Bulgaria
When I approach the building where the Coworking Bansko is supposed to be large orange banners announce the location already from the distance. Two guys are sitting on the bench in front of the house with orange stickers covering the lower part of the windows. They look like the people one would relate to coworking space, startups and digital-nomad lifestyle. In their twenties-thirties, casually dressed, like hyperactivity and purposefulness frozen in time by a chat/smoke break.
We greet and I ask if they can let me in (the key to my apartment is supposed to be on the whiteboard in the public space). After some usual small-talk „We can let you in if you are going to work“, „Well, I never work if I can help it.“ we establish that I’m in fact supposed to be there and are not just a random person passing by.
Digital Nomad in Residence
This part sorted my next task is to locate the key. The young gentlemen at rest apply Newton’s first law (a body at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced outside force) and wave in the general direction covering half a street. Around the corner comes a young woman in yoga pants and with overflowing energy. She introduces herself as Claudia. In a few minutes, she locates the key, helps me log into the WIFI and gives me directions to the apartment. With considerable envy, I gaze at the group of coworkers heading towards the park for an afternoon yoga. So much about people here not working on Sunday, I think. But at least they take breaks.
Claudia said that my apartment building will be empty as most other residents come for the winter season. Turning around the third corner on a narrow, dark corridor I pat the wall for a light-switch. “I’ve seen this scene in a horror movie. At least I’m not wearing a red shirt.” A two-three attempt, and I find the right apartment follow the if-it-fits it’s the right place logic.
A one bedroom open kitchen living room apartment in the basement. My first impression is that it’s bigger than I expected for a nomad in residency accommodation. The second impression is that the rooms are really cold, especially after coming from the summer heat outside. First steps first, I connect to wifi, locate and use the toilet and take interior photos. Then it’s time to curl up under a plaid with hot tea and my laptop and get ready for busy weeks to come.
Read more about the ventures as a digital nomad in residence in Bansko, Bulgaria in posts: