It is officially the end of the school year here in Bulgaria and the start of the summer holidays. Parents are frantically searching for summer activities to keep their kids busy during the off-school period. As we know, kids tend to be full of energy and get bored pretty quickly.
Bulgarians have found a partial answer to this question. Traditionally, summer is the time to visit Grandma and Granddad. It would be a lovely bonding opportunity provided grandparents live close by and have plenty of spare time to entertain the little ones. But what about the rest of us?
Well, it seems Nikki and her family come to our rescue. Their online youth club encourages kids to learn and have fun at the same time. I met with Nikki earlier this month and was eager to find out everything about the team behind this amazing venture Global Trailblazing.
1. Brief introduction
Hey, I am Nikki Collinson-Phenix, founder of Global Trailblazing | The Online Youth Club, the world’s fully global club for kids to learn, connect, give back, and have fun! www.globaltrailblazing.com
2. How long have you been in Bulgaria?
On and off for 18 months now! We have just purchased our first property here and are excited to spend more time in this beautiful country.
3. Why choose Bulgaria over other countries?
As a Brit, Bulgaria is a very popular destination, both in terms of its beauty, its culture, and its cost of living in comparison to life in the UK. For that reason when we started travelling we knew we definitely wanted to see for ourselves! We have travelled a lot in Europe in the last 2 years and it’s been in Bulgaria we have felt at ease and happy, plus I won’t lie, the cost of house prices, when you are used to UK prices, does blow you away!
4. What were your biggest challenges related to the move (before and after)?
The Cyrillic alphabet and the language barriers. We are very much making an effort to learn Bulgarian but this has been a main challenge, but thank goodness for translation apps! I believe when you enter a country you should learn the language but add in a new alphabet and it’s been a bit harder although we are determined to learn it!
5. How did you choose the area where to settle?
We are from an island in the UK so I knew we needed to be within an hour of the coast. We also like Turkey and Greece so the bottom corner seemed the best location to tick all the boxes for us!
6. Tell us one thing you miss most about your home country.
My friends and family mainly although they do and will come and visit and the odd food stuff like Marmite! But luckily when we have people from the UK come to visit we ask them to stock up for us!
7. Tell us a bit more about your current project or business?
Global Trailblazing | The Online Youth Club is an innovative and incredible online resource for kids around the world. We have learning quests connected to our 6 core learning pillars of Life Skills, Kindness, Compassion, Purpose, The World Around Us, Innovation and Travel, and Adventure. Our Global Trailblazers can earn virtual badges as they complete their quests, and work their way through the trailblazing ranks. We also have live club meet-ups, workshops, and regular fitness and mindset sessions to support our members’ physical and mental health.
We have a fully bespoke social network so our members can make friends and connect all around the world and chat, hang out or video call their fellow trailblazing buddies, like a mini Facebook just for our club.
We also have our Global Trailblazing Foundation which supports disadvantaged children around the world too.
The club is perfect for children who homeschool, world school, or road school. Kids who are in mainstream school but want a fun after-school club. Children who live rural and cannot attend in-person clubs or children who struggle with the intensity or noise of an in-person club.
We also partner with schools and other learning and child-based initiatives.
I know I am biased but it really is an amazing club!
Note: quote MOVE2BULGARIA10 for 10% of their annual membership fee!
8. If you could do one thing differently, what would that be?
Come up with the idea and the concept sooner! Oh and have won the lottery so I could have a massive marketing budget!
9. What would your advice be for anyone considering a move to Bulgaria today?
Connect and learn from those who have done it before, don’t go in blindly. There are many twists and turns along the way and having those people to guide and help you will be a huge advantage. Do not expect things to happen fast, prepare for the unexpected, and don’t give up at the first hurdle! Oh and get learning the alphabet and the language asap!
For now, we say goodbye to the Phenix Family! Move2Bulgaria is wishing you all a lovely summer break with plenty of sunshine, fun and games!