Originally from Europe, I grew up in a town most often associated with a nation’s birth. Located in Transylvania, Alba Iulia is an early Roman settlement and has an impressive set of historical sites from the seven-bastion Vauban style fortress to the Batthyaneum Library that houses rare books and manuscripts.
Until I was a young teenager we could not travel abroad for political reasons. When the borders opened up, my family took a trip to Hungary to visit relatives and friends. It was a whole new world, literally. Shortly after that I went on school trips to Slovakia and France. Needless to say, I got the travel bug.
Fast-forward a few years later, I took a job as a flight attendant and for nearly two years I lived for the moment of landing on unknown territory. The planning of my layovers was a thrill: cooking class in Bangkok on Monday, shopping on Oxford Street on Wednesday, safari trip in South Africa on the weekend. But coming from Europe, the Old Continent always had a special place in my heart, so I made it a mission to learn about it as much as I can. I would have lunch in the tiniest Parisian bistro frequented mostly by locals, just to get a sense of their lifestyle, get lost on Seville’s narrow streets because I would see another bright-colored building I needed to take a picture of, or visit markets in small towns along the Mediterranean coast in order to taste local specialties.
Currently, I am settled in San Francisco and I am discovering another new world. My husband, born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, takes my familiarization efforts seriously. We go camping in the redwoods, hike on the foggy trails of the Pacific Coast, and stop for wine tasting whenever passing by a vineyard from Washington all the way down to Central California. It’s an unparalleled journey. Sometimes I stop and wish that everyone had the opportunity to have such adventures. To be part of Bellaterra, whose mission is to provide unique travel experiences, is what makes my job rewarding.