About wo/anderers

Get to know more about this podcast's DNA

Our story

Wisdom begins in wonder.

It requires time and energy to get invested in other people’s stories, but I do in my heart of hearts believe that you emerge a better and smarter human as a result of taking that time.

Every time somebody decides to pack up their bags and travel to a new place that has a new culture, in the hopes of discovering something new – that is in itself an act of bravery. The deed exudes even more character when people enter the experience with an open heart and a ready mind. I call these people wo/anderers and they are amazing.

A wo/anderer – from the verb “to wonder”, which means “to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe, to marvel”, and the noun “wanderer”, which translates into “nomad, adventurer, explorer”. A person who embraces life in a curious, open and adventure-minded way. 

The project, which shares the namesake of these people, was born out of simple, yet impactful interactions between Romanians and internationals. At work, during volunteering projects, going out for beers, on dates, our lives have never lacked a healthy dose of internationalism. We don’t live in isolation. If you think so far back to the dawn of man, different cultures have always clashed and mixed, only to discover each other’s quintessence in the end.

As people, we love to share. It’s just natural.

It’s time to dedicate some space to understanding and celebrating these beautiful moments between Romania and the rest of the world. Not only from a geopolitical perspective, but most importantly, from a personal point of view – because, in the end, these are the relationships that build the bigger picture.

At the same time, internationals who decide to make Romania part of their story would need a proverbial common campfire, to share their continuously changing experiences. Romania offers the unique opportunity to discover one’s self better, through both magical moments and serious challenges. So, instead of praising an imagined paradise or condemning the country to a one-sided caricature of itself, wo/anderers wants to get the fuller story out into the open. Only by paying attention to what is genuinely going on can we access our wise, inner awareness. And as we step into ourselves more, through our culture, heritage, and history, but also through just who we are as people, we can open up to becoming better versions of ourselves – and imagine a better, more human future.

This plan starts with a podcast, but who knows where the future might lead us? In the end, one thing is crystal clear: wo/anderers is a celebration of people, looked at through the age-old culture of Romania. We hope you enjoy the stories!

Yeah, I wish I'd have such gear for this. 2020 goals!

Behind The Mic

I look at my projects the same way I look at my cats. With love.

Daniela Dandes

Show host, producer, story seeker

Hi there,

My name is Daniela, the mind and heart behind the mic at Wo/anderers. I’ve always been close to the international scene back in Romania – from working together with people from other backgrounds to volunteering on international projects to my most personal of relationships coming from the other side of the world. What is interesting is that every time I talked to someone who chose to experience Romania with an open heart, I’ve heard some of the most touching and inspiring stories.

Stories of people in love, of souls who were lost and found themselves again in my home country, of revolutionaries from 1848, city builders (see modern Galați), entrepreneurs, family makers, politicians, community organizers, mayors, shepherds, diplomats, you name it. All these accounts form a web of interconnected moments that shape Romania’s past, present, and future. And yet, there wasn’t any space on the interwebs that was dedicated to this special relation between the Romanian culture and the world – at least, not in this personal way.

That is the plan with this space: to offer a deeper, better starting point to explore the lives of internationals who are and have been close to Romania. In the end, through others, we can discover more about our truest selves.

Hope you enjoy the show!

The Wo/a mission

Guiding the world towards real, timeless discovery. Personally, culturally, through stories of the past and the wisdom of the present.

Our guiding values

Genuine curiosity

It orients us in our connections, by opening us and the other up to whatever is about to unfold. When we are interested, we are showing our appreciation for the other, while also learning more about ourselves and the world.

Openness towards discovery

This translates into exploration through equanimity. Saying yes to the adventure, to the conversation, to listening more. That is how we end up broadening our horizons in a meaningful way.

Respect for tradition

A people rich in meaningful, age-old traditions is a rich folk. They help us know who we are, where we come from. They lend us a way of understanding the universe, and anchor us into a deeper, human sense. Traditions keep what is beautiful tied to its real, raw authenticity.

Being human

We are accepting who and where we are in the present moment. We embrace our behaviors, thoughts, and actions with grace. We allow our humanity to shine, while acknowledging the less shiny that exists in all of us.

Special thanks

It takes a village to raise a child, an old African proverb tells. In the case of Wo/anderers, these special people were this mythical village. These creatives were generous enough to share their talents with you and me through their Wo/anderers work, each in their own special way. So, give it up for:

Guido

from Argentina

For his website wizardry, podcast editing, and overall close support. Nothing would stand without you, babe. :*

Liuda

from Russia

For her keen and colorful eye, the entire design direction, and her child-like wonder and enthusiasm.

Vlad

from Moldova

For his slick fingers and musical genius, for the awesome show tune, and for his openness and generosity.  

Don't forget to #JoinTheWo/ander

Keep up with our Eastern European adventures and discoveries. Your daily inspiration is only one click away!