Toronto. Istanbul. Bucharest. Brasov.
After many, many hours of travel, I am now finally in Romania!
I didn’t really give a lot of details about why I decided to come to Brasov before I left, so I thought I’d give my best answer to that question now.
What am I doing here?
The answer is that I am a journalism student. One thing I get asked a lot when I tell people that is “oh, so what kind of journalism do you want to get into?” I never know how to answer that question, other than I’m not really into the whole traditional reporter thing.
- One thing I know about myself is that I love to learn, and I’m best at active learning. That means that I learn best when I immerse myself in a situation where I have to actively DO something new. I need to stretch myself. I’m really good at writing essays and listening to lectures too, but I always feel a little unfulfilled once the essay is submitted or after I sat in a lecture for two hours. I need substance. I need to actively use my brain.
- To get from point A to point B, you have to actually get up and move from point A to point B. If I don’t want to be a traditional journalist, I understand that I am probably better suited to freelancing. Freelancing doesn’t work unless you dive in and motivate yourself to actually produce content.
This is what this whole trip is about: exploring a new place so that I can learn about the world and about myself. I’m really trying to go into this with a learning mentality. I really want to share what I’m learning, too, and document my travels in a variety of ways.
If there is one thing I’ve always been an advocate for it is pushing yourself out of your comfort zone into the direction of the person you want to become. I’ve found that I’ve slowly been settling into a really comfortable place in life, which is fundamentally fine, but also makes me a little bit restless. I haven’t felt truly uncomfortable in a while and I need to do something a little bit different so I can grow.
Another thing I’m figuring out is that I don’t have to wait for permission to do something. I’m terrible at this. I am generally the type of person that will let you go ahead of me in line, or I’ll constantly apologize for nothing. Maybe this is my Canadian politeness, maybe it is just me: either way, I see this creeping into my work in subtle ways. Nobody is going to grant me legitimacy. It’s my work and the quality of it that grants me legitimacy. You can wait for a degree or that perfect job or whatever, but at a certain point you need to start telling yourself that you and your work are valuable and live like it.
Like I said, I’m still growing in this and I have a long, long way to go. It is something I understand logically, but I need to get over myself and actually do it. This is another giant reason why I came here, alone, to a totally different country.
I wanted to go somewhere that I don’t know much about and isn’t a super popular place to go. I wanted to venture off the beaten path a bit. Again, I want to learn, and in order to learn, I have to go somewhere where there is a lot of room to learn.
What will I be doing here?
I’m volunteering to write in the English section for a small magazine here called “The Village.” (“Satul” in Romanian). I’ll also be taking pictures, writing articles, exploring, and attempting to share as much of my experience as possible.
The part I don’t know how to deal with:
Let me be honest and say that the question I always have trouble responding to is when people ask me if I’ll be taking donations to pay for this trip. Initially, I wasn’t really going to ask for money, since this is more of a personal trip.
HOWEVER, I still get people asking me if they can donate or help out. That’s awesome. I love and appreciate that. I’ve set up a Go Fund Me account if that is something that you want to do- but please, no pressure.
Tomorrow I’m going to head out and explore a little more with my camera on my own, but I did get to wander around town a bit today to get my bearings. What I see so far is a very unique and beautiful place coming out of a tough history.
I’m still figuring out the general feel of the place, too. I’m absorbing it all and I find myself saying “interesting” a lot. There’s a lot of rich history around me. That’s not something you encounter the same way when you live in Canada like I do. Now, the house I’m living in is older than Canada (it’s an old medieval Saxon fortification). There are old churches everywhere and the architecture is fascinating. You can see so much old tradition mixed with modern at the same time. I think that is why I keep saying that it is a unique place.
That’s about all so far. This week is set aside for exploring, planning articles I’ll be writing, and then writing another article about my first impressions once I look around a little more. Thank you to those who have been so supportive and encouraging about my trip!