We, Alexandra, Giulio and Raluca first met in 2009. Raluca and Alexandra were good friends since their days as students in Bremen, Germany and Alexandra had recently met and fallen in love with Giulio.
Our friendship is based on the fact that we share similar values, believe in the same things, and aim towards the same goals. As we have grown older we have only come to realize how important each of these things is to us. Needless to say, we have a lot of fun working together, in fact, it never feels like work!
In 2015, as our business grew, our team also got bigger. Giulia joined at the beginning of 2015 while Andreea started working with us in the spring of 2015; they both not only share the philosophy of our business but are developing it with their own experiences. We now have an established office in Timisoara and one in Bucharest with team members constantly traveling between the two but also spending time on the road doing research.
Get to know us better from the answers below!
1. Name one thing you absolutely enjoy doing?
- Raluca: Dancing! I love to dance any time, to any kind of music. When I dance, I get a feeling of total freedom - I feel good inside no matter what my mood is. It’s liberating, my body becomes one with the music and I flow with it. Even writing about it makes me feel good ☺
- Giulio: Entertaining people. We call it "playing the monkey" in the shop/restaurant where I work. Like little cymbal banging monkey toys we get our charge on the back and we go and play the drums. Of course, we try to be less monotone and a bit more human, the comparison must be seen with the “toy eyes”. I have real fun welcoming and entertaining people!
- Alexandra: Singing. That is, just to keep in line with the rest of the entertainment provided by our team :). I have been singing all my life, and every time I produce sound and it works out well I feel like there is actually some magic happening through me, and I find myself as much an observer as anyone else.
- Andreea: Reading! I love to read and I have inherited this from my mother. I love books and I don’t think I will be able to turn down the hardcopy for a more technologized way of reading ever. I dream about having a cozy library and spending days in there. Unfortunately, time is not my best friend in this matter, at least for now, but I will start working on a project in this area 🙂
- Giulia: Eating…and cooking. They sound like 2 things, but in my opinion they are strictly connected. Indeed, I am always amazed by the chemical magic of food combinations and it makes me so proud to then taste what I have done. But I also love food cooked by others!!! Indeed, food for me has a connective power: it helps reinforce relationship and dynamics within family and friends.
- Laura: I grew up in a room full of books, so my first impulse was to answer: reading. The only problem is that lately I find myself too busy to be able to do it often, but the passion is still there. So I started collecting books, in the hope of reading them when time allows. The Japanese have a word for it, it’s called “Tsundoku”, which means exactly that: buying books and letting them pile up, unread.
- Raluca: Being around people from all over the world. I have learned that despite the things that make us different, like skin color, language, culture, preferences, etc., we are very united. Seeing this unity that we all share in being human has given my already strong faith in peoples' good nature a huge boost.
- Giulio: Death. It touched me more than once and it often made me realize that the moment should never be lost. It may sound banal and romantic but it's instead very practical. Like my mum used to say "chi ha tempo non aspetti tempo", don’t do tomorrow something you could do today.
When I put this into practice it really gets me to do my best.
- Alexandra: I had been a complete atheist until I had this tremendous fight with my mother. She had done some courses on healing and we had a clash. Deciding whether to give up my relationship with her and to deem her “out of her mind” was one of the toughest choices I had to make; after “screaming and kicking”, I chose to listen to what she had to say.
I’d say that cracking the window that cold night opened up a world for me. I now see things beyond what they look like and I look for deeper meanings to what happens to me than just chance or bad luck.
- Andreea: Discovering the 'world we live in' was the best thing that could happen to me. And by the 'world we live in' I mean the COSMOS. Being able to love, learn and understand the macro system in which we live our tiny lives every day, changed my whole perspective on life, death, day-to-day problems, faith, and so on.
The universe is an extremely dangerous place and for us to have evolved on this beautiful planet it took a 'Swiss watch' like system of conditions. I am grateful to be a part of this energy every day.
- Giulia: I have to agree with Giulio, death impacted my life more than anything else, and pretty much broke my adolescently bubble. It helped me recognize the value of people and things around me and not to stop at their appearance only. I got less superficial and more self-aware. I also started enjoying more every little thing of life, from the taste of coffee in the morning to the love of my friends and family. I do not take anything for granted anymore.
- Laura: My life changed when I realised I don’t want to spend my days locked inside a cubicle, waiting for the weekend to come. As a teenager, I imagined my grown-up self working and prospering in a powerful multinational company, meeting important people and making important grown-up decisions. It all changed a few years ago when I found myself sitting at my fancy corporate desk, cashing in my corporate paycheck, and being completely miserable. So I decided to start doing what I love, and never compromise on the quality of the people I surround myself with. I haven’t regretted it once.
- Raluca: For me traveling seems to be deep in my DNA. I love traveling whether it's actually going somewhere or just traveling in my mind. It helps me think and get to know the world, it gives me perspective, it balances me.
I actually think everyone is a traveler, it’s part of who we are. We are curious, we like to learn, and we like to try out new things even if we don’t always welcome change.
- Giulio: I believe that the curiosity for the far away and exotic is inside us. "L'erba del vicino e'sempre piu'verde" we say in Italy; “the grass is always greener on the other side”. It says a lot, just a little change in scenery may make a big difference. Since it's not ours it's automatically better. Imagine to change continent or simply state and see how the same things can be done in completely different manners.
This is, I guess, the importance of traveling; we discover that no matter where we are people have the same needs, fears, and happy moments. We are all the same and I think that we all secretly like to travel to discover that we feel the same.
- Alexandra: Well, what is traveling? Not traveling is staying still. I travel because I get sad not to move. I started traveling in search for a better place to study and live. I have had that in the back of my head on all my trips: would I be happy living here? Would I move here? In the meantime I found my resting spot… for a while. And we are actually working on the next stop already, which also came out of and with a lot of…traveling: Transylvania.
But I will continue visiting places to keep my perspective on the world as complete as possible. Staying still limits your understanding, your range of reactions, your vocabulary and your fantasy. These are I guess my constant reasons for traveling.
- Andreea: I think we, humans, like to travel out of curiosity first of all. The human brain relies on questions and answers; when we have questions, it is hard to live without knowing the answers. Then, we travel because our eyes were made to admire beauty, in every form, from architecture, to nature, to people.
I personally travel because it makes me think more, think about me and the world I live in, the opportunities I see around me, the people I meet and how everything is connected in one way or another. 'I love thinking, therefore I travel'.
- Giulia: I do not like travel… I love it. This is because experiencing other people cultures and understanding them opens our minds, it makes us richer. I also love the concept of different languages, listening to people speaking with different sounds and composing their phrases using different orders compared to what I use, for example.
For the others, I believe there are thousands more reasons to love travelling, to name some of them I’d say the following: amazing sceneries, tasting great and different food, meeting new people, etc.
- Laura: I used to travel as a tourist. Seeing all the famous landmarks, taking the mandatory pictures, but at the same time missing my home, my bed and my food. I’m not saying this is wrong, but there is so much I missed during those travels: everything that makes a place real. I see now that there’s a huge difference between a tourist and a traveller. A traveller prefers to go off the beaten path, to engage with the locals and to see what a place looks like from a local’s eyes. To find the story. To try to speak the local language, even if just a few awkward phrases. To treat every place and every person they meet with respect, to embrace the differences between cultures.
Being a traveller is a way of life, and to say you don’t like travelling is just like saying you don’t like living.