Why I Decided to Move to Romania

Romania, Land of Mystery and Intrigue
Beautiful Romania

Background

Since moving to Romania from the United States a little over a year ago, the question I’ve encountered most frequently has been, “why did you decide to move to Romania?”

Of course, that’s the nice variant of the question. Other ways it’s been asked include, “are you crazy, why would you want to live here?” And, “did you lose a bet and have to move back?” As well as, “you’re joking right, you’re only here to visit, not live?” And let’s not forget, “why on earth would you trade the US for Romania?”

Those indeed are all valid questions, considering that the general attitude of Romanians is one of, “how do I make it out of this country for a better life?” There are, in fact, an estimated 4-12 million Romanians living outside of the country who left in search of greener pastures.

Regardless of what the true official number of expiated Romanians is, one thing is for certain, Romania’s population has been greatly depleted. For a country that has 20 million residents, to be missing anywhere from 4 to 12 million of your citizens is a sign that people are fleeing in massive numbers.

Why Come Here when Everyone’s Leaving?

So, it comes as no shock that the most frequent question I get asked from the people living in a country, where one of the main goals is getting out of the country, would be, “why would you choose to live here?”

There is also an extra emphasis, and an eyes wide-open approach in the way the question gets asked if the inquirer knows that I moved here from where many Romanian’s consider to be the ultimate destination, the land of dreams and opportunity, the elusive, the highly sought after, the United States of America.

Me in My Previous Home, Nashville, TN
Me in My Previous Home, Nashville, TN

I can read the confusion on their faces when they ask why I would trade the land of “Milk and Honey” for the land of “Gypsies and Thieves.” Sure, not everyone here has a negative view of their country. But the amount of people I’ve met who have disdain for it, far outweigh the number of those I’ve met who like, or even have a neutral opinion of it.

It’s thus no wonder that the people I meet here are perplexed and confused by a person who is essentially doing what to them can only be seen as opposite, and insane. After all, why would anyone want to move from a country that most Romanians would go through extreme lengths for an opportunity to be able to live in, to a country that has been abandoned by millions of ex-citizens who once called it home?

Why Trade America for Romania?

The first dozen or so times I was asked this question I actually had to pause a bit to think of how to best answer it in a way that would make sense to a Romanian local. The truth is, I do have many reasons of why I made this change, but I never actually took the time to consciously think them over more than maybe once or twice.

In fact, the process of moving to Romania went something like this. The idea of moving there entered my head one day. I then took about a week to think over the potential negatives and positives of making the change. I decided that the positives would outweigh the negatives, and that fact alone was reason enough for me to make the move.

After making the decision to go, it took me about one year to finish up preparations and to wrap up my US obligations. At the end of the year, I hoped on a plane with my one-way ticket, a single luggage, and a single carry-on, and the next day I was in Romania. At no point after making the choice to move did I have second thoughts or doubts. I felt that my reasons for trading the USA for Romania were valid and justified, and so I executed the plan.

Why move to the Land of Dacias and Mamaliga?

Romania's Dacia
Romanian Dacia

Since, after making the initial decision, I hadn’t put too much conscious thought into the reasons I chose to move to Romania, I found it a bit difficult to answer the question of why I did do so.

I felt that initial off-the-cuff attempts at answering the question were failing because the person asking it would often times seem unsatisfied or doubtful with the response I gave them. More difficult, was trying to convince those with a negative opinion of Romania (most that asked) that I’m not crazy for wanting to live here.

My initial replies to the question went something like this:

Asker: Why would you leave America to live in Romania?

Me: Because I wanted to see what living in Romania was like.

Asker: It’s horrible here, I don’t believe that you would want to live here. It’s much better in the United States.

Me: The United States has many problems as well, no place is perfect. I like Romania so far.

Asker: What do you like about Romania, the girls?

Me: Well, I like the nature, I like the food, I like the people.

Asker: The people are bad here, many are scammers and incompetent, our politicians are selling out our nature to other countries, soon we won’t have any resources left.

Me: (Starting to feel dejected) I’ve met lots of good people, no place is perfect, the politicians in the US are mostly corrupt too.

Asker: Yes but Romania is one of the poorest run countries in the world, the uneducated have ruined it, the salaries are crap… the thieves are… the roads are.. the … is … etc. etc.

Me: Well… uhm… (change subject) …so what street did you say I need to turn on to get to the mall?

This Question Never Goes Away.

After having almost identical conversations like the one above more times than I had liked to, I realized this question won’t go away. For, what I admit are valid reasons, it will probably always be the number one thing Romanians want to know about me. To avoid future awkwardness and negative leaning conversations, I decided to polish up my answer as to why I decided to move to Romania.

I wanted to come up with an answer that was precise, honest, brief, satisfactory, and left little room for further negativity. I didn’t want to include too many personal reasons or to have a very long and drawn-out reply. After all, it becomes pretty annoying being asked, and having to answer, the same question over and over again.

The last thing I want to do is spend my days in Romania trying to convince people through long detailed answers that in fact I did have legitimate reasons of wanting to move here. Keeping that in mind for myself, I came up with a quick answer to use with strangers or new acquaintances, and a more detailed answer, this very blog post, to share with close friends and family.

The Quick Answer

Asker: Why did you move to Romania?

Me: I lived my whole life in the US and want new experiences. I want to see what living in the country I was born in is like. I plan to visit all the beautiful places Romania has to offer. I speak the language. And I have relatives here that I’ve never met and want to meet.

Asker: So what do you think of Romania… what do you hate about it, the people right?

Me: Romania has many beautiful things, like amazing nature, and many good people. It also has some things I don’t like, like horrible bureaucracy, and some rude people. But all-in-all the US has many problems as well and no place is perfect, hopefully Romania continues to get better.

Asker: Romania is a great country to visit, not to live in.

Me: I liked it enough to live in it, after visiting.

Asker: Tou·ché

(They don’t REALLY say tou·ché, but they usually stop crapping on the country and the conversation takes a more positive turn from there)

The Detailed Answer

The detailed answer of why I decided to move to Romania contains many reasons I find valid enough for me to defend making the move. Some of these reasons might apply to others reading this blog, others are unique to me and my situation only.

If you’re reading this post because you’re debating on moving to Romania and want to find valid reasons for doing so, you need to keep in mind, that most, or possibly all, of the reasons I mention might not also apply to you.

With that being said, and without further ado, here are, in no particular order:

The Reasons why I Moved to Romania

Because my Work is Location Independent and Romania’s internet ROCKS!

For about the last 10 years of my life I have worked as an online freelancer. I am able to do my work from my laptop, on my own schedule, from anywhere in the world where I have internet access.

Romania just so happens to have one of the fastest, and cheapest, internet connections in the world. I could go on for hours venting my disdain for overpriced, slow, US ISPs like Comcast, and others, but that alone would fill up this page. In Romania I am no longer reliant on and stuck in the vice grips of the demonic US internet monopolies.

Cost of Living is Cheaper for me in Romania than in the US

Since I earn the same amount of income no matter where I live in the world, choosing to live in a country where the cost of living is 48.83% lower than in US, and the rent is 73.78% lower, leaves me with a substantially greater savings potential.

Although certain things are more expensive here than in the US, overall, I’ve been able to cut my cost of living drastically compared to what it was in the US.

Obtain Official Romanian Documents

Romanian and US Passport
Romanian and US Passport

To me something about owning two or more sets of valid official documents from different countries, aside from opening up opportunities, also just seems really cool. Since both the US and Romania recognize dual citizenship, I am afforded some unique abilities.

I am allowed to have a US and Romanian Passport, a US and Romanian ID Card, a US and Romanian driver’s license, and any other official document a citizen of either country is allowed to have. Moving to Romania gives me the opportunity to obtain my Romania sets of those documents.

Meeting and getting to know my Long-Lost Family

One of the main reasons I wanted to move to Romania is to be able to meet relatives I’ve never met before, and to be able to reconnect with the ones I briefly met when visiting in 2009.

I have aunts, uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins, nieces, nephews, etc. from my mom and dad’s side of the family scattered throughout Romania and Europe. Living in Romania provides me with ample time and close proximity to be able to visit and get to know my distant family which calls Europe their home.

Easier Opportunities for Travel

I’ve always loved traveling and consider it to be one of my passions. Unfortunately for US citizens, purchasing airline tickets to fly from the US to Europe is pretty expensive. Both times I had flown to Europe, in 2009 and 2010, I recall paying around $2,000 or so per two-way ticket.

Living in Romania gives me access to cheap transportation; flights, buses, trains, etc. to be able to travel through Europe at fractions of the cost compared to coming over from the US.

Now that I live here I have all the time in the world to plan and execute trips to visit all the amazing countries and sites Europe has to offer. The fact that I can also visit family members when visiting certain different countries makes everything even better.

Adventure, Excitement, Uncertainty, Challenges, Achievements

Chilling in Romania
Chilling in Romania

In the US I would often get bored of a location I was living in, and so moved to new ones periodically. I would either move to a new neighborhood, or a whole new city, on average, every one or two years, for about the last ten years.

Moving so often led me to become addicted to the rush and energetic feeling i’d get from living in a new area. I loved challenging myself to learn new zones, meet new people, and experience new situations. But as soon as the mundane settled in, and excitement wore off, I would start looking into my next destination.

After a certain amount of changing locations in the US, they all start looking the same. The enthusiasm starts to become less, and the familiarity starts to sink in faster. I felt that if moved to Romania I would have many years of excitement before anything became familiar.

The pleasure and fulfillment in discovering new places, sites, destinations, culture, history, people, food, architecture, landscapes, and nature, in Romania, is a pleasure and fulfillment I wouldn’t be able to replicate or achieve by just traveling around the US.

Taking on, achieving, surviving, and hopefully thriving in the face of the challenges I will face in Romania will also leave me feeling more accomplished and confident in knowing that I didn’t always pick the easy route in life.

Living in a foreign land away from everything that’s comfortable and familiar will provide me with huge growth and personal development opportunities.

More Options for where I want to Live

28 EU Countries

Being a Romanian citizen (by being born here) also makes me a European Union citizen. EU citizens are allowed to live and work in any of the 28 other EU member countries. Other non-EU citizens, from any country in the world, don’t have this privilege and would have to get a Visa to stay in any of the EU countries for longer than 90 days.

I consider being a US citizen, and a Romanian/EU citizen a HUGE benefit and something that I must take advantage of. Of course, I can’t take advantage of anything containing the EU from all the way in the US, but moving to Romania allows me unique opportunities in this regard.

If at any point while living in Romania I decide I want take an extended visit, or even move to, any of the other 28 countries for whatever reason, I am able to do so with no problems. When it comes to certain aspects, the more choices you have in life the better.

Connecting with the Romanian Culture

Since I was only 5 years old when my parents moved me to the US, I have very few, but vivid, memories of Romania from my childhood. Because I grew up in an area of the US where other Romanians were scarce, I was never really able to learn the authentic Romania culture and traditions aside from the ones my parents retained. I figured moving and living in Romania will expose me to the Romanian culture like no book, story, or Wikipedia article ever could.

Learn the Romanian Language Fluently

Since the majority of the Romanian language I learned was only up to the age of 5, and after moving to the US the only time I spoke Romanian was with my parents, the language slowly faded away from my memory.

I retained a general and very limited Romanian vocabulary while growing up. The times I did meet and speak Romanian with other Romanians in the US it was very difficult and I ended up using more English words than Romanian ones.

Moving to Romania provides me the opportunity to practice and re-learn the language. My goal is to be able to learn it to as close to fluent as a native speaker as possible.

Bonus (and somewhat unrelated): I have a Romanian name (no it’s not Guliver) and it will be nice to hear people pronounce it right on the first try for a change!

Get away from Political Correctness

Sure, certain political correctness has its place in society, but when PC reaches extreme levels and starts causing fear in the way people conversate it becomes a huge problem. Conversations in the US are becoming increasingly less authentic as people are now self-filtering what they say in real-time due to fear of possibly “offending” someone or being labeled some kind of “ist” (sexist, racist, fascist, etc.)

Due to the overt PC culture people in the US walk on eggshells in their conversations and live in fear of losing their jobs, being expelled from schools, or being broken up with by their significant others. Language policing is in full effect and if you land as a target of a PC police hate mob you might as well change your name and start a new identity and life elsewhere because they won’t rest until they’ve ruined you and your way of living.

Keep in mind, the SJW PC police mobs in the US destroy people’s lives over what THEY interpret as being something wrong that you’ve said. It doesn’t matter if what you actually said was meant innocently, as a joke, or was just a fact you shared that they disagree with. Because of the PC culture in the US, “Freedom of Speech” is rapidly becoming a thing of the past and is gradually being replaced with “Freedom to be Offended by, and to Stop the Discussion of, Anything I Disagree With.”

The PC culture in the US started to wear me down and increasingly annoy me. I wanted to experience living in an alternative. In Romania the PC culture is virtually non-existent. This of course has its benefits, as well as some drawbacks. Being on the receiving end of the anti-PC isn’t always so fun. But, considering what I’ve had to put up with in regards to PC culture in the US, I’ll gladly take the raw and unfiltered Romanian alternative.

I consider directly resolving issues through honest raw conversations, rather than through passive-aggressive means, as a much better way of going about things. It’s such a sigh of relief to hear people in Romania actually speak their minds and tell it how it is, rather than speak as if they were surrounded by extremely sensitive children who are ready to start crying the instant they hear a word that triggers them.

Romanian Women

I may be biased in my views in this regard, but I believe Romanian women to be some the most beautiful women in the world. Most Romanian women get by day to day by walking to their destinations. The fact that they walk almost everywhere keeps them in shape and maintains their figure very well. In fact, Romania has the lowest obesity rate in the EU, and leaps and bounds lower than in the US, which is considered the 12th fattest country in the world.

In my opinion, Romanian women are also more feminine and take much better care of their appearance than their overseas US counterparts. It’s very common to see well dressed and styled women looking classy and acting feminine almost anywhere you go.

Third-wave feminism, the type that’s spreading like a cancer across the US and the West. The type that poisons the minds of women and teaches them to hate men, cut their hair, dye it blue, and to mutilate their bodies with tattoos and piercings. Yeah that type of feminism, THANK GOD, has not yet, and hopefully never will, spread to Romania.

It’s amazing to see the difference in the behaviors and attitudes of women who haven’t been exposed, and brainwashed by, feminism, to the attitudes of the ones that have been exposed to it. I’ll take the former any day of the week please.

Romanian women in general also have a much greater appreciation for the men in their lives compared to what I’ve observed and experienced in the US. Unlike in the West, traditional relationships where both partners happily fulfil, and are satisfied by fulfilling, their gender roles are the norm here rather than the exception.

I can happily say that my Romanian girlfriend blows out of the water the majority of girls I’ve met in the US.

Romanian Girl Friend

My RoamingRomania.com Website

Before even moving to Romania I started a website about Romania, RoamingRomania.com. The main domain of the website will contain articles about all the places and things to do in Romania.

I want to document and write about all the known, and less known, attractions and secrets Romania has to offer. It will be a massive project and will require me to do lots of traveling across all of Romania. Something I will greatly enjoy.

The blog portion (where you currently are) will contain articles and posts about the following topics:

| Experiences I have in Romania |
| Places I’ve Visited in Romania |
| Information about Various things in Romania |
| How-To Guides of Getting Things Done in Romania |

I could go on but perhaps I’ll save the rest for another time.

As you can see, if you made it through reading the whole list, that many of the reasons I had for moving to Romania are valid and reasonable. In fact, having read over the reasons again myself, and knowing what I know about them, if I had stayed in the US, I think I would’ve had to write a blog post trying to justify why I continue to live in the US when I could be out reaping the benefits available to me in Romania.

To conclude this post, I will add that it hasn’t been all paradise and smooth sailing in Romania. The struggle is real out here as you will discover if you read my future blog posts. What keeps me going is the above list of reasons and the fact that no matter what negative thing happens, I remind myself that this is what I signed up for, and that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Life in Romania

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