Bulgaria Heritage Journeys

Bulgarian Ties–Our Flagship Program
July 15-28, 2017

Bulgarian Ties LITE
July 15-24, 2017

Private Travel

“The end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started 
and know the place for the first time.” T.S. Eliot

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Other Ties’ Global Adventures LEARN MORE

You are going to be your heritage journey!

  • Arrive in Sofia, where Ties staff will meet you and provide transportation to the hotel. Bulgarian Ties families stay in moderate, clean hotels, where after a day out experiencing many new tastes, smells, sights and sounds, families can relax.
  • Gather for an orientation meeting, a chance to connect with the other families, and discuss the journey ahead.
  • Tour Sofia, where you will visit the city centre to enjoy historical sights and bustling local markets, eat scrumptious Bulgarian cuisine, and yes, shop!
  • Travel to nearby Rila Monastery for a day of gorgeous scenery of the Rila Mountains, listen to the Rilska and Drushlyavitsa rivers rush on either side of the monastery, and take in the architecture, paintings, and significance of the oldest monastery in Bulgaria.
  • Next stop: Balkan Mountain Villages!
    • Visit Bojentsi village to experience mansions from the Revival Period, and the Old Town of Tryavna where colorful traditions are alive and well including bagpipes and woodcarving, Etara for an open-air ethnographic museum showing traditional Bulgarian life, and overnight in Kmetovski, a magical mountain village!
    • Walk through Arbanasi, seeing well preserved mansions and churches with traditional architecture, before heading to Veliko Tarnovo, the medieval capital of Bulgaria, where the old town and markets are filled with traditional artisans and crafts!

For most families, Veliko Tarnovo will be the jumping off point for the “Centerpiece of your Adoption Homeland Journey.” Families will visit places like Burgas, Buzovgrad, Teteven, Silistra, and Petrovo. If your adoption connections are elsewhere in Bulgaria, The Ties Program will help with those arrangements too.

While on adoption visits, families will:

  • Travel with a car, driver and English-speaking guide.
  • Visit orphanages, hospitals, caregivers, and other special people related to their adoption.
  • Birth family meetings are frequently possible in Bulgaria.

Bulgarian Ties Lite families will return to Sofia and fly home after their adoption visits. Bulgarian Ties families will reunite  in Varna with time to process adoption visits together.

  • Once in Varna, on the Black Sea, take a tour of the ancient Stone Forest. Fun and relaxing activities abound in Varna – bring your swim suit and enjoy the pool, rent a motor boat or sail on a yacht, play tennis, take a horseback ride, go for a hike in the national park, or take in the newly built Aqua-park.
  • Leaving Varna, visit the Rose City of Kazanluk, then travel to Stara Zagora where you will visit an “Equal Start” school in the Roma Community.
  • Visit one of the most beautiful towns in Bulgaria–Plovdiv, where you can explore the Old Town and its Renaissance atmosphere. Finally, return to Sofia for your return trip home.

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Many of our programs (Bulgaria included) include a Ties Lite option. It will give you all of the features of traveling with a flagship Ties Program, but a shorter stay, lowering your costs. Cost is clearly the biggest advantage to a Lite option. Some people also are dealing with other complexities like limited vacation time or other responsibilities at home, and the Lite option makes travel possible.

Having said that, we think it also important to note the downside, so you can make a thoughtful decision. Overtime, we’ve noted that the bonds and connections created tend to be stronger for participants who participate in the full Ties flagship program. That stands to reason since a longer in-country stay provides more experiences and more time together–an important piece to consider.

You will receive information on Bulgaria Ties and Bulgaria Ties Lite when you request information.

While we strongly believe in adoptees and their families traveling with a group that offers “community,” we know it isn’t always possible. Should you prefer to travel as an individual family, or with another family you know, we are here to help. We will be happy to help with hotels, transportation, guides/translators, sightseeing, etc. We can also customize your important adoption related visits.

Sometimes people are not big on the idea of traveling with a group because they are not “group travel people” or it conjures up images of little blue haired ladies. We are not “that” group! Ties groups are vibrant and fun. And because we stay on top of the details, you can be focused on your family and the experiences.

We invite you to read this article from a skeptical Ties mom: Group Travel or Not by Eva Ash, Clinical Psychologist, Adoptive Parent

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    Ties Program Features

    How to prepare, opportunities to process. YOUR NEED-TO-KNOW INFORMATION!

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    Possibilities for Adoption Visits

    Connect with people and places related to your adoption. SEE WHAT'S POSSIBLE!

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    Related Services

    Flights, Connect & Chat, Staying Connected. LEARN MORE!

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    Financial Help

    Need financial help? Or would you like to help an adoptee make this important journey? OPTIONS & IDEAS!

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    Project Kindness

    Created especially so that Ties participants can help in the communities they have visited. BE INSPIRED!

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    Read & Learn

    Articles to help you on this journey of identity. DIVE DEEP INTO INFORMATION!

"A tremendous family experience and adventure, and the journey that filled the gap in our son's sense of self."

John Giudecessi

“For the first time in my life, I felt complete and at peace with who I am.”

Landy Hancock, 18

“Traveling with other kids was AWESOME!”

Anna Armour, 10

"I think the healthiest outcome of the trip for my daughter is that going with a group 'normalized' her situation and her adoption.”

Bonnie MacAdam