Sozopol, Bulgaria

Finally, this is officially a travel blog. It only took roughly 44 hours to get from my home in Asheville, to our first BJJ travel destination in Bulgaria. All of my flight connections happened remarkably as-planned, as did our bus connection in Bucharest to get down to the Black Sea coast here in Bulgaria. My sketchy-looking passport got me through all the borders with flying colors, so I’ve naturally grown a little more confident in its powers. My trusty travel buddy had one hic-up, but luckily he wasn’t delayed too long and he’s here with me.

Black Sea coastal town of Sozopol, Bulgaria

We arrived just in time for the no-gi class this morning, fresh off an overnight 9-hour maxi-taxi ride down the Bulgarian coast. Unfortunately we weren’t able to make it for the camp headliner yesterday evening. Now it’s solely up to the Romanians to help us take our BJJ games to the next level. I had fun drilling and rolling with some new people, but honestly the jetlag and overall lack of a good night’s sleep is dragging me down, man. I can’t wait to sleep in a real bed tonight; I’m having a difficult time keeping my eyes open while writing this blog despite doing all I can to get my circadian rhythms in check, like drinking plenty of water and getting some sun exposure.

The beach in Sozopol, Bulgaria

My former student, Sandu, brought 4 of his students down from Moldova with him. I’ve had the opportunity to roll with one so far and he’s really good. It’s been over 4 years since I’ve rolled with Sandu, and he’s a lot better now too; lots of new, good stuff he’s added to his game. I’m looking forward to gi training tonight as my no-gi skills are admittedly sub-par.

Our hotel with the Bulgarian and European Union flags flying high

Our accommodations are fairly basic yet comfortable. The view out our hotel room window leaves a bit to be desired, but at least we’re only a 10-minute walk from the beach. I’ll be doing some hard-core hand washing of all my training clothes for the next week and a half. I’ll consider myself fortunate that I at least have a shower and lukewarm water to work with. I’m not sure I’ll be so lucky in Moldova, but we’ll see. More on that later. Time to put my gi on!

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