We're a dancing couple with 69 countries under our belt. We search for authentic experiences and follow the locals everywhere we go. Ask us anything!

Bistra and Nace
Jun 14, 2018

Hello! We’re Bistra and Nace – a couple that has a passion for dancing, drinking wine and following the locals wherever we go. We’ve had our travel blog - The Magic of Traveling for six years now and our purpose is to inspire more people to travel as it best suits them, and into a direction that fits their personalities – around the world, to the nearest village or to their inner selves.

What happens when you feel you have to take traveling to the next level – beyond vacation days off work, beyond having amazing experiences outside your yearly vacation allowance?

We felt we wanted to travel more than just jump to the other side of the world, only to stay there a week or two. That’s when we decided we wanted to turn traveling from a hobby and a passion into a lifestyle. The math is pretty simple: if you want to travel more, you need to find ways to work while traveling.

So far we’ve been trying to practice jobs that are at least partially location-independent, so we can stay at a place for a longer time. Having a career in travel blogging, writing, IT makes this a relatively easier task. We do struggle to combine things we love doing that require us to stay in one place, though.

For example, we are choreographers and teach dance and to be able to do that, we have to arrange bigger chunks of time when we are able to work with people, face to face, offline. We realize full nomadic lifestyle is a huge bite, so we try to slowly and gradually set up our lives into a semi-nomadic one.

That way we’re taking the best of both worlds – we can still travel and explore for longer periods of time, and we can still stay in one place and finish our arrangements locally, and be close with family and friends.

youtu.be/zHa7pkX1AC8

When we're not dancing, we love to "dance" with words - that's how our first book "The Magic of Traveling: Follow the Locals" was born. Currently, we're working on the second.

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Do you think you will eventually stop traveling and settling in one place? Why or why not?
Jun 21, 5:17AM EDT0

We don't know what future holds for us. We hope we'll have the opportunity to live a life that we want at any point in time. If traveling keeps our hearts singing, then we'll do it. If we decide we want to settle - we'll settle. The important thing for us is that we continue being happy with our lifestyle and continue to be inspired to follow our dreams and to follow happiness. :-) 

Jun 21, 8:39AM EDT0
What kind of dancers are you? How many dance styles have you learned during your travels?
Jun 21, 5:04AM EDT0

We've been dancing various latin and ballroom dances for years, including modern and contemporary styles. When we travel, we strive to learn traditional dances for the places we visit or modern dance based on traditions. Recently we've learned a bit of moutia dance in Seychelles. We've become really good at dance from the Balkan countries. We are happy to touch as many different styles (and the stories behind them) as possible - maybe we've tried 20+ traditional and local styles and movements.

Jun 21, 8:37AM EDT0
What have been your most successful strategies to promote yourselves?
Jun 20, 7:59PM EDT0

We've spent so much time and effort to promote ourselves online. And we can't say we're good at this, but we're trying. So far, we believe the best method to promote yourself is to have happy clients who will promote you. Word of mouth is still a big thing (although it may not look like that) so we make sure to leave positive impressions as we communicate and work with businesses and people. 

Jun 21, 8:31AM EDT0
How do you define home and where is home to both of you?
Jun 20, 7:08PM EDT0

We define home as where our beloved ones are. So home is not just one place for us. We have many homes around the world. We are based in Bulgaria and we have so many people we love in Bulgaria and Macedonia that we call those countries home, too. 

Jun 21, 8:28AM EDT0
Many dreams about travelling the world with their significant other! What’s it like being on this journey with each other?
Jun 19, 3:44AM EDT0

It's like a dream come true! We're so happy to be able to share this journey! We keep our spirits high at all times, we can resolve tough situations fasters, we cherish each other and explore the miracles of the world together! It's the best thing a couple can do - it also works as couple therapy when necessary. We like to say that the most important part of traveling is the companion, so you need to choose wisely and give your time and energy to those people who deserve them!

Jun 20, 7:53AM EDT0
What is something that keeps you strong when things get difficult?
Jun 18, 12:47PM EDT0

We keep each other strong! Knowing you have someone to rely on, someone to inspire you all the time and hold your hand in difficult times, that's also part of the magic! Nothing can strengthen a relationship like tough moments when you need to be strong at least for your partner to know you're there for them!

Jun 19, 2:48AM EDT0
If you could give advice for aspiring younger dancers, what did you discover about the industry that you would want others to know about?
Jun 18, 6:48AM EDT0

One of the toughest truths we discovered about dancing and art industry as a whole is that it's really hard to get the word about you going. Out there, there are so many talented artists, so to distinguish yourself you should also be able to sell your work there. If you can't afford a professional to do this for you, you have to gain some skills and promote yourself all the time. It takes years of practice and consistency, not only in dance itself but also in marketing yourself and your work.

Jun 18, 6:57AM EDT0
What destination was the most fun to dress for?
Jun 18, 5:04AM EDT0

It was such a fun dressing up as Balinese prince and princess. They put colorful makeup on both of us (Nace still feels the touch of the lipstick). We didn't have a lot of time so there were a few people helping us put all the items in the right order, wrapping us up and so on...It was a heavy wig the put on a Bistra's head to stand for a huge ponytail. We had to learn fast and stand in very specific positions for the photoshoot. It was such a fun after all!

Jun 18, 6:53AM EDT0
Do you think you would still be traveling if you weren’t a dancer or if you had a different career?
Jun 17, 1:39PM EDT0

Absolutely! Traveling is our passion and we follow our passions no matter what kind of careers we have. It's true some jobs make it a bit challenging to travel a lot, but if traveling is a priority for you, you'll find a way! We've been changing jobs and careers all the time and that didn't obstruct us from traveling! 

Jun 18, 2:55AM EDT0
What sort of partnerships or work deals are you interested in developing and how can people reach you to talk about opportunities?
Jun 15, 2:35AM EDT0

We're open to partnerships when it comes to travel and lifestyle. 

We work with local businesses to support them in their ventures - in terms of marketing, social media, business development, social impact.

We use our creative writing and photography skills to promote destinations, experiences, people, ideas - everything that makes our hearts beat and we believe the world should know of.

We volunteer in intercultural multinational environments, helping the societies to live together better and make the world a sustainable better place to live in.

Read more and get in touch with us here.

Jun 15, 9:48AM EDT0
What unique and interesting facts can one find about your travels in your book, The magic of traveling: Follow the locals?
Jun 14, 8:51PM EDT0

Our book is full of personal and intriguing stories and readers will learn the answers to so many questions in there: 

How can you thrive amid the chaos in India?

How much does a dream cost in Greece? 

Do Dominicans know the recipe for everlasting happiness?

Is it possible to meet your soulmate in multi-million China? 

What is life like for the ordinary people of Rio de Janeiro once the World Cup or the Olympic games have ended? 

Jun 15, 9:42AM EDT0
What are your thoughts on sustainable travel and how do you reduce your carbon footprint whilst enjoying your adventures?
Jun 14, 1:10PM EDT0

We believe any travel should be sustainable and humans should take care of minimizing their carbon footprint as much as possible. We love to take the train when it's possible, we always thrive for filling up all the seats in the car, and we really try to reduce the use of plastic.

Jun 15, 9:40AM EDT0
What countries are you looking forward to visit the most and why?
Jun 14, 10:19AM EDT0

We're excited to visit countries we haven't visited yet. But our biggest dream is to visit a whole new continent - Antarctica. So that's the place we're looking forward to visiting the most!

Jun 15, 9:38AM EDT0
What were the aspects of the Baltics live talks that impressed you and what valuable insights did you gain from other travelers?
Jun 14, 9:36AM EDT0

Baltics is a special region - it is a mix of history and future, nature is amazing, the people have interesting backgrounds. The countries have been through a lot but you can see hope sparking in the eyes of the people. Our encounters with other travelers and locals were always bringing a different point of view and at the same time we had plenty of time in nature to reflect on our experience, 

Jun 14, 10:17AM EDT0
When did you start your nomadic lifestyle and what are some of the legal aspects of this kind of lifestyle you had to sort out before embarking on your first trip?
Jun 14, 9:25AM EDT0

We can't call ourselves nomads - we're kind of semi-nomads as we still have a home base where we spend a lot of time. We decided to go a bit more beyond the regular vacation/days off life more than 3 years ago. When you go nomadic, you have to arrange paying taxes - e.g. where do you pay taxes when you work. It also has to do with the citizenship you possess so it differs from country to country, 

Jun 14, 10:13AM EDT0
What are some of the most important facets of travel organization that most people neglect and what is your advice with regards to these?
Jun 14, 4:09AM EDT0

We think one of the things people often forget while planning their trips is room for improvisation. We all tend to fill up our schedule with activities and experiences and we can get really tired of that. Or something may go in a different direction. So we learned from that and now we leave more time for less stuff, to be able to enjoy them more and act on unexpected situations.

Jun 14, 10:10AM EDT0
Why do you believe that some people have such a negative perception of the nomadic lifestyle and what are the misconceptions they possibly have regarding the lifestyle that causes this negativity?
Jun 14, 12:01AM EDT0

We've met people who have a negative perception of nomad lifestyle for two main reasons - they think nomads just hang out on the beach and never work, or they think lack of stability and routine is not a good lifestyle. We believe nomadic means someone/something that moves. This doesn't concern your work at all. Actually, to support your nomadic lifestyle, sometimes you even work longer hours or much harder. And stability and routine could also be established, we've met nomads who are the role models for that. 

Jun 14, 10:06AM EDT0
Why did you decide to make your book available in both print and digital form, and when will your next book be released?
Jun 13, 10:03PM EDT0

We wanted to reach as many people as possible - that's why we put effort to create both digital and print versions. Digital is probably getting a bigger share of all the readers as you can carry as many books as you want with you, but some people (including us) would never give up the touch of a print book, the aroma and the texture of it.

We don't have a planned release date for our next book, as we're still in the process of creating the first draft. Our hope is that we'll manage to publish until the end of 2018.

Jun 14, 10:03AM EDT0
How do you go about planning a dance tutorial in a travel destination and what methods do you use to promote your classes?
Jun 13, 9:17PM EDT0

We do investigate the dance styles and typical music from the destination beforehand. Then we try to watch some dance live, while in the place. And we never miss the part to dance ourselves - if we dance it, the better we understand it and the better we experience the culture. The dance classes we promote online through our website, through social media. Most of our students find us by word of mouth. 

Jun 14, 10:01AM EDT0
How long did it take you to compile the cumulative information from your travels to begin arranging them into a cohesive book and how did you determine what would be included and what wouldn't?
Jun 13, 5:05PM EDT0

We collected stories from travels that happened in the span of about 5 years for the book. It was really hard to decide what to put and what to leave out - we wanted to share so much, but not publish a heavy book to turn people down from reading it. That's why we included stories from inspiring people we met in 14 countries. 

Jun 14, 9:58AM EDT0
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