My name is Dimitar Gospodinov (or Dean), born in Vratza, Bulgaria, but for the last few years I was living different places. Freelance- musician – traveler is the closest I can think of, as a description of what am I doing.
Better – watch my video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eprVBaGVXns
I made this for the Erasmus + European organization on one of those Youth Exchanges I went this summer.
What I’m doing right now is basically travelling around, documenting what I’m seeing. And at the same time, trying to make enough money to sustain it. I know it sounds a bit complicated and maybe a bit crazy, so let me start over from the beginning…
I started playing guitar in Highschool in a little school band. Nothing serious, we we’re just having fun. But it was enough for me to find that Music is the thing I wanna do. So I signed for Music school right after graduating. In University (New Bulgarian University in Sofia, Bulgaria) I started taking extra classes in fine art, filmmaking, photography, creative writing, and just basically everything, that was interesting for me. I also changed my major from guitar to drums. I was curious.
After my 4th semester I went on a Students Work & Travel program in U.S. in Saratoga Springs, NY. And that was that moment, when everything flipped , and my story became a bit more interesting.
I lost my Job and my apartment weeks after I got there. Everything went upside down really fast and I had to find another way and improvise, because I had had no money and permission to stay there. I almost got deported back to Bulgaria. I was on the street, I slept in the homeless shelter for a while. I got myself a dishwasher job in Indian restaurant, and second one at the local Skateshop, selling kids longboards and doing easy repairs. They say ‘the adventure doesn’t start until something goes wrong’ and I’m glad it did. I got myself into this wild environment of street musicians, travelers and Mexican foreigners. And also those sketchy characters living in the homeless shelter. It was a wild mixture. It was a paradise for me. I bought a camera and started filming. I opened my YouTube channel. Also playing on the street became my third part-time job. Mostly for the experience. I was overwhelmed by the bravery and the free spirit of those people. It became part of my mindset. Also the fact that I had no one there, no one to depend on, and no one to blame, but me, inspired the shit out of me. I was a fresh piece of paper. And for the first time I felt really free.
I came back to Bulgaria completely different person. Nothing was the same anymore. I had this huge motivation and lust for life. I started working on my debut album – “The PinHole Camera”. The plan was to record and mix everything – all the instruments by myself with the simple gear I had – in my dorm room.
It took me a few months to finally finish it. Sure it wasn’t the clearest sounding album, but it was mine and I loved it. I learned so much and it was super fun.
Shortly after, I found the Erasmus+ Students Exchange program. I applied in several places and I got accepted in “Folkwang Universität der Künste” in Essen, Germany. I didn’t know anything about Germany. But I was curious.
I was getting some momentum in my personal life and it was time for something special. I signed for an APPI Paragliding Pilot’s training program. I got my certificate in Sopot, Buglaria for Adventure Pilot. And the most important thing was – I overcame one of my biggest fears – the fear of heights. This was a dream come true for me for a long time.
Week after that, I was on the plane to Germany. The University started in October.
In Essen once again I got myself into a fun environment. The wild multicultural multiethnic mix that is the North-Rhine Westphalia region of Germany. The students society was super cool. There were literally people from every country and every continent living in my building. I felled at the right place once again. The year was shortly coming to an end and I got this idea to make my 2nd little album right up for Christmas. I love Christmas. “Cold Germany” took me less than a month to record everything and mix it and draw my cover with acrylic paint. I did it all – again in my dorm room. You will hear more percussions, glockenspiel and xylophone and piano in this short album. Also I started traveling across the region with the free (for students) Deutsche Bahn. Making short videos for my channel.
In the Spring I came back to Bulgaria so pumped and high – ready for everything. You won’t believe. On the 2nd day I was in Bulgaria I took the train to the Black Sea and from there with my old roommate all the way to Istanbul, Turkey to meet some American friends at the Airport. My parents were shocked from that idea. I was away from home for 6 months and on the 2ndday that I was in Bulgaria – I went to another country. But they are cool and they like me anyway. So it’s OK.
I got more involved into Erasmus+ projects & in the spring I went on few short-term projects in Belgium, Luxembourg and Tourkey. I also joined a really cool youth association from Bulgaria – NGO “Institute Perspectives”.
The Summer was coming and I had an idea.
I went to Germany again. This time to play with a deutsche country band “Inspektor Harti & die Diesel machines”. We toured all across the Rhine and Ruhr river and a bit in Holland. I was living in different cities in Germany and a bit on the North coast in Renesse, Holland. We were on the road all the time. It was a dream-come-true for me. For the first time in my life I was making all my money doing only what I love to do – traveling and playing music. It wasn’t always easy, but sure it was moving. At least I’m not working in a shoe store anymore.
So, now It is 1:30am and I’m writing this paragraph from my tiny apartment in Grevenbroich, Germany. I had a gig a few hours ago in a small local bar. It was alright. In 2 days we have 2 gigs in 2 different cities all in 1 day with the band. And next week I’m going to North Germany for a solo show in Bremen. I’ve never been in Bremen and I’m super excited. My program is like this ‘till the end of the month, then I’m back in Bulgaria.
What are my plans for the future – I’m gonna continue traveling. “I’m in love with the cities I’ve never been in my life”, as they say. So I’ll keep going. I don’t know about the future, but now I feel young and full of energy and I’m curious what else is there. Learning new things, making mistakes, getting as many experiences as I can fit in my lifetime is the thing I believe – that makes the difference.
In the past 2 years I made this set of rules for myself that I believe in, and that are guiding me through my life.
I asked myself few really important questions: Who am I right now – and who I should become?
Do I want to be that guy who is sitting at home – watching YouTube videos, or do I want to be outside – shooting the picture? Do I want to buy it – or do I want to make it myself? Do I want to consume or do I want to create?
I asked myself what am I afraid of? And what do I want to do with the fear?
Am I gonna let it slide, or am I gonna do something? I asked myself – where I wanna go? So I started living my life led by my highest ideals.
Also I started asking myself: “Am I doing this because of LOVE or because of FEAR..”
I started asking myself this every time there was a decision. And this changed everything. And it’s not a new concept, but it takes you on a journey.
And most importantly – it feels right. And everyone can do it.
Everyone can live his/her life on his highest ideals. Starting today. You can change your life today.
The thing that I learned living different places was – you can always start over, you can start fresh. And you can become the person that you want to be. Every each one of us is armed with all this potential. You can pretty much do anything you want. Just give yourself a permission to be amazing and start painting.
Here’s an idea: Take a piece of paper and write everything that you want to happen for you ‘till the end of the month. And start reading this every day. Take another piece of paper and write everything that you want to happen for you ‘till the end of the year. Start reading it every day. You’ll be amazed by the results. And every each оne of those things is absolutely possible. Just start today! With the end in mind.
That’s all. Keep up the beat and stay positive!
Also add me on Facebook and the social networks!
Love, Dean /Dimitar/