podcast episodes

Episode 14: No Limits in Jiu Valley

An adventure that started in 2012 has flourished into an inspiring place in 2021 from the minds and hearts of Felipe and Janelle Silva, from Brazil and Canada respectively. They are the founders of the Fără Limite youth climbing gym in Jiu Valley, a soulful place that supports the healthy development of the entire community. Listen to their adventures on this Wo/anderers episode.

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Episode 13: British hope in the Romanian South

A simple Google search has sent Claire off on the adventure of a lifetime. Running the “Asociatia Bunul Samaritean” in rural Galati, she has uncovered a side of Romania that not many get to know: from difficult situations with authorities to the unique, kind-hearted nature of the locals. Find out more about Claire’s Romanian journey in this Wo/anderers episode.

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Episode 12: The quirks, the crazies, and the Romanians

He has had some of the most profound conversations of his life with Romanians. Interacting with them also led him to want to go vegetarian for a couple days, see his life flash before his eyes #Romaniandrivers, and make him wonder what all those food jars are that Romanians keep getting from their moms. Vincent Joris, a Belgian-born, internationally-versed marketeer and branding expert, spends some time in this podcast episode analyzing the many quirks he noticed in Romanians. What he ends up describing is close to a fine, well-constructed psychological profile of the people, including many of their cultural and personal facets. So, sit back, sip some tea, and enjoy the conversation!

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Episode 11: Embracing beauty in Brasov

Elena Junc is a Russian entrepreneur, make-up specialist, natural perfume magician, organictarian, wife, and loving mom. She is currently living in Brasov together with her family. Her passion for aesthetics, design, fashion, and everything natural have gotten her to build her own make-up brand from scratch in Russia, which became a national success, put together special natural perfume lines, and consult world-class luxury brands like Prada and Dolce&Gabanna with their marketing actions. Now that she is in Romania, she is planning on exploring new creative directions by sharing her rich knowledge on living beautifully with the world, from this sweet place she made home. You will get a feeling about Elena’s active demeanor after listening to her talk about her experience as an entrepreneur, her transformational journey, in which Romania played a big role, how her spirituality helped her push through tough moments, including when she met her husband, how she follows a mantra called beautology in her work and more. Please enjoy the conversation!

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Episode 10: Solitude and serenity from the Carpathians

Arabella McIntyre-Brown is a British writer and journalist with deep roots in West-Sussex and a profound appreciation for Transylvania, which has been her home for the past years. Her arrival in Romania was more situational than planned, but her journey let her discover much about herself and the world. And she made the best out of it. In today’s episode, Arabella talks about what her definition of peace is and how she has found it in Transylvania, the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown in Romania, the similarities between Măgura and rural West-Sussex where she grew up, Romanians’ dark humor, how she does not consider herself a storyteller despite her writing background, how she met President Iohannis, the revival of the traditional lifestyle in Romania and more. Enjoy Arabella’s musings in episode 10!

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Episode 9: Adventures in Transylvania

Finding adventure, friendships, meaning, love, and a super-sweet cat called Sonia, all in the land beyond the forests, aka Transylvania. Julia’s relationship with Romania is nothing short of rich, to say the least. She is a buoyant soul coming from Ukraine, who has explored much of what Eastern Europe has to offer and who enjoys connecting with interesting people on a regular basis. That is how she created initiatives such as Transilventures, a community of Romanians and expats who want to enjoy the best of what Transylvania has to offer. In this episode, Julia lets us know her thoughts on why she fell for Transylvania, what binds Ukrainians and Romanians, but what also sets them apart, what she thinks of pig roasting in Bucharest, what the challenges are to settle in Romania as an expat, and more. Get your chill mood on, it’s podcast time with Julia Leescu!

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Episode 8: Hope with an Italian twist

Matteo from Italy, or Matt for short, is a youth worker and writer with a passion for positive change. A gentle young man, Matt’s purpose is to create the space for personal transformation especially around children who have less hope for life through art, travel, and non-formal education. He found himself in the summer of 2019 in Romania, teaching empathy, compassion, communication, and self-discovery to different age-groups in the village of Haghig, Covasna. The ride so far has had its challenges, from finding out a way to gain the children’s trust, although he didn’t speak their language, to dealing with harsh discrimination against the Roma community (even from the Roma community itself). Listen to Matt’s thoughts on the benefit of non-formal education for these kids, how he dealt with his first months in the country, how is it to work in rural Romania, his experience at Romanian funerals, and more. Please enjoy the conversation!

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Episode 7: Know thy neighbour

Bulgaria and Romania share so much history, so many cultural aspects, and even words (hello zacusca!). And yet, these two nations seem to have gone their own way, on a different path from one another. Instead of studying the tidbits of some far-away land, today we take a closer look at Romania’s old neighbour through the eyes of Stefan Nenov. A young marketeer and aspiring entrepreneur, Stefan has not lived in Romania, but instead, has gotten close with the Romanian people and culture, especially through work. In Episode 7, we dive deep into the common past shared by the two countries, what connects the two cultures at their core, what both Romanians and Bulgarians should learn about meeting their potential, and what actions both could take for a prosperous future. Enjoy this rich conversation with Stefan!

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Episode 6: Latvian mom meets Transylvania

Alisa State has always exuded a crazy love for life. She cannot live too far away from nature, she’s always on the go, and has more than enough energy to love and care for her beautiful Latvian-Romanian son as a single mom in Brașov. She didn’t know much about Romania before she decided to change her life forever. But the decision to explore and make Romania her home remained one close to her heart. In this episode, we dive deep into Alisa’s love for the Romanian customs and traditions, her hope for its society, what makes Transylvania so great, the Romanian education system, and what Romania can learn from Latvia in dealing with its communist past. Listen to all of that and more in episode 6 of Wo/anderers. Happy audition!

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Episode 5: From Vienna, with love

Love is the magic word for the first Wo/anderers podcast of 2020. You will hear it come back again and again in today’s episode, because love represents the glue that binds together all of the dreams, aspirations, and experiences of our podcast guest, Damita Pressl. She is a Viennese woman to the core, with dirndls, Waltzing Balls, and a typical cosmopolitan attitude to match. She found out about Romania from Harry Potter, but it was love that immersed her in this culture for good. In today’s special New Year’s episode, we will talk about Damita’s love for Bucharest, why she thinks Romanian is an easy language to master, political corruption, the Colectiv case, and more. Enjoy the conversation in Episode 5: From Vienna, with Love

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