Smokinya team – starting a new decade…


The core Smokinya Team consists of five people, five individuals with our own lives, plans, motivation, ambitions and aspirations. Here is a sum-up of our plans for year 2020. Each of us made a collage that represents this year and described how we see it. Or the other way around. Anyway – enjoy reading.


My 2020 started very intense and there was no chance to be prepared for it, yet I start it with extreme gratitude.
Very soon you will get to know about the project I’ve been working on for months – let’s count it as a first goal for 2020. Very soon I will also finish my EVS – let’s count it as a second goal. Well, not the finishing part, but the reflection on the year I’ve spent in Bulgaria.
I’ve already promised myself that 2020 will be a year of self-care and self-love since I finished 2019 pretty sick and exhausted, which means more delicious coffee, quality sleep, good books, healthy food and fresh air. Well, after I finish with the project.
And the goal destination for 2020 – Scotland! Almost two years ago I fell in love with this place and now I would like to give it a try to actually live there. Will it happen? How? I don’t know yet, but if it happens, come and visit me in the land of fairies, lochs and wild spirit.


Starting a new decade feels weird. The last year ended with a lot of changes and the new one is continuing to surprise me. Even though I don’t know what is going to happen in the next few months, for sure I can say that it is going to be both challenging and exciting. Of course I want to continue exploring Bulgaria and the countries around, travel as much as I can. But at the same time, I wish to take more responsibility in the organisation and work more efficiently and independently. With some of the people leaving and new arriving it surely will not get boring. At the same time, it will be hard to say Goodbye to those who have been a huge part of my life here in Bulgaria. Being here, I can’t properly comprehend that it’s been more than five months already. I am on my way to enter the second half of my volunteer period and I have the feeling it is going to pass by as fast as the first one. Therefore, I will try to use it more but at the same time I don’t really have detailed plans for this year yet and I don’t think this is going to change very soon, it feels far away. Last year I decided to come here, this year I will have to make a crucial decision like this again and I believe my biggest “new year’s resolution” is to start making this decision earlier in order to give more time to myself and not procrastinate that much but rather prepare for it better. But until then, I will just try to enjoy and use any opportunity that is revealing itself to me leading me to somewhere unknown and exciting. I wish to continue my journey, intensify it and enjoy all it’s ever-changing aspects.


At the end of last year I was thinking about where I am (in my life) and what’s next for me. My volunteering time is ending soon so changes are inevitable. I realized that I want to move more. Move in general and move around. I have planned some trips this year – Turkey, Georgia, Greece, North Macedonia, Jordan, Israel, Spain, Portugal and Latvia. While I’m still here I want to hike more, to experience the beauty of Bulgaria. As part of moving more I’ve also started doing yoga.

Currently I don’t plan to return to Latvia for living, my target country is Portugal – so far it’s like my favourite place on Earth. But before that I still have some plans here – I’m working as a PM with the Open Sofia team making a webpage for the community of foreigners and friends in Sofia, together we’re also planning a huge festival in the heart of Sofia this summer, I’m really excited about it, can’t wait to see how it’s growing.

After the festival I plan doing a co-project / cycling competition trip with Farbrizio and Veso in the end of July – August. It’s going to be a trip from Italy to Finland, I’m still waiting for this to progress.

Besides all the tripping around I want to get closer to myself, to be alone, to take care of myself and relax, I’ll try to see if working on all the projects can be done without draining myself and unnecessary stress. I’m also interested in community building, and hopefully I will get a chance to go to Hopeland in Greece and if I’m really lucky – Tamera community in Portugal.

My philosophy is that anything can happen, so all that I just wrote might as well not happen at all, I’m open to anything that comes, maybe another festival, maybe some body movement workshops, nothing big, I want to relax, take care of myself, sleep more, move more, be alone more, love more, do less and just follow the flow..


I was finishing my last article with the sentence ‘At this point of my life, I came to a crossroad: what’s next? New perspectives have appeared on the horizon.’ Well… I have to say that, very new things and very fast. Due to personal reasons I am finishing my voluntary service at Smokinya Foundation, after eight fruitful months. The decision was not easy to made but sometimes we have to see things from a greater perspective, globally and in this case, I am grateful that the organisation is supporting me in this decision as well. As we say here, ‘we are here to learn’ and this part is exceptionally true. I learned a lot of things but that will be contained in another article. I am here to talk about present and future, not past. Present, because what I say it reflects to my plans that I am making now and future, because of their implementation. On a long way I discovered my strengths and weaknesses, also the deeper understanding of my existence as Richard Horvath on the planet, called Earth. Due to this long lasting (which is most probably just about to kick off) self-development period that I went through on a deeper way then the average I discovered my future bullet points that I want to achieve in long-term. About those I would not say that much, more like about the ones that can be achieved in one-year-circle. I am moving back to my hometown Budapest, Hungary with my better half, ones would call this person a girlfriend but she is much more. Funny thing that we met here in Bulgaria, special thanks to Smokinya Festival and to another volunteer who introduced us to each other. I am applying to university for Law and State Studies which will be helping me also to recreate my local peers that I lost before. I am moving away from my ‘mama-hotel’ to my own flat where finally I can start my newish hometown life, and continue the life that I started in Bulgaria. I would like to stay connected to the Erasmus+ program, but in which way, I do not know yet. Most probably with an already existing youth organisation from the University. In order to maintain my relation with Bulgaria I have further possible plans and options, let’s see which one will be the winner. I feel that 2020 is the year of settlement and foundation.


Happy New 2020! All of a sudden, a whole other year has passed. And now what?
For me 2020 is to bring things together and put together the puzzle – Smokinya Foundation is moving from Sofia to Plovdiv (yes, it is official!), continue the actions towards the next big milestone (BHAG) – establish an international youth training and volunteering centre in Bulgaria.
As a system I believe an organisation has to have a centre, and that centre must be a place that is reachable for all members, or interested people. And the first step is towards Plovdiv, the second – I don’t know yet, but it is correlated with the BHAG above. Let’s see!
Personally, my intention is to spend more time in Plovdiv and the surrounding mountains – to ride my mountain bike, hike, and sleep under the stars. To give myself time for reflection and strategic thinking and actions.

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Smokinya team – starting a new decade…