This might seem an anti-travel manifesto at first. It’s not. I can assure you that I am as wild, free, and wanderlust as one gets. However, we all need stability at one point. And like all the elements gathered here, contrasting and somewhat antagonistic, I have to confess that I’m living in and craving for two worlds: serenity and peace vs. turmoil and hecticness. Sometimes, and it might get even stranger, I need that extra dash of adrenalin, to make me aware (once again!) of how life should be lived to the full, in my humble attempt to be happy 100%.
Isn’t happiness topping every wish list of every human in every corner of the world? Disguised in different forms, it’s true, and a result of several factors. Could places be one of those factors? They sure are!
In my search for happiness through my travels, I did find those places that give me what I seek. Trying to reach that perfect balance between serenity and hecticness, I sometimes joke that I would like to teleport to Scotland every single day, to get the supply of positivity and good vibes that the people in this magical land could provide. This goes hand in hand with the mind-soothing powers of the landforms there, where every stone and every castle seem to tell a story and to have their own history.
For the adventure, I turn to Bosnia. To the inspiring nature there – mysterious yet incredibly welcoming –, to the rivers that have no equal, and to the incredible people – resilient and immensely kind despite going through the difficulties of a war they did not ask for. They are for me a constant reminder and drive to seize the day and fulfill my dreams.
For the hecticness and for everything else, I have my home: Romania. Overlooked by many travellers, adored by others, and probably stacked in a ‘former Communist curiosity’ file by some, it is enchanting in my eyes. Not only because it is my country, but because she is worth it. Only a few countries in the world provide such diversity in terms of nature, culture, and entertainment. We seem to be having it all – from majestic mountains to lost wetland canals, from time-forgotten fortresses to architectural curiosities, from adventure parks to trendy high-street clubs. And yes, from corrupt politicians, bad roads, crazy traffic to too laid back people and petty crime.
I clearly started my post-teenage years by greatly disliking some of these aspects, but something shifted on the way and I started loving even the bad things in my homeland. As I always say, isn’t this the way one should love a place – in its entirety? I like living in Romania! This is why I returned from Scotland, this is why I come back home after each and every travel. I miss the rhythm of my life here – always on the go, constantly on the run, and usually lacking time. I miss standing in line for or struggling to get official papers from public institutions. I miss the holidays, when most of us – Romanians – complain that we don’t have enough money, yet our shopping carts are overflowing with food, drinks, and presents.
And I miss those moments when we remember how patriotic we are, how proud we are to be Romanians, how hospitable we are and that – like Dorothy says – there’s no place like home. In the end, what I like and miss most when travelling is travelling back to Romania at the end of my voyages to other destinations and discovering her more attractive than ever, faults included.
About the Author: Olivia-Petra Coman is a history postgraduate student and experienced traveller, always thirsty for adventure.
I travel the world to discover its hidden treasures, I dream to get to the historical sites I’ve only explored in books, and I hope to make a difference through my work and vision of the world around me. Please follow me at my blog!
Photo © Marcel Băncilă
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