I created the “Travellers’ Tales” section to give my readers and other travellers an opportunity to talk about their travels. Today I would like to introduce you to Joanna Roua, a travel blogger and traveller from Romania, but currently living in the United Kingdom. Visit her blog at The World In My Pocket.
I would love to hear about your travels too. Go to “Travellers’ Tales” , fill in the quick questionnaire and email it to me with your blog links.
Read about Joanna’s travels here,
- Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a 29 year old traveller from Romania, but currently living in the United Kingdom. I have travelled since I was little, first with my parents inside my country and later by myself, outside Romania. I am quite a bohemian kind of person, I love photography and I adore cats. I am the proud owner of two cats, Tommy and Mika, which unfortunately are living far away from me, back in Romania. When I travel, I try to get involved in the local communities and experience even a day in their way of life. During my trips, my focus changed from seeing a place to experiencing it, together with its people and culture.
- What is your earliest travel memory?
My earliest travel memory is from when I was probably around 3 or 4 years old. My parents took me to the seaside in my home country, Romania. I remember playing in the water and have walks on the promenade. On the way back, I remember stopping at some of their friends, who had a huge garden (or maybe it was little, but I was small too), with 2 chickens that I used to chase. In the back they also had a horse. Even if I only recall few memories, I do know that I was fascinated by the trip.
- Where was your last holiday?
My last big holiday was in Cuba. I had an amazing time there and for me, it was a very personal trip too. As we know, Cuba is still a communist country and visiting it brought to life all the stories my grandmother used to tell me. Romania has been under communism until I was 2.5 years old. I don’t remember anything from those times but my grandma used to always tell me about the good and the bad. Surprisingly, there were good parts too. And I discovered these good parts in Cuba. It was a very emotional trip for me.
- What was the best thing you did there?
Do you believe in coincidences? I was in line, at a store, trying to buy a bottle of water. A man behind me said something in Spanish to me, but I didn’t really understand what. I left, went to my casa to sleep and in the evening I went back for a walk, in a different area. At some point, on the other side of the street, I saw the same man, waiting for the bus. He recognised me too and he offered to be my guide for the evening. It was amazing! He would speak in Spanish, I would speak in Italian, and we understood each other somehow. The next day he took me to visit his sister and her family. I was welcomed with open arms in their family and got to fully taste the Cuban hospitality. I was overwhelmed with kindness!
- What was your best holiday ever? Why?
It’s hard to say. I would have to choose between backpacking in Peru and going by train from Romania all the way down to Vietnam, crossing Ukraine, Russia, Mongolia and China on the way. And flying from Vietnam to Malaysia, because the land sort of finished there.
Both were amazing experiences because of the beautiful people I’ve met on the way and because of the things I experienced there. In Peru I took part in an ayahuasca ceremony, in the Sacred Valley, I’ve sand boarded on the dunes of Ica desert, I’ve watched condors fly above my head and almost broke my knees hiking for 5 days to Machu Picchu (all worth it though!). In South East Asia I’ve spent 4 days in the Gobi Desert, learning the humble way people live there, I cycled along Avatar-like mountains in China, I experienced a Russian sauna in Siberia and then jumped in the almost frozen Lake Baikal. I rode a motorbike for the first time in my life in Vietnam and I swam above friendly sharks, in Malaysia. (Ed’s note – Wow!)
- What is your favourite travel destination?
It’s hard for me to choose a favourite travel destination. If I would have to make my choice based solely on landscape, I would pick Norway.
- What must one do there?
While in Norway you have to go hiking. The mountains are stunning and the views breath-taking. Many times you will find that you are alone, surrounded by nature, with no other people around. It’s like that entire scenery is there just for you.
- Who is your favourite travel companion/s?
I usually travel by myself. Sometimes I take my little toy penguin, Pingu, to join me. J
- Name one item you must have when travelling.
My camera. I am an amateur photographer and I never go on trips without it. And toys for the children I meet on the way, in poor countries. (Ed’s note: Great idea!)
- Your best travel advice?
Always trust your instinct and stay safe. There is no need to take risks when traveling. You want to have a great experience, not get hurt.
- The one place you want to visit before you die?
This is an easy one: The South Pole!
- How can people connect with you?
Thank you, Joanna , for sharing your fascinating travels with us!
I would love to hear about your travels too. Go to “Travellers’ Tales“, fill in the quick questionnaire and email it to me with your blog links.