Last week you've met Damian Galvin, and today you'll discover how Yvette Larsson got to Romania after 26 years since her first visit.
Born in 1972, in Gällivare, Lapland, Sweden, 100 km north of the Arctic Circle, Yvette Larsson is a Swedish teacher and the founder of The Bucharest Lounge community where she rebrands Romania, and the OneItem collection of donations initiative for the community in Valea Screzii, Prahova.
Usually based in Bucharest, she takes trips around the country.
1. When and how was your first visit to Romania?
1985, a charter trip with my grandparents and my parents. We went to Mamaia.
2. What made you stay in Romania? / Why Romania?
Now, I live in Sweden. I hope that there will come a day when I only buy a single ticket to Romania. I have tried for a long time to make a living in Romania, either by being an entrepreneur or being employed.
3. How was your experience in Romania so far? / Tell us about a little about your experience in Romania.
The more I know Romania, the more I love it. I came there the first time in 1985 and then, the second time in 2011, 26 years later. I decided to rebrand Romania. Now I think I have been there at least 25 times (lost count), since 2011. I love the people and beautiful places.
4. I assume it was challenging to move to another country. Have you given up to something?
I have never lived in Romania. However, I have been an ex-pat 13 years in other countries: île de la Réunion, southern France, London/UK, Copenhagen/DK and Norway. I went abroad because it is a passion of mine to travel and learn about cultures. I think I am born an anthropologist:-) I am fascinated by history and language and how we are all connected as human beings, rather than how we are divided by borders.
5. What was the hardest thing to do after you came here?
The hardest thing in Romania for me is to watch the corruption and also to watch how Europe doesn’t push the Romanian government to put things right.
6. What made you fall in love with Romania?
The soul of Romania, the hospitality of people, kindness, humanity, love, laughter, good food and drink, the natural sustainability thinking, taking care of resources, the strength, and endurance of the Romanian people.
7. What is the first word that comes to mind when thinking about Romania?
DOR. (means to miss something/someone in the Romanian language)
8. If you’d had to leave Romania, what you would miss the most?
I can feel the heartbeat of Romania every day, even if I am hundreds of miles away. There is not one day that I don’t think of Romania and feel it in my heart. I miss the vibe, the soul, the kindness of the people, the spirituality, the sunshine.
9. Some people say Romania is ”different”. Why is that?
Different, meaning what? I can assume what is meant, but I can’t answer what other people say.
For me, Romania is special and incomparable to any other place I know. I feel like an explorer when I am there. It feels like a hidden gem, a Pandora's box. A place where few people travel to and therefore very special.
10. Romania would be a better place if…
Corruption was eradicated.
11. 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?
I let them check out my blog and Facebook page:-) There are lots of stories and pictures there :-)
12. If not Romania, then where?
Romania and Sweden.
13. Do you have any funny travel stories?
Lots. I think I most of all have a lot of BEAUTIFUL stories. I intend to put them together in a manuscript soon.
14. What is the place that makes it THE one and why?
I can’t choose. Romania is like a smorgasbord and there is too much to choose from and I still explore it and hopefully will explore for a long time ;-)
15. What’s next?
Hopefully a job in Romania so I can move there.