It seems like we’ve been talking about slowing things down and having more of a base for over a year now. We tried out Mexico, but that didn’t really tick all our boxes. We briefly entertained the idea of truly going home and setting up our base in the US, but after only a couple of weeks it was clear to us this was probably not going to happen. In the end, it came down to either Prague or Romania. When a friend living in Prague told us that it has been nearly impossible to find English-speaking teens for her son, that took Czech off the list.
We’ve been back in Romania for about a month now. As we stepped off the plane, we looked at each other and said “It’s nice to be home.”
Our biggest challenge has been trying to settle on a city to live in. The last time we were in Romania, we checked out a bunch of cities and ended up choosing to remain in Brasov as Tigger wanted to live in a smaller city. After a couple of months in Brasov, I felt the challenges of living in a smaller town more.
While I’ve spent most of my life in smaller towns, I’ve always been close enough to a big city that it worked out well. With Brasov being a 2 hour 45-minute train ride from Bucharest, it isn’t nearly as convenient as I’d like. I’ve grown to appreciate larger cities and love being somewhere that has a lot of events, cultural opportunities, choices in food, better shopping, etc. And since we are still traveling, just taking fewer and shorter trips, we really need to be closer to an airport.
Living almost 3 hours away from an international airport just doesn’t appeal to me.
We moved around Bucharest for a few weeks before finding a place we liked enough to stay for at least a month. We’re a bit north of the city now. It’s kind of nice, though, as we can get downtown in about 20 minutes but we’re away from the hustle and bustle. And it’s only about a 15-minute bus ride to the airport.
Bucharest hasn’t stolen our hearts in the way Brasov did, though. It just doesn’t have the quaint charm we loved so much there. So we’ve wrestled with the decision about where to stay. We recently returned to Brasov, along with some friends (another traveling family), and in some ways it challenged my resolve to remain in Bucharest.
It completely changed Tigger’s decision.
As we rode the train back to Bucharest, I couldn’t help think of how much variety we have here and how many social opportunities exist in Bucharest. Last week, if I had wanted I could’ve been out at least 4 nights being in some group or other.
We just don’t have that same possibility in a smaller town.
Then there is the access to many restaurants. In fact, the shawarma place that is across the street from our apartment has the best shawarma I’ve ever tasted. There is a decent Mexican place that isn’t far away, as well as other ethnic cuisines that I would not be able to find in Brasov.
And when you compare 15 minutes to more than 3 hours from the airport. . .
As Tigger and I discussed it, he agreed that Bucharest was probably a better fit even though we adore Brasov. Besides, nothing says we can’t do a monthly 2-day trip up to Brasov. It can be our regular little getaway from the city.
Now that we kind of have a base and kind of know where we’ll be for awhile, I’ve been able to secure some press trips and to take part in some campaigns that should hopefully include some interesting travel opportunities. In May, it will be time to refresh our allotted time in the country, so we are hopping over to Italy for a few days. It’s so fun to be able to just up and visit another country for a few days. Our plane tickets, which included priority boarding for 2 people each way, were less than $170 USD for the roundtrip journey.
We’re going to give Wizz Air another try. *crosses fingers*
In July, we’re going to Paris to celebrate my birthday and from there we’re heading to Luxembourg for a few days before returning to Bucharest.
We’ve accepted a house sit caring for a couple of cats outside London at the end of December, so we’ll get to enjoy the London Christmas markets. We may head up to Scotland for New Year’s. Or Ireland. Or somewhere else.
We’re both enjoying being able to be more settled and to be able to travel with carry-ons only. And after all these years of bouncing around the world, it’s nice to have a place to return to at the end of a trip, to have a place where you feel you belong.
Going home is rather enjoyable.