Odessa Toma Interview

Tourist in Romania


Our campaign From Tourist to Local came to an end. Odessa Toma Interview is the last article. Enjoy reading another beautiful and inspiring story from a tourist who became a local.

Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A., Odessa Toma is a full-time mom (a domestic engineer) for her 3 kids. Now, she’s staying in Beștepe, Romania, near Danube Delta.

Odessa Toma Interview:

1. When and how was your first visit to Romania?

I first came in Romania in January 2009.


2. What made you stay in Romania? / Why Romania?

Relocated to help my mother in law and for the kids to know their family here.


3. Did you come alone or with someone?

I came with my husband and our 3 kids.


4. How was your experience in Romania so far? / Tell us a little about your experience in Romania.

My experiences here have been great.  Healthy food and environment.  Friendly people.

5. I assume it was challenging to move to another country. Have you given up to something?

Biggest challenges were learning the language and adapting to differences in social etiquette.  I miss the most seeing my family & friends and steak dinners.


6. What was the hardest thing to do after you came here?

The hardest thing to do here is like anywhere in the world: dealing with stupidity.


7. What made you fall in love with Romania?

I fell in love with the simplicity of life here. Nothing is rushed. People take the time to enjoy their life.


8. What is the first word that comes to mind when thinking about Romania?

The 1st word I think of when I think of Romania: Old World Charm.


9. If you’d had to leave Romania, what you would miss the most?

Hard to say what I would miss if I left. I might say my wonderful friends and neighbors for sure. Oh! And definitely borș. (Romanian soup)


10. Some people say Romania is ”different”. Why is that?

Romania is different because it just is. The people here still do things the old way. They embrace their old traditions and remedies, things that have been gone in Occidental countries for decades.


11. Romania would be a better place if...

Romania would be better if her politicians would stop selling her to wealthier countries thereby making them richer and Romania and its people poorer.


12. I think many people said to you ”why would you go to Romania” or ”where is Romania” and so on and so forth... If someone would like to come to Romania what would you say to them?

If you want to come, COME. People here are awesome. They love foreigners and like to feed them with local and traditional dishes. The country is beautiful, the air clean.  Just avoid driving in Bucharest, that place is a nightmare to drive in.


13. If not Romania, then where?

If not Romania, one should definitely see Italy. It's gorgeous. Expensive, but gorgeous.


14. Do you have any funny travel stories?

When we flew over my youngest was 18 months old.  I had my girls in front of me (ages 4 & 6). I had my purse and diaper bag on my shoulder and in my arms all of our coats. As I walked down the aisle to our seat my bags slipped down off my shoulder and were hitting people as I passed...I was MORTIFIED.  I kept saying "I'm sorry" as I passed, but as the plane was leaving Amsterdam and heading into Bucharest I wasn't sure if they understood.


15. What’s next?

What's next for me? Get my kids through school and off to college, then I and hubby will enjoy our Golden years tending our garden, making wine and traveling.

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