Hi, I’m Cristina, your host, an IT geek that enjoys writing – yes, we exist. In a few words, I love traveling in a way that’s friendly with my budget and, at the same time, I’m afraid of everything related to “adventure”.
How do these two things work together, you ask? Well, it takes effort, but my travel wish is bigger than all of my fears. What helps me is planning everything in detail, anxiety control methods and laughing when nothing works as I planned.
Because it never works as planned.
Who am I?
I come from Romania, a country with great achievements and amazing views, but with not such a great history. This is why, from time to time, I will probably not have a great English, since it’s not my mother tongue – I appreciate the feedback, by the way. And some stories will contain some things specific to the social context of my country, which I will try to explain; this will make my articles in Romanian not match 100% with the ones written in English. The baseline will be the same, but some specific things will probably be written differently so that the main idea remains clear for everyone.
I come from a not so wealthy family. A family in which there was no financial interest in traveling, but my parents invested greatly in books, and education, and in “What will people say?”.
Starting from the first grades of elementary school, I used to go to what was, back then, called Children’s club, a place in which children would usually go and have or learn different activities, like writing, painting, dancing, or any other activity that would keep them away from home for at least two hours a week, so the parents can have a normal life from time to time. I don’t think it exists anymore, or maybe it’s just a Facebook group where everyone posts stuff. In there, while having the help of a wonderful teacher, I’ve started learning how to write, and how to enjoy writing.
I went to competitions and to creation camps, I’ve met interesting people from this field and I have earned a few prizes. This is how I left the country for the first time: I went to Chisinau, along with some other young writers and a teacher, so that we could receive the obtained prizes. And then it all started: my willingness to travel was born.
However, it wasn’t easy, as it’s not necessarily easy now. I have chosen to continue my studies at a University that is absolutely useless to me, the type that creates unemployed people with graduation diplomas, the type that sounds good, but doesn’t teach you anything else than reading since you’re not allowed to have opinions. Obviously, this didn’t help me find a comfy job after graduation.
Still, I’ve worked since I was 18 years old so that I can help my parents not spend money for my care anymore. Some of the places I’ve worked in were very humiliating, but I’ve been learning a lot about how the world goes, at least. Let me provide some examples: I went from door to door to gather signatures for a political party that’s now dead (and it was the same also back then, but it wasn’t my fault), which provided me with the money to go to the mountains for a FULL day.
I’ve worked with a very sweet kid which had autism, provided the ABA therapy for him – this is how I was able to pay for a place in the dorm room for the next university year, and this is how I exposed all my soul to a six-year-old, and it still hurts when I think about his sweet, brown eyes. I’ve sold shoes in a store with cheap merchandise (basically, I was Al Bundy). I’ve worked in a call-center and I was trying to sell a product that was available for free on other platforms. I was a waitress at an awful and greasy bar.
I’ve worked in a casino for almost six years after I graduated: horrible job, tiring and physically challenging, with minimum intellectual challenges after you learn a few accounting concepts, but you meet all sorts of people. One advantage would be that you are able to pay the bills on time, but your personal life starts to disappear since you’re working night shifts and bank holidays. Also, the environment is what I would call toxic, considering the actual workspace and the people in it.
I had long-term relationships, but all of them were with the most unfit people for me; my only benefit in this is that I know what to avoid in other people in the future. I had (small) depressions, I’ve tried to write for some obscure websites (which was my bad, I’m still waiting for some money a guy has to send to me for some articles, which are still published), I’ve tried to sell saving plans for people who actually had money to save.
I became some sort of a trainer for the casino in which I’ve worked (it actually is quite interesting to become so good at a job you hate, that you can teach others to do it), and I’ve traveled the country to teach other employees. Until I was 26 I didn’t even see Brașov, which is a town located at a two-hour train ride from where I was living…
How did I begin?
And then, due to the amazing man that is now my husband, I landed into the IT industry. I’ve learned a lot, I’ve struggled while having the minimum wage, and I’ve created my own comfort zone, but this should not be confused with a comfortable place. I didn’t stop learning, I’m trying to continuously grow, while being aware that I have a huge disadvantage, compared to other people that have been into this industry starting immediately after graduation.
Because of him, I was on an airplane for the first time, traveling to Rome. I think I have hyper-ventilated the whole time I was in there, and I’ve dug my way into the seat separators, being the huge chicken that you’ll discover soon. After that, we’ve made a small detour, of only 2 kilometers, carrying our luggage, looking for a train station that didn’t exist anymore. That was the moment when I found out that this is the way memories and stories are born. That this is the way to have something to share about my experiences. That I should learn to double-check all information found online.
That’s how I became travel addicted. I’ve started hunting offers for amazing destinations. I even held a relaxed training at my job about how to organize, on your own, your personal dreamy vacation. I didn’t visit a lot of places, I’m sure there are a lot of other people that have visited many more. Still, while getting back and telling the stories of our journeys, I’ve started thinking about creating this place. It will not be about the quantity, how to get from A to B on a budget, or a place for me to brag about the places I’ve seen. It will be about praising the places, about telling the stories, about sharing memories and describing experiences.
What can you find here
This being said, I welcome you on board of one simple girl’s adventure through the world: I hope you’ll think it’s worth it and I also hope you’ll enjoy the ride. I cannot promise a lot for now, but the only thing that I will promise is that I will be completely honest. If you want to read more about my adventures, start with the Stories page.
Although I enjoy writing stories the most, a great chunk of my personality is my need to help others. And how can I do this better than by sharing my knowledge? Considering that I plan any trip at least a month in advance and that I’m so anxious that I plan everything in the smallest details, I thought I should share this work with others. In the end, not a lot of people will get here by searching “how did Cristina manage to get lost on the way to Rome”, but mostly by searching one of my Guides.
The Aviation world section is a new thing for me as well. After I started this site, there was a change in my life that bought me in the aviation world. And believe me, people in aviation love to travel! This is the place where I’ll put all of my tips & tricks for this area of my life as well.
I can’t say a lot about the blog for now. I just want to have a place in which I want to write everything that goes through my mind, about the destinations and not only. We’re getting ready to leave Romania, our home country, and move to Basel, Switzerland. It’ll be a great adventure and I feel I’ll want to describe and share it with others. You’ll be able to read more on my Being an expat page.