They gave up their careers of legal adviser and manager and left to travel around the world
Three years ago, Andrada – a 26 years old girl from Reghin, Romania – wrote a Facebook post saying she would like to give up her settled life and leave for an adventure on another continent. Petrișor – a 38 years old guy, manager at an international shoes company – read her post and immediately fell in love with the idea. He had the same burning desire.
On one summer day, surrounded by piles of papers in his office in Cluj (Romania), Petrișor felt limited and more unhappy than ever so he summoned up courage and started to talk to Andrada on Facebook. Andrada was not afraid to admit she was afraid. ‘I was telling him how much I wanted to leave, but I was afraid to leave alone.’ In turn, Petrișor had other fear. He wanted to travel more but he didn’t want to lose his job. ‘Anyway, he assured me he would badger until I had enough courage to leave and follow my dream,’ Andrada remembers.
A few months later, Andrada not only had the courage to follow her dream, but also took Petrișor with her. Their first journey together was a few days’ tour in Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany. Then, they hitch-hiked in the Balkans. That was the moment they decided they would give up comfort and travel together in the long-term. It was August 2016.
In December, they both one-way tickets to Asia. To have money for the first months, Andrada sold the car she had received for her 18th birthday and Petrișor took all his savings that he had gathered for some time. For him, it was not easy to go from walking to the Finance Agency to walking with a backpack.Although they learned to prioritise their needs and manage their money as well as they could, in a few months their savings came to an end. So, they looked for alternatives to make it. ‘We started to look for solutions to stop paying for accommodation. That’s how we managed to stay in Bali for 2 months, volunteering at a holiday resort just 2 minutes away from the beach. We had to stay for about 3 hours a day at the front desk and they offered us free lodging. Then, we started to work more intensely on the blog and the results appeared immediately. We had loads of beautiful collaborations.’
After approximately 6 months of travelling during which a few pages in their passports were filled with visas and they had a few dozen flights, they both felt a kind of tiredness and a slight dissatisfaction. ‘It was then that I met a person who had an English teaching centre in Vietnam and offered us 2 jobs. Without thinking too much, we accepted the challenge and embraced the unknown again. Later, we were to realise that working with children is one of the most beautiful, natural and sincere experience we’ve ever had,’ said Andrada.Until now, 21 countries hosted the two lovers. Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Italy, Slovakia, and Bosnia are just a few of them. They lived for a long while in Indonesia-Bali and it’s been 7 months now that they are living in Vietnam and plan to stay for a while longer. Andrada and Petrișor want to explore the Asian continent as much as they can and they feel that Vietnam is a center from where flights can be easily taken to Asia. They love the way they live there and Asian food completely blew their minds.Travelling as a pair has its challenges but Andrada and Petrișor are convinced that the roads kept them together and got them even closer. They both think that if they would have stayed in Romania and had the same lives as before, they wouldn’t be a couple anymore today. ‘We played our relationship at poker when we left. It was going to be either very good or end up badly. Before we left, we had all sorts of discussions and even attempts to separate, but after we started to spend time together 24 of 24 we got closer. We learnt to support each other in tense moments, because when you travel in the long-term and not only at 5-star ratings, exhaustion and discontentment arise. The good part is that we are different and when one of us looses his/her mind, the other one is patient and balances the situation. The beginning was hard because we hadn’t been living together and we had to get accustomed with the other’s habits directly on the road,’ says Andrada.
She believes that when you are away from family, friends and all emotional comfort, you get close to your partner in a different way. ‘If I were home and we would have had a fight, for sure I would have taken my things and left. My friends would have comforted me and I would have been fine, but when you are at the end of the world, like literally, you try to find a solution. It is true that we didn’t have ugly fights since we left. Just once, due to a bickering, I got angry, took my luggage and left in the port near Lombok, Indonesia. Petrișor came after me and took me home.’Their favourite place in Asia until now is Lombok, an island near Bali, where they have also lived for a while. They feel like that place is a sort of Bali 20 years ago. They see it as a virgin place, untouched by trading, where traditional spaces are not transformed in yoga centres for tourists. You can enter a local’s house and see how they live in that magnificent place between the exotic beaches and the jungle. They also love the island because everybody smiles there and has an unimaginably positive energy. It is there that they dived for the first time and swam with the big turtles.
You can find Andrada and Petrișor on the blog I believe in travelling, a nice source of inspiration and optimism. Petrișor has a great passion for coffee and in Asia he had the opportunity to visit entire coffee plantations and even volunteer there. After this experience, he even made a blog where he shares his passion with other coffee lovers.Andrada believes travelling improves education. ‘Just like you, I, too, consider that travelling means education, maybe the best and certain form of educating an authentic and free spirit. Travelling means geography, history, sociology, civic culture, economy, foreign languages, cooking – all in one. During those 2 years and more spent on the road I learnt to prioritise my thoughts and needs and to understand that sometimes I can really take some time off to unburden myself of responsibilities and enjoy what’s around me.’ Travelling means reinventing yourself. ‘For us, the word home got another dimension lately, meaning that we both lived far away and separated from our families even since we were in Romania. My parents have been living in Germany for many years now, so I understood very early what independence was and Petri left his parents’ house when he was 20 years old, studying and working for the career he had. On the road, if I think of home, long gone moments come to my mind: the moments when we were having dinner in the family, when we were waiting for the carol singers, when I was making gem with my mother. But every time I get home, I don’t find what I am looking for anymore. We left pieces of our souls everywhere we went and where we met people with whom we had a certain deep soul connection, so home could mean everywhere, as long as we are next to each other.’