Last week we talked with Justin and this week we present to you Elena from Imagineth and her experience in Romania. She’s the second person who said yes to our interview for the project “Travel Blogger in Romania”.
Born and raised in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, Elena has been traveling here and there for almost 6 years. She stopped for a while in Romania (she wrote about that on her blog) and after we’ve talked with her here is what we know:
1. How long have you been traveling?
Since 2010, but have stopped here and there and started again.
2. Are you a backpacker/long term traveler/business traveler/live and work abroad?
I’m not quite a backpacker, I like to stay with local people rather than in hotels, I like to feel local so I’m blending in. This year I’ve tried to travel for over 4 months and I want to say maybe the long term is not the best way of traveling for me. During extensive traveling your body gets so exhausted, you really need to take care of your sleep and nutrition otherwise you might be shocked when your hair will start falling like crazy.
3. How many countries have you been to?
62 in total, mostly in Africa.
4. Quick fire questions:
Favorite season? – I like all the seasons, but for traveling I would prefer warmer times
Beach or mountain? – Both
Urban or rural? – Both, but prefer national parks actually
Next destination on your list? – I have a few: Yemen, Mongolia, Russia, Namibia and so much more.
5. How did Romania find its way on your list of destinations?
I have lived in Romania for over 6 years and had managed to see just a few things, but once I’ve been abroad, later on, I want to say that there are so many unique places in Romania, I will definitely take my time for a more thorough visit, especially for the Danube delta and the Mountains.
6. Expectation vs Reality in Romania.
They say infrastructure is bad in Romania, but as for ecotourism and hiking, it is an amazing country where infrastructure doesn’t matter so much. It is actually a very exotic place in Europe.
7. How was your experience with the traditional Romanian food?
I love the food, it’s a bit heavy, however, fresh and tasty. When traveling in the mountains you can always taste home-made food, many types of smoked cheese, smoked meat, go for it!
8. How did Romanian people seem to you?
People are friendly, but not too daring when it comes to exploring and traveling. Precaution makes them stay at home, as anywhere else in the world actually.
9. Regarding this, did you make any friends in Romania? Do you keep in touch with anybody from Romania?
My best friends are from Romania and it was always sweet to meet Romania travelers abroad, which for example happened in Brazil. Romanians are easygoing and funny, you’ll definitely make friends easily! Language barrier could be an issue in some parts of the country, but don’t give up, try your best, it’s a Latin language and you can make yourself understood in Italian, French or Spanish.
10. Do you have any funny travel stories from Romania?
Try taking the cheap train. All the stories happen in the train!
11. Did you convince anyone to travel to Romania?
I have many friends who have been to Romania recently and they loved it!
12. Which is the less pleasant experience in Romania?
Bucharest is very congested, if you can, avoid it, there are so many other places where it is worth staying for longer, like Brasov, Sighisoara, Cluj, Sinaia, Busteni, Timisoara, Iasi, the Danube delta, rural areas in the mountains.
13. Could you live in Romania?
I’m not sure if I want to live there, but I would definitely come back for short visits!
14. Do you have any pieces of advice or tips for aspiring travelers?
– I would not encourage tourists to give money to the beggars as this is a large system of scammers in Romania, you can buy them some food instead.
– Don’t miss out trekking in the Carpathians, Sinaia, Sibiu and the Danube Delta.
– Find some culinary classes, learn how to do mamaliga :)
– It would be nice if you can see some folk festivals, as those are really cool.
Do you believe in vampires?
I do yes, hahaha, in Romania there are a lot (laughing)