This was the ad that I read in “Piata A-Z” 4 years ago. I met Brian in Cluj, in Zeta Cafe for an interview for a part-time job. He was living in Romania for 5 years and fell in love with Cluj. Back then, I just came back from Greece and I was eager to gain any international experience, especially in my hometown.
During my travels I met many important people who changed my life. All of my articles are a combination of what they taught me. Today, however, I decided it is time to be more specific and express my gratitude directly to them, by sharing their stories. From now and then, I will post stories of the people who helped me grow into the person I am today and made my Erasmus experiences around the world extraordinary.
Are you a student and you can’t get a job because everybody is asking you „for experience” and „for your diploma”? I know… how the hell are you supposed to have experience if you are just starting at 20 years old?
However, there is still hope. There is a way you can impress your future employer. The key is to use your current school program as a mean to gather experience.
Have you ever thought that you can actually make 10.000$ or more if you are a student? You don’t need to wait to open your business in order to feel rich. You can start working abroad, travel, save and come home to reinvest. I made a plan 2 years ago and I can finally say I have achieved my goal. Do you want to know how I did it and how you can also achieve this master plan?
Q&A Word Traveler
I am Ioana, 24 years old and I visited 22 countries during my University studies. I’m all about Erasmusing around the world and when I’m not out there, I’m busy with marketing and tech stuff. I was born and raised in Cluj-Napoca, a small coquette city in the heart of Transylvania, with nothing more than a passion, a laptop and a dream.
Are you passionate about traveling, enthusiastic about studying and you’ve heard about exchange programs, but have no clue where to start? Have you always wanted to build an impressive resume, but you hate traditional school and boring jobs? Do you want to build a multicultural background, but you don’t want to ask for your parent’s money?
Have you chosen Lisbon as you next Erasmus destination? Do you want to live like a local from your very first day? It might be difficult if you don’t know anybody. Luckily, I have been there before you. Here are 16 Lisbon tips, that I have been learning during my stay there:
My life will die soon. That’s because every time I leave a place, I feel like I am dying. In a few weeks, my life in Lisbon as an Erasmus student will be gone. And everyone who ever met me, will look back and realize I was just a dream.
One of the saddest lessons that traveling will teach you is that life goes fast. Now you’re here, now you’re there, now you’re gone and everywhere. Traveling will teach you the lesson of living 100% in the present and enjoy every moment of it. Because just when you’ll get too comfortable, love the city, find your rhythm or meet someone, you’ll have to leave everything behind.
“What’s your name?” trouble question.
Trust me. Being always on the road and studying as an Erasmus student brought me in front of many new people. And many people equals many names (BONUS: foreign names). When you see yourself surrounded by colorful people from all over the world, keeping in mind all the different names can be very overwhelming.
I remember one embarrassing situation when I could not keep in mind a 4 letters name and had to give my phone to the person in front of me to write it in the agenda. When I saw that he kept in mind mine, I was even more embarrassed. If you are always in contact with new people and you struggle keeping in mind their names, this article might be for you.
At the age of 25, would you rather travel or focus on your career?
When I had to make this choice, somebody asked my mother:
“Wouldn’t it be a shame if she just keeps traveling and never ends up having a career?”
“It would be a much greater shame if she just keeps working and never ends up traveling!” my mom said.
Today, I am 25.
This beautiful age comes with so many uncertainties, questions, and decisions to make: should I stay, should I leave again, what if another travel will make me miss important opportunities at home, what if another travel will help me discover the real purpose of life, what if it will bring me a business idea, what if it will teach me the lessons I need to be thought?
Leaving home again can be pretty tempting. There were times when I wanted to do anything for travel. I quit jobs, I stayed away from my family, I worked hard…
When I look back, I see my „all is perfect” life. My „perfect traveler’s life” that was built with the help of power, strength, ambition, immune feelings, impossible friendships and „You can’t give up now” thoughts.
I built some biiiig walls in order to get here. :)
So now, it is time for a change. It is time to let those walls down and enjoy home. It seems that today I do not have to make a choice between traveling and the rest. This age milestone is one of the happiest milestones ever.
Being home means listening to my heart.
And stopping to run away.
The truth is… you can never make your heart shut up. You can pretend you are not listening, but she will always stay there and scream about what she believes about the life and this world.
There’s no wonder why they say „ Home is where your heart is”. It’s only by stepping out of your world that you can see what you deeply care about and find a home.
When you are surrounded by the foreign, it keeps you awake. All your senses are on, and you become more alert of the secret patterns of this world.
It’s like when you hike the mountains.
The whole road to the peak is full of choices: left or right, choose the easy climb or the climb with the beautiful scenery, put your rain coat on or dance in the rain?
You have all your troubles, fears and hopes in a backpack.
You have to watch your steps.
You have to manage your food for a few days.
You need to pay attention to your body reactions.
You need to watch out for bears :)
Be aware. Be strong. And don’t let anything destroy you.
This can be damn tiring and hard.
That’s why my heart tells me to stop for a while.
Accept the challenges from home.
And enjoy THE REAL life.
1st Good News is that…
Home is not the place where you happen to be born, but the place where you become yourself.
As Marcel Proust said: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new sights, but in looking with new eyes”.
I chose to see my home with new eyes.
We all need to stop movement for a while.
Because it is only by stopping the movement that we can see where to go next.
Plus, this whole movement idea has a meaning only if you have a home to go back to.
And I do.
2nd Good News is that…
Everything happens in life at the right timing. Every loss comes with a new gain. And what might seem like a bad choice, heartbreak or mistake, will finally prove to be the best thing that happened to you.
You only need to open your eyes. Get up. Even if it’s early and uncomfortable.
A day will come when everything will seem it is aligned with your heart.
And you don’t have to make choices between A or B anymore.
Because you are where your heart is.
You’ll have gratitude for your lonely traveling, for all the strangers that made you feel like home, for all the ones who broke your heart, gave you directions in life, or helped you carry your backpack.
After your long hike in the mountains…you will find your home.
3rd Good News is that…
Everything that happened once, might never ever happen again. But everything that happened twice, might as well happen the third time. That’s why we need to keep our heart open. Embrace uncertainty with open arms. Embrace both pain and happiness. When a heart stays open, beautiful things can happen…
P.S “There is only one way of learning, said The Alchemist. Through action. Your trip taught you everything you needed to know…”
P.P.S There’s only one direction. Ahead.