I’m going to attend the Europe & Liberty Seminar in Bulgaria.


I have finally found the time to share with you the news I’ve wanted to share for more than a month now. This summer I will be spending about a week in Bansko, Bulgaria! Why? Keep on reading and find out!

A couple of days before Easter, I got this e-mail from my father (yes we live in the same home and he still prefers to e-mail me instead of actually talking to me about things) about a week long seminar in Bulgaria. It was organized by IES Europe and the only thing we would have to pay for was our transportation. The seminar covers a few different topics (economics, philosophy, liberalism, etc.) and it sounded like a unique experience, but there was one little problem. Me and my sister needed to write 4 essays each in order to apply. The essays were short but the subjects needed thought and we would have to do several drafts to send them.

Regardless of the very little time available, we did manage to write and send the essays on time, but they weren’t even close to what they would have looked like if we’d had more time. So, now all we had to do was wait to be informed if we were accepted or not.

…     …     …

It’s a couple of weeks later. I have just returned from a quick trip to Ioannina and I am exhausted. I check my e-mail and what do I see?


I am pleased to inform you that you have  been selected to attend the Europe & Liberty seminar that will take place in Bansko, Bulgaria…

I had been accepted! The first thing I did of course was call my sister and see if she had been accepted as well. The little she-devil tormented me for what seemed like hours (but in reality it was like 10 minutes) because she didn’t think she had been accepted and wouldn’t even check to be sure! Okay, I confess. My sister is not a ‘little she-devil’. I mean she’s almost 6 ft tall to my own 5 ft 5″, there is no way I could ever call her little.

But I digress…

Helen had been selected as well and now we are both going to Bulgaria together, which is even better than me going alone!!!!!!!!!!!!

But problems have already arisen. Well, actually it is one problem… In a nutshell, this is what my problem is about:

PROBLEM’S NAME: Mommie Dearest

PHASE 1: The group of people attending the seminar will be meeting at a Cathedral in Sofia and together travel to Bansko by bus, but for geographical reasons it is easier for me and Helen to go to Bansko directly. I ask if that is okay and I am told yes. Everyone in the family agrees that we should go to Bansko by bus.

PHASE 2: Mom decides to drive us to Bansko and when the seminar is over come pick us up.

PHASE 3: Mom asks me to look for tickets and make reservations to go to Bansko by bus. There are no buses directly to Bansko, because it is a winter destination and no one goes there during summer, but there are buses to the nearest town. After an entire day of research and walking in the heat, I book the tickets, find all the necessary information, and go to tell mom.

PHASE 4: Mom says that she is going to be driving us after all and that we will leave a day earlier and spend an extra night in Bansko, so that we can be there on time. I should cancel the tickets. A huge fight follows.

PHASE 5: (6 days later) My mother explodes and says that she can’t drive us all the way to Bansko, that she doesn’t have the money, that she has been to Bansko only twice and doesn’t know the way, and that she’s going to get lost. We should take the bus and go to Sofia.

WHAT??? I know. That was my first question as well. Is this the same woman that less than a week ago insisted that she drive us to Bansko herself? My second question was: ‘Since she was absolutely, 100% sure that she could take us there 6 days ago, then how is it possible that not even a week later she doesn’t know the way and will definitely get lost?’ Meh! Stop asking stupid questions Nora! She will definitely get lost because… *scratches head*… well, because she will. And anyway why would anyone ever think about using a map or EVEN WORSE the signs on the highway to get directions? It’s preposterous!

Thank God I didn’t cancel the tickets.

PHASE 6: I dared ask for my father and sister’s input to this ridiculous situation.

CONCLUSION: Do whatever you want, but if your mother disagrees, believe me, you’re going to know about it.

SIDE NOTE: This all happened in less than a month’s time. So much fun, don’t you think?

Anyway! Let’s talk a bit about the seminar itself. I have been sent the schedule and some of the reading material that we will need to have studied before going there. From what I can see, there will be lectures about how the market works, economics, politics, philosophy, liberalism, etc. etc. All in all, I am interested in attending each and every one of the lectures and I think that they will provide me with important knowledge that will help me later in my life in many ways.

Apart from the lectures though, I think that this is going to be a unique experience for me, a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet people from all around the world. I will have the chance to meet and talk and become friends with people that without this seminar I probably never would have known of their existence.

So, yes, I am very excited about it and I can’t wait for the 31st of July!!!

Now it’s your turn…

What are your plans for the summer? Are you going anywhere that you are excited about? Have you ever been to Bulgaria? Do you like to attend seminars? And what do you think about this one? What is your opinion: is my mother crazy or not? And what do you think I should to about her, am I wrong or is my solution to this problem simply the most logical one?

Give me your advice and opinions in the comments below…

P.S. to learn more about the seminar I’m going to you can visit: http://www.ies-europe.org/

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