Where to Donate Clothes in Sofia, Bulgaria

donate clothes in Sofia

Decision to Donate Clothes in Sofia
When writing this post, it is in the middle of November, and the weather starts to get a bit more chilly. Yesterday we decided to give away warmer sweaters to a second-hand shop. We considered a charity shop or to give to the homeless person on the streets, but settled for the charity shop. The choice won because we know that someone could choose the clothes by themselves and would like them.

Which Area We Went To
There is a street with several second-hand stores on Alabin Road, near Vitosha Boulevard, and close to Palace of Justice. Since it was so convenient with a couple of stores in the same place, we thought this would be a great place to go.

Second-Hand Stores Don’t Accept Donated Clothes
In Sweden, it’s common to give away clothes to the store, washed and folded, so we assumed it worked the same way here. It turns out it doesn’t, and that’s why we decided to write this post to help others who plan to donate clothes in Sofia.
We went to the street with some warm sweaters to give away and started to enter the stores.

“Is this a second-hand shop?” I asked.

“Yes.” said the shop owner.

“Could we donate some warm clothes here?”, I kindly replied

“No, it’s a second-hand shop!”, the owner responded a bit irritated

“I understand, we want to give you some nice clothes to sell” we tried again.

“No, we only sell second-hand clothes” the owner responded.

The dialogue went on like this, and we couldn’t reach through.
We had similar experiences in several of the stores. We continued to ask if they knew where to donate clothes. Most of them said no, they didn’t know and seemed to not bother about the issue either. In Humana, a worldwide charity shop, they didn’t know what to do, but then gave us an email address to contact someone else and they might know.

Advise to Try and Give to a Homeless Shelter
Some stores later and we got help with translation from one young girl and her mom. They told us that people don’t donate clothes in Sofia and that we could try a homeless shelter instead. It felt a bit weird to have to fight so much to giveaway nice and warm clothes that help keep someone else. Sure, we could go to a homeless shelter also, but we wanted to give away the clothes the same day and without spending half a day or more.

Finally, we found one store that wanted the clothes and was happy to accept them although we had to explain several times what we meant before they understood. So, this approach can work, but it it’s a long process to find the right store.

Where Do the Clothes Come From?
We kept wondering; the stores have lots of clothes, where did they all come from?
Which countries donates most clothes to Bulgaria?

After some research online, I found out that most clothes come from Italy, Germany, Austria, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Humana, for example, has a sorting center in Slantchevo, 20 km outside of Varna. Some of the clothes they receive are then sold and shipped to countries in Africa.

Proceeder on Donated Clothes from Bulgaria
Red Cross placed several containers for second-hand clothes in Sofia during spring 2016. The garments are first disinfected then sorted and at last enter the stores or go to textile recycling. This procedure might be the answer why they no one is accepting donations.
.

Conclusion, Where to Donate
The best option would be the Red Cross containers, but the problem is, where to find them? I searched a lot online and even emailed them twice for a list of addresses but sadly got no response. If you want to donate clothes in Sofia, the best option would probably be to find someone to give them too or to try how it would work in a homeless shelter. Hopefully, the Red Cross in Sofia will update a list of addresses for their containers soon, so it will be a smoother process to give away clothes.

Photo Cred: Birgitte Tohm

This Is Why We Love Village Hopping

Village hopping near mountain northen India

What Is Village Hopping?

Village hopping is an excellent way to discover small villages and get more insight into local life. You might wonder, what exactly is village hopping? And what are the benefits of trying it out?

Village hopping means to discover villages for a shorter period, from a few hours to a few days. Sometimes it includes visiting several places during one day. It is a way to get a glimpse of local life but also a way to get some adventure.

Being Spontaneous While Doing Village Hopping

True adventure while traveling includes being flexible, spontaneous and let curiosity guide you. When doing so, you will meet interesting people, see new places and create memorable days. Village hopping offers it all, with the unique charm, closeness to nature, and local life. It doesn’t have to be a small village, suburbs or the outskirt of a city can also have a smalltown vibe.

These places can often be found in the more remote end stations on metro lines or buses. It is a refreshing feeling to step out of the bus and having a fixed plan on where to go. A fun and exciting way to explore a new area is to follow your gut feeling or go after visual clues. Some example of visual clues can be a mountain, a walking path or a house that looks interesting. If you spot something you are curious about, let that be your direction. During your way look at things you find interesting, notice small details. In most cases this approach is safe, but be aware of where you are in and the current situation. Not all countries have the same security and if not village hopping is better to avoid.

Interact With Locals and Learn About the Culture

Smiling is a universal language, most people respond and smile back. Being kind can open up for conversations, making new friends and get closer to the culture.

From earlier travels, village hopping has led us to amazing experiences. Some of them are making new friends, sharing a cup of tea and learn about local plants. This lets us see coffee plants, black pepper trees, and pineapple plants in the backyard of new friends.

We have also joined many different local festivals, for example, the women’s day in Laos, when a few local women invited us to join their celebration. It all happened because we got curious, followed the sound of music and then found their place. We didn’t talk much since we didn’t share a common language, but for sure it was fun to dance and laugh together. Meeting people like this helps to stay humble, feeling connected, and increase tolerance. Our cultures and beliefs can be different, but in the end, we all want to be safe, happy and have a good time.

Get Some Perspective by Slowing Down

Village hopping is not only about connecting with people. Sometimes, it can be about getting a bit of perspective, a place to think or connect with nature. Spending time in green areas and slow down helps to bring harmony into life, making it easier to be in the present moment and enjoy life. I like to find a sit under a tree, strolling around or go to a local café and observe daily life.

 

Village Hopping Is for Everyone

This travel approach is for everyone to apply, no matter your age, travel experience or language skills. There are many adventures waiting ahead or you! By being spontaneous, open and trying something new is a great way to invite adventure into your life.

Chocolate Paradise to Be Found in Lviv – Ukraine

Lviv city, chocolate paradise city

Chocolate Paradise, Lviv

The Unknown Chocolate Paradise

I remember the first time we passed Lviv, it was back in late spring three years ago, on our way from Kiev to Warsaw. We only stayed in Lviv for two days but fell completely in love with the city that’s full of life, colors, and chocolate. After that first time, we actually returned to Lviv twice and the second time to stay for a month. There are many reasons why we decided to come back and stay for a longer time, one of them was that we found our chocolate paradise.

Ukraine Should Be Famous for Chocolate

I always heard that Belgium is the best travel destination for a person who loves chocolate. I actually haven’t been there yet and are still looking forward to coming there one-day :). Right now, it’s not a big rush though, for being in Lviv has given me such good memories. For a while, I had the challenge to try local chocolate in all countries we visited, I even saved all the beautiful covers. During travels we have also visited chocolate museums, factories and cafés. So far, from all this, Lviv is my number one destination for enjoying chocolate.

My Favorite Choclate Store

The popular store Lviv Handmade chocolate offers a wide selection of flavors. I liked that I also could see how them the chocolate factory inside the store and the café with a rooftop view of the city.
I love staying in Lviv and be able to walk into the store and come out with a few pieces now and then to try out and enjoy:). I’m so happy to share these moments with Chris and find new favorites. Lviv is a chocolate paradise and I’m quite sure this is not the last time that we will come to this lovely city:)

– Nature Is Our Church

Nature is our church, Chris looking out over mountains

 

Importance Of Nature In Our Lives

To compare nature with a holy place like church highlights the importance of nature in our lives. Treating nature as a church is for sure a great idea. Nature brings calm, relief from stress and is a place to get things into perspectives. Science also shown that increased memory, lower blood pressure and improve the mood. Even though this is something we all are aware of we still don’t take enough time in nature. How could we change this? For starters, one way could be to think more about the positive benefit nature gives us. Second we could make sure to make it a prioritiy to find ways to connect with nature. Connecting with nature dosn’t only mean to get out in the forest.

Time In Nature Helps Create Clarity

We all deal with difficulties in different ways. In one episode of the TV show Gilmore Girls, the main characters, Lorelei stands at a crossroad in life. She needs clarity and plans for a long hike inspired from the book Wild. Even though she didn’t end up doing the hike she still got time in nature which was transformative for her. She got insights on how to continue her life and where to go from where she was at the moment. Even though this was a TV show I still thought this was such a beautiful story. Many of us should turn to nature when things are difficult and we need some space.

Reframing The Word Nature To Nature Is Our Church

By reframing the word nature to nature is equals holy place, it helps to show the impact and importance. This reminder encourages us to get out in nature more and focus on taking the time. Nature brings us so much happiness and calm. Small actions, for example, notice to the blue sky or finding a favorite tree to sit under helps to bring that calm. Which small things could you do to connect with nature, starting from today?