1. Tell us about yourself and where we can find more about your travelling.
My name is Ogy Kovachev, born and living in Sofia. I have started traveling on 14 years of age with my father surfing in Turkey. In 1999 went to UK to meet an online friend and in 2001 I decided to move to US for studies. I went to the local college in San Francisco but the 11th September has happened and I was scared so decided to come back to Bulgaria. I have finished my studies and had the opportunity to join an youth NGO in eco activism and then my regular travel has started. I was participating in many seminars, summer camps and conferences mainly in Europe but also we have been to Kenya, Brazil and many more. In 2008, I have decided to change the course and started in a private company where traveling was limited but I do it for myself and for fun now.
2. How many countries have you visited and where would like to settle down at some point (I know you fall in love in so many places, but choose one and tell us why)?
I have visited 41 countries already which is only one fifth of all but with much more traveling I feel more and more attached to my home. I would prefer to be able to visit even more countries but always to be back at home where family and friends are.
3. What do you miss most, aside from your family, from home?
Friends, contacts, local small things I like to do – like going to my favourite Turkish restaurant or hiking up for a night trail near Sofia, taking the narrow gauge rail from Septemvri to Dobrinishte, visiting the old town public bath and many more.
4. What is the most common misconception that people have about you during your traveling?
Most of my friends and followers always assume I am not working but only traveling which is not possible. I can afford traveling only if I am working. I have limited days off work and I plan very precise in order to be able to go each week somewhere.
5. Is there any place which you wouldn’t visit again and why?
I would not go to a place, which I was not touched by, if there was nothing specific to happen in order to feel it interesting to go back. For example, Paris or Amsterdam are great place to visit anytime but they are not in my wish list. I would go there if I am visiting a friend or bringing someone I want to show around. Also I may decide to visit in case there is some running activity organized.
6. Where did you meet the friendliest people and how did you feel about being around them?
India and Bali – everyone is smiling at you, so friendly and helpful people. And maybe that is the reason I like to be back in Asia – I will be visiting Thailand for the new year’s eve for two weeks time.
7. Funniest or most embarrassing travel moment?
The most embarrassing might be the culture shock I have been facing while landed in India for the first time ever, being with my girlfriend at that time and we had to travel from New Delhi to Varanasi. We had to organize ourselves for taking the train that was an unforgettable experience – taking a taxi, which made a round of the main square and brought us to the tickets counter. Getting offers to fly there as there was a big festival and no trains were available. Once we managed to take the train, we had 14 hours of journey full of locals who were examining us and we were not sure how to feel – stressed or unsafe. Getting to know the locals better I would say the feeling to be in India is more that safe and smiling. Now I can consider this moment also as a funny one – facing the reality and enjoying it as well afterwards.
8. What is your favourite music?
I like Coldplay, Chris Rea, recently has found Die Anwort – this crazy project.
9. What song from your country everybody should know?
10. One thing you don’t like about other travellers or traveling?
It is always hard to organize friends to travel with – either they are not able to decide they want to join or they cannot afford. On the other hand, they depend on other as well.
11. What has been your most valuable lesson learned from travel?
Travel opens your mind, it is the best school of life, interacting with different cultures, trying different cuisine – it is a parallel world in our minds which we are facing and it is very essential to be able to accept it with ease.