This is not a secret: we are in love with Greece. We are Philhellenes in that old-fashioned, slightly romantic sense of the word. We are interested in all aspects of Greece, from its incredible cultural heritage to its fantastic beaches; from its extraordinary island sunsets to its seaside taverns; from its Ottoman bridges in the north to its bizarre volcanic formations in the south. From Crete to Samothrace and from Athens to Thessaloniki – by way of Ioannina, Kastoria and Grevena.
n 2005, about a year before we launched Vagabond, we started HighFlights, Bulgaria's Airport Magazine. It was a square-format mag in both English and Bulgarian, and the initial idea was to distribute it as a compliment to the passengers going through Sofia Airport. Its main purpose was to present travel destinations to both incoming and outgoing travellers. To put it in another way, we would carry stories and travelogues about Bulgaria and about world destinations that air companies flying out of Sofia Airport reached. Significantly, we also ran information about the airport itself – those little but very useful tids and bits that passengers want to know when they have a couple of hours to bide between flights.
Where the best places to eat are is one of the most important questions a foreigner has in a new or relatively unknown country. Knowing this, Vagabond has sought the sound advice of insiders, who have selected for you humble eateries, exotic places and exquisite establishments for a great or intriguing dining experience, or just shared their informed opinions on Bulgarian food.
Since its first issue, Vagabond has been the only media introducing contemporary Bulgarian literature and writers to English-speaking audience. The first to feature was Kapka Kassabova, the Bulgarian-born author living in Scotland, and Street Without a Name, her brilliant memoir for childhood under Socialism and revisiting modern Bulgaria.
One of the best things about living in Bulgaria is its crossroads position, which allows you to reach the farthest nooks of the Balkans within a day's car ride. Each of the 100 issues of Vagabond brought you to some corner of Europe's most fascinating and least known peninsula, allowing you to enjoy astonishing sunsets, walk along the cobbled streets of traditional cities and villages, explore curiosities and lose yourself in crazy festivals.
Here is a secret: while Vagabond was in its development stage, it was going to be a magazine solely about Sofia. We changed our minds, eventually, but Bulgaria's capital has remained a permanent fixture on the pages of the magazine. We have covered extensively its restaurant and night scene, but the articles we cherish the most are the ones devoted to its many hidden gems.
One of Vagabond's main goals, to keep on discovering and presenting the hidden gems of Bulgaria – often off-off-off the beaten track, received valuable assistance from the America for Bulgaria Foundation, and in 2009 we started the High Beam section of this journal.
Love it or hate it, call it a cliché, but Communism, with its mentality and its ways of organising society and the economy, still defines modern Bulgaria and Vagabond has been investigating this since its first issues. Funnily enough, the stories about Communism and its remains are regularly some of the most read pieces on www.vagabond.bg.