For me it all boils down to these three simple reasons:
- There’s no better time than now. This one is the most mundane, and probably the most compelling in the end. We don’t have a mortgage, we don’t have kids and we have some savings. Of course, if we didn’t have the travel itch, this would also be the best time in the world to settle down and start a family. But we do, and, boy does it itch. So there’s no day like today to leave the jobs we love, the city we call home and our steal of a rent-controlled apartment with a Golden Gate bridge view… Right?! Right.
- The books. And the movies. Growing up in Romania in the ’90s, books were my best refuge from a grim and gray post-communist reality. Before MTV rocked my world, I took cover with books like the Romanian classic “Toate Panzele Sus” (All Sails Up), a travel book thinly disguised as a story about one man’s quest to find his world-wandering father. Moby Dick, Heart of Darkness and One Hundred Years of Solitude were a few other favorites, so I think it was really just a question of time for me… And then, in high school, the miracle of cable TV struck me like lightning and books were temporarily replaced by a period of binge-watching, in which i more or less managed to cram about two decades worth of Western pop culture. It was then, between MTV’s beach dance parties and reruns of Latin America’s wholesale exported telenovelas, that I discovered gems like Indochine with Catherine Deneuve, the wonderful Out of Africa and The English Patient. Indochine in particular, with its beautiful costumes and colonial decadence, made a very strong impression – South East Asia, you guessed, is BIG on out itinerary.
- The screens. They are killing me. A few months ago, after a few particularly intense weeks at work, i took stock of where i spent most of my life – and it was in front of a screen. Between reading the news on my phone in the morning, work, which is mostly in front of the computer, reading the news on my phone on the way home and watching a movie or the Daily Show in the evening, or trashy reality TV on the treadmill, I was spending a whopping 12 hours+/day in front of some sort of a screen… And what i felt was PURE FEAR. Fear that my tombstone would read “The Girl Who Read the News on a Tiny Screen” instead of “The Girl Who Hugged the World.” So there. I’m posting this, shutting down my laptop and going outside to hug the world now. Let’s hope it doesn’t sue me for harassment.Camelia, the girl who spent the nineties reading Camus and watching Muneca Brava.