The World Traveller’s Perspective of Bulgaria

Vilian Stefanov, a Bulgarian Microsoft Engineer, 34 years old, did something most people only fantasize about: He gave up his job and embarked on a trip around the world, this past weekend.

He is already in Turkey and will continue on to Iran via Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Vilian Stefanov’s plan is to return to Bulgaria in the year 2023, at the age of 39, after five years of travelling.

Vilian Stefanov is a Bulgarian adventurer and photographer. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

During is crazy world trip, he will not fly, but cycle and walk, or take buses and trains. The idea is to really get to know the 62 countries he visits. He will have plenty of time and opportunity.

Where exactly Vilian Stefanov’s desire to travel came from is unclear. It does not seem to be in his genes. Just before leaving for his world trip, he told Magazine79 his parents did not like to travel or climb mountains. “I’m the black sheep in the family (laughing).”

Nature provides the nicest colors. Photo: Vilian Stefanov

Vilian Stefanov does not have any sponsor for his crazy trip around the world. He intends to work during his journey. Maybe he can repair some RAID5 systems or revive operating systems.

This might be his biggest trip, but not his first. In the past two years, Vilian Stefanov has taken countless adventure journeys within his beautiful home country Bulgaria. He hiked, climbed, swam and used Kayaks.

Kormisosh is a nature reserve in the Rhodope Mountains. Photo: Vilian Stefanov

In one case, he walked from Bulgaria’s southern border to the northern one. In another, he walked from the country’s western edge to the Black Sea coast, on train tracks. That trip started in Kalotina and ended in Varna, 630 kilometers later.

Those who follow Vilian Stefanov are lucky, because they have a share in his adventures, and because he has become an excellent photographer.

Poisonous or not? Probably yes. Photo: Vilian Stefanov

The shots he delivers show the beauty of Bulgaria, while those he will shoot during his ongoing journey will demonstrate the fascination of the rest of the world.

Bulgaria, his home country, is the poorest member of the European Union. While Sofia, the capital, and other large cities do have a middle class and an upper class, most villages do not.

A centipede looking for a shoe store. Photo: Vilian Stefanov

They are increasingly deserted. They are dying. Many of Vilian Stefanov’s photos show villages of that kind, in which five 80-year-olds, a few dogs and cats seem to be the only inhabitants.

Our recent interview with Vilian Stefanov can be accessed here

Note: Magazine79 has Stefanov’s permission to use his photographs.

This one could have been taken in the Swiss Alps. But the adventurer found the scene near Svilengrad. Photo: Vilian Stefanov
What a beautiful animal, in the Bulgarian mountains. Photo: Vilian Stefanov
The town of Madjarovo is spreading some socialist charm. Photo: Vilian Stefanov
In some Bulgarian villages, obituary notices are the only news. Photo: Vilian Stefanov
Ice at Yazovir Batak in Bulgaria. Photo: Vilian Stefanov
There is not too much traffic up here. Photo: Vilian Stefanov
Two fellows doing their thing in the Bulgarian mountains. Photo: Vilian Stefanov
In the village of Studena, Vilian made a new friend. Photo: Vilian Stefanov
Many Bulgarian villages are deserted. Photo: Vilain Stefanov
A scene in the Rhodopes. Photo: Vilian Stefanov


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