Emilia Taneva swims with sharks @bubbly.moments

VIP@Sea: Bright Smiles and Air Miles with Bubbly Moments

Emilia Taneva lives something of a double life. During the week, she’s a board-certified orthodontist who maintains a practice in Chicagoland. On weekends, she jets around the world in rarefied luxury, uncovering the best natural wonders, accommodations, and restaurants to bring back to her 650k Instagram followers who know her best as the glamorous travel blogger @bubbly.moments. You could say that this Bulgarian-born beauty has achieved both the American Dream and an international lifestyle.

Where did the name “bubbly moments” come from?

Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to travel the world, see what’s out there, and experience different cultures and cuisines. The name of my travel blog is Bubbly Moments, a happy and lively place with the desire to make you smile. I hope to encourage my audience to celebrate life’s bubbly moments by living, laughing, dreaming, and traveling colorfully. Also, my favorite drink is bubbly (prosecco or champagne).

How does the fast-paced Chicago lifestyle compare to life in Bulgaria?

I was born and raised in the medieval city of Veliko Tarnovo, one of the oldest towns and capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire. After high school, I moved to Sofia, Bulgaria, to study dentistry and then to Chicago in 2011 to complete my residency in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. Sofia is also a very fast-paced city and I didn’t feel much of a lifestyle change once I moved to the Windy City. I love city living, Chicago’s bustling lifestyle, and yet its relaxed and coastal feel! I could never tire of the skyscrapers downtown.

What came first? Your passion for travel or for orthodontics?

Orthodontics is my dream job! I find it exceptionally rewarding to provide my patients with a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime and improve their self-esteem through the art and science of orthodontics. The passion for orthodontics definitely came first. Both my mother and older sister are dentists, and I went through a comprehensive orthodontic treatment during my childhood and early adulthood. During my days off from private practice, I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to pursue my passion for traveling and discovering beautiful destinations.

You make the aesthetic of your photos consistent whether you’re posting about healthy smiles or the Seychelles! What’s your secret?

I’m equally passionate about travel and orthodontics. I love capturing the beauty of my surroundings, the most precious moments, and to tell stories through my images. I usually plan my content a few weeks in advance to make sure it has consistent aesthetics and style. I create a mood board and work on image composition, lighting, and color corrections. I eliminate distracting or unnecessary elements in order for the final work to have a professional appearance.

RELATED: VIP@Sea: Jetset Christina is Livin’ La Vida Luxury

As a cruise-lover’s magazine, we have to ask, what’s your take on cruising?

Cruising is one of the best ways to see multiple locations in a one- or two-week vacation. I have done two cruises so far — one in the Caribbean (Haiti, Jamaica, Cozumel) and one in the Mediterranean (Venice, Corfu, Mykonos, Santorini, Dubrovnik). I find that cruise trips offer great value, as almost everything is included, from accommodations and food to entertainment. The best thing is that you only need to unpack once! In the future, I would love to go on a cruise to Alaska and explore the breathtaking scenery, wildlife, glaciers, fjords, and mountains along the coastline.


Photo: bubbly.moments / Emilia Taneva

Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!