A group of young people realized they actually live in a lovely country and set out to know it better
These young people for whom
trekking became a genuine lifestyle, have gone visiting the country gleaning
materials from all the places they visited with a view to promoting Romania's
most beautiful regions. Marian Oancea, project manager and chair of the
'Zigzagging through Romania' Association told us more about this project.
Marian Oancea: "Zigzagging
through Romania Association is a project, which was founded in 2014 with a view
to promoting Romania's natural beauties. We started out as a group of
enthusiastic young people and after a while we got organized so that we may be
able to promote the beauties of all of Romania's counties. We stay about 40
days in a county, trying to gather enough material to promote that county, such
as photos, articles, videos, which we later make available online so that they
can be used by others as well."
In the past five years these young
people have created another lifestyle, as Marian told us:
Marian Oancea: "We did
nothing else but stayed in every county, learned about the people and their
stories, and that made us to really fall in love with this country and its
Cosmina, another member of this
association told us about how she was influenced by this experience.
Cosmina: "I used to be very
lackadaisical; wouldn't go trekking in the mountains or wake up in the morning
to visit a certain tourist objective. So, I have been out of my comfort zone
for years now and that has changed me, disciplined me from many points of view.
Not that I am a very organized person now but I can see things from a different
Cosmina has also told us how this
association actually works.
Cosmina: "We actually spend
40 days in every county and trip-planning is done beforehand. We start
contacting people from the travel business area of that county in order to find
out what places are worth visiting and what stories we can learn. We are
focusing on less-known tourist objectives, which we later promote on our blog.
On the first day we go to the Information Center to see how they do tourist
promotion and we start spending three-four days in every area of that county,
be it town, village according to the region's tourist potential."
So that's how they ended up talking about 36 counties, which find their
promotion stories online. The online content needs, of course, to be updated,
so the project to which these young people have dedicated themselves does, in
effect, never end, Marian says:
Marian Oancea: "Apart from the online environment, which we are now
trying to update as much as we can, so that it is accessible to any type of
user, we'll also try to create a platform that personalises our travel
recommendations according to specific target groups to save people time and for
them not to end up visiting tourist sites that are not suitable to them. I have
seen so far 2-3,000 tourist sites and a lifetime is not enough to see
everything, so it's nice when someone helps you make a selection before you
start on your journey."
These young people really love
Romania. Here's Marian again:
Marian Oancea: "First of all, you don't need a map to see beautiful
things in Romania. The only thing you need to do is open your eyes and enjoy
what's around you and even imagine your are a local, put yourself in his or her
shoes, talk to the people, relax and start appreciating all the beautiful
things around you. I think the biggest challenge people in general face is
being able to maintain this positive vibe and see these beautiful things."
It's an experience that poses many different challenges, as Marian told
Marian Oancea: "The greatest joy was being able to embark on this
journey with our friends and having a great time whenever we visited a new
county. The least pleasant part was leaving some other friends behind, as well
as our families, who weren't very supportive of what we were doing in the
beginning and who we have managed to convince in time that we would be able to
see the whole of Romania in this way."
Marian wonders in fact:
Marian Oancea: "Why is it that young people don't appreciate this
country more? I think the answer is because their parents don't know the
country very well themselves and so they don't instil this sentiment in their
children, so that they would pass it on and embrace this Romanian spirit."
The example given by these young people is an invitation to get to know
Romania better and set about to discover it with enthusiasm.
(translated by Cristina Mateescu & bill)