Aylyak is an untranslatable Bulgarian word* that could roughly be defined as:


The art of not giving a sh*t, doing everything at a relaxed pace and not worrying at all.

The aylyak lifestyle originated in Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second-biggest city, where it has been practiced intensely for decades. If the definition appeals to you, we encourage you to indulge in a little aylyak no matter where in the world you are. Here’s our complete guide to the aylyak lifestyle.

[*in fact, aylak is the Turkish word for ‘idle’. The meaning Bulgarians attribute to it, however, is far more complicated and represents a way of life rather than a momentary condition.]

Don’t hurry. Seriously, don’t. Ever.

The residents of Plovdiv are famous for taking long, leisurely walks back and forth along their main pedestrian street, Alexander I. If you sit at one of the sidewalk cafes and try to remember the faces of the passers-by, you might be surprised that you can actually do it because people keep on passing again and again. If there’s a job that needs to be done, it can be, of course, postponed.

In fact, the only aspect of life in Plovdiv that seems rushed or stressful is the driving. Slow and relaxed while they walk, Plovdiv dwellers turn into wild beasts as soon as they get behind the wheel of their car. You may be honked at, shouted at and brutalized in many ways on the road, but always keep in mind that these are the same humble people whose faces you remembered earlier in the cafe.

You’ll gain plenty of respect from a Plovdiv resident if you say: “Aylyak, mayna”, which means “I’m relaxed and worry-free, and I don’t care for anything in this world” (and I know how to say it in Bulgarian!).

>> Read the full article on How to practice aylyak in Bulgaria and be happy on 203challenges’s website.