Travel Blogger in Romania | Episode #6: Alyson – World Travel Family
Hello, everyone! We had a fun ride until now with the travel bloggers we’ve met through the campaign. Now it’s time to say hello to Alyson, the sixth person of our Travel Blogger in Romania
Meet Alyson of World Travel Family and Simple Life Romania blogs. She’s originally from Wales, but she has spent 8 years living in London and 7 living in Australia and her husband is Australian. After we talked with her, she said her arrival in Romania was by chance (more about that on her blog).
1. How long have you been traveling for?
All my life, the travel bug bit me 20+ years ago, but we have been traveling full time now, with the children, for almost 3 years.
2. Are you a backpacker/long-term traveler/business traveler or do you live and work abroad?
We do a little of everything, we love backpacking, obviously, we are long-term travelers, but we enjoy luxury travel, budget travel, cruise ships, small group tours and longer stays. Different places and times call for different types of travel.
3. How many countries have you been to?
I think I’m just coming up to 50, the children are on 31, they keep count more accurately than me.
4. Quickfire questions:
Favorite season? – Autumn, I missed seasons like crazy when we lived in tropical Australia.
Beach or mountain? – Both. But you’ll never catch me just lying on a beach, I like to be busy.
Urban or rural? – Both. I love big cities like London and Bangkok, but I also love country life and small villages.
Next destination on your list? – Nepal. We’ve been before, 15 years ago, but we feel we owe it to the Nepali people to go there soon and help them win their tourists back after the devastating earthquake. We’ll be there, and in Dubai, India and Sri Lanka, this year.
5. How did Romania find its way on your list of destinations?
Purely by chance. We were invited here to help with some publicity work. We were due to be flying from India to Nepal, but the earthquake happened and the airports were closed, so we ended up coming to Romania instead.
6. Expectations vs. reality in Romania
We had no expectations. Transylvania, bears, and food were the only things that sprang to mind. We knew nothing of Romania.
7. How was your experience with the traditional Romanian food?
We absolutely love it! Give me a plate of sarmale and I’m very happy indeed, and the mustards, soups, and mici are superb. My husband is an executive chef, he’s taken a sarmale making class from a village cook, they’re quite an art form!
8. How did the Romanian people seem to you?
Our first experience was in a guest house in Bucharest. Our hosts were delightful, such friendly helpful people. It was one of our best guest house stays anywhere in the world. Here in the village, the language barrier makes life difficult, although the children and I are picking up Romanian fast, even with communication difficulties we have been welcomed, almost adopted by one family. They help me so much, they see how useless I am at chopping wood and just help me, rescue me. They invite us to church functions, into their homes, and to special occasions. It’s really lovely, kind, welcoming people.
9. Regarding this, did you make any friends in Romania? Do you keep in touch with anybody from Romania?
Well, we’re still here and will be for a long time, we hope, so yes, we will have friends.
10. Do you have any funny travel stories from Romania?
The funniest thing for us is the hitchhiking. We’ve slowed down at junctions and people have just hopped into the car. We can never really communicate, but we get by somehow. Now we just pick up hitchhikers all the time, it’s the country way, sharing and helping each other.
11. Did you convince anyone to travel to Romania?
Well, our websites are well read, we have over 100,000 visits per month and interest in Romania is high. We’re opening a lot of eyes to how beautiful, fascinating and amazing Romania is.
12. What is your least pleasant experience in Romania?
Giant Hornets! They freak us all out, but thankfully they’re pretty docile, they don’t seem to sting just for fun as Asian Hornets do.
13. Could you ever live in Romania?
We do! We’ve bought a traditional village house to restore. We hope to make Romania our base from which we will continue to travel. We fell in love with this little village and the way of life here, it’s simple, rewarding and fascinating. We’re also keen to help preserve the traditional village houses, gates, and crafts, they’re disappearing too fast, even up here in the far north.
14. Do you have any pieces of advice or tips for aspiring travelers?
Do it, travel. It’s the best thing you can possibly do, if you don’t, you’ll regret it.
15. Do you believe in vampires?
Yes, I’d love to meet one. I’ll bring the garlic.