MOVING TO BUCHAREST.

Hello my friends!

It’s been six months now since I moved here in Bucharest and I can say, I think I have finally adjusted and understood the way of living here.

Eight months ago when my husband told me his work is relocating us in Romania, I was literally like, “Where is that again?” and so I have to google and reach out to some friends who might have been to the country and unfortunately, all I got were – Draculas and gypsies.

It was winter when we first we fly to Bucharest from Malaysia to do some apartment hunting. It was literally damn cold and everywhere in the city was snowing.

Apartment Hunting – through my husbands company, we used Tudor Real Estate Company to help us with our search. Our agent, Cristina was very helpful and friendly. She drove us around the city and giving us loads of information while taking us from one apartment to the other.

If you’ve never been to Romania and you’re planning to move here, most expats live in Pipera, Herastrau or Bucharest city centre.

International schools like the American International School, British School and at least 8 other International schools are around Voluntari.

Pipera is a district of Voluntari city. About half an hour away from the city and it may seems far (or near or very far depends on the traffic) from the city centre but it has a lot to offer. It is close to some parks like Herastrau or King Mihai Park, IKEA, Baneasa Shopping City, Country Clubs, Grocery Stores and Airport.

Fast forward to July, the weather in Bucharest is now blazing hot and humid – the hottest so far since I was here was around 38 degrees and humid – no air – nada! LOL! It drove me crazy as we just recently discovered that our AC even though it was new, it was not working. We didn’t really bothered checking it prior to moving as it was in the middle of winter and couldn’t care less about the AC or being cold. The point is, now that we have found out about the AC is not working, we couldn’t find any one who can come and fix it just like any other normal country. Unfortunately to us, it took us about at least 3 fights with our landlord, several arguments and cancellations, a couple more of that of no show from these AC technicians and finally, seven weeks later, (as of right now while doing this blog) they are finally fixing our ACs

To be really honest, efficiency is still way behind in this country. For example, if you are planning to buy a car or check out a car on a weekend, don’t expect a lot of cheerful sales man welcoming you in the stores. Also some advice from the locals, don’t ever get in trouble because filing something, reporting or whatever that has relation to police or any government or formal settlement, expect tons and tons of paperworks and court stuff.

Back to positive side. If you’ve got kids and wants to do fun stuff with them – there’s Therme, Edenland Park, Kiddo Play Academy, Antipa Museum, or you could walk around the city or get out of the city and travel to Brasov or Constanta. There’s tons of things to do with kids, do let me know too if you know some!

If you don’t have any kids or if you like to get pampered in a reasonable price, I can recommend you to my personal favourite places to go:

Unfortunately, I only go in Pipera area as thats where I live and I haven’t explored the city that much yet.

For beauty salon related stuff, I like to go to Anastasia Beverly Hills in Baneasa. For massage and spa, I only (so far) go to Bali Spa Centre.

Some other places I’ve been that you’ve probably have read already –

Palace of the Parliament – I’ve never been inside but you need to bring a national ID for them to let you in and you need to book your ticket at least 1 day.

Romanian Athenaeum, King Mihai Park, Arcul de Triumf, Revolution Square, Herastrau Lake, Piata Unirii, Water Fountain and Lights Show in Piata Unirii, Caru cu Bere and so many more..

There are tons of things that you can do and to enjoy Bucharest and its all a matter of getting out of the house and joining the community.

For me, I was able to do a lot of things here in Bucharest by joining some clubs like the International Womens Association. This community is the best by far in Bucharest. Its a perfect platform to socialise , take part in different activities and make the most out of Romania.

On the last note, just a friendly reminder to all you my friends, please be cautious wherever you go. Its basically applicable not only in Romania but every where in the world. But yeah since I’m talking here about Romania, when you come here please be very very aware of your things especially your phone and wallet. There’s tons of petty crimes in here and I am not an exception to my little reminder. I got my first hand lesson when I first visited Romania in November and I lost my phone. Good side, thanks to Apple security system, its all just a piece of metal now to those who took it.

Since you made it until the botton of my long post, you’re now my friend and I would love to hear any of your comments, suggestions, or say hi to me. 🙂 You can also follow me on any of my social medias – Instagram @win.larsen Twitter @winlarsen and Facebook @itswinlarsen

xx, Win

Constanța.

Sunny days in Romania is almost here and this beautiful country has so many places to offer when it comes to sightseeings, culture and adventures.

Ovid’s Square

Our first road trip is Constanța – the oldest continuously inhabited city, located in the Northern Dobruja region of Romania, on the Black Sea Coast.

The House with Lions (Casa cu Lei)

The pre-Romantic and Genovese architectural styles of the city is definitely worth to visit and explore.

Behind us is the Constanța Casino.

Fact: This famous historic monument is on the boardwalk at 2 Elisabeta Boulevard along the Black Sea. It was built three times. The first structure in 1880 designed to be a club and community centre for elite and upper class then became Romania’s Monte Carlo. The casino operated for 38 years before it got interrupted by the two world wars, attacked and bombed by Bulgarian and German troops in World War I and II and at that time it acted as the wartime hospital. In 1960 when it was handed over to the National Office of Tourism and the last major repairs took place in 1986-1988 and the building is currently abandoned.

Apart from the beautiful tourist destination in the old city, we stayed in Mamaia for a relaxing sun time.

It felt so amazing to know that we have this place to unwind and take a break from the busy times in the city.

5 Places I Want To Visit in 2019

I am a believer of real life lessons and travelling in the last 10 years has made me a better version of myself compared to who I am before and how I look things.

Here are my top 5 places I wanted to visit hopefully on my next travels.

Santorini, Greece

Call me such a tourist but I don’t care. This beauty has been on top of my list for ages and now that I live close by, I really really hope to visit this stunning country soon!

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(Photo Credits to Xristos Xristopoylos, Pinterest)

London, United Kingdom

I was always in Europe and now I live in Europe but guess what.. I still haven’t seen the Big Ben. I blame it on my passport. (LOL!) Yes, it’s not that easy to get a UK visa for a Filipino or should I say it’s toooooo expensive to be a tourist in this country. Maybe one day, when I finally get a boring job with a regular income, then this will be my reward. LOL!

Rainy London, UK

(Photo credits to Around the World, Facebook and Pinterest)

Puglia, Italy

I never heard of this beautiful gem until my friend Cindy and her husband Vinz started Authentic Puglia Tours – a travel business in Puglia. Located in the south of Italy, this beauty is famous to its  gorgeous beaches, churches, and ancient ruins. I can’t wait to visit!!!

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(Photo Credits to Authentic Puglia Tours)

Palawan, Philippines

With all my heart, I plan to come back home this year and bring Einar to my beloved country and hopefully we could visit Palawan. FYI, I haven’t been into this beautiful island because it’s always difficult to go here. You need to book at least a year to get yourself a really nice location and best place to stay in unless you are willing to spend thousands of dollars per night 🙂

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(Photo Credits to Best Travel Places)

Turkey

This super famous spot is all over my Instagram since last year. I actually almost forgotten about this until my recent move in Romania – which is now a neighbouring country to this beauty! I can’t to explore! Im coming for ya Turkey! 😉

Top 9 Travel Destinations for 2019

(Photo Credits to Golden Hour Girl)

Ahhhhh! These beautiful places. We have such a wonderful and beautiful world that I can’t wait to see and explore! 

Where are you travelling? 🙂

 

Win

My California Dreams.

It all started when I was five years old. Back then, my Grandfather Pablo who used to be an American solider was my only inspiration in life. He would have regular American visitors and I would listen to their conversations without having a single clue what they’re talking about. I would sit next to him in the morning, watching CNN news and copy it on my own in front of the mirror. English wasn’t my language back then.

My Grandfather taught me a lot of things, we would watch TV together and sometimes, I would watch him read papers. He trained me since I was five to memorize all my important information, in case I get lost, I will know how to find my way home. He was my role model but he was gone too soon for me to understand all the important things he has done during his time and I still miss him.

Fast forward to adult life, I’ve heard so many stories about how difficult to get a US visa as a Philippines passport holder. I even heard a lot of stories people faking marriages and documents just to get to the promise land. So, I didn’t really push that dream – when the time comes, if it’s meant to be – I will get there.

2018.

My husband asked me to apply for my US visa so we can finally fly together in the US and show me where he spent most of his life.

A week after I applied, I got the most amazing news in my life when the US government gave me 10 years of visa. It was unbelievable and I thought of my Grandfather first.

Here’s my super memorable first California trip!

First stop: Oregon (Einar ordered a handmade personalised bike from a bike master from UK who is now living in Oregon)

The next day we started driving out to San Francisco with one stop over to Ashland to break the long drive.

S A N F R A N C I S C O

We went for a quick trip to Berkeley as well to visit Einar’s university and introduced me to his local pub in the neighbourhood and I finally found the most amazing Mexican michelada!

After three days, we started our journey again to Napa Valley!

N A P A V A L L E Y

Three amazing days, seven vineyards, forty two different wines! Epic!

L A S V E G A S, N E V A D A

Vegas got me and my money. Slot machines and all. LOL! But I would never say, never again. I will be back, dahling!

L O S A N G E L E S, C A

I can literally live here. Santa Monica got my heart!

As a woman who is highly obsessed about makeup, I have soooo many places I wanted to visit and so many people I want to meet – bloggers and etc. But a trip to Glossier certainly made it all up!

The famous Hollywood sign is definitely somewhere here! I swear.

The one who makes me the happiest and mostly loved! My man.

Oh yeah, here’s me being a super fan to Kelsey Wells. I loved here before, I even love her more after the killer workout session at Sweat, LA. She is a doll and an angel who has a really ripped body! Body goals!

Just to make the whole LA trip a lot more speacial, we were there as well on the biggest LA Pride Parade 2018! Amazing memories! So much love! x

L A K E T A H O E

The whole trip was super epic and since we are not yet ready to come soon and were supposed to be back in Oregon in two days, we decided to drive a little early in the morning and take a bit of a stop over in Lake Tahoe.

We literally drove out of LA, start driving and booked our hotel while on the way to Lake Tahoe.

Immediately fell in love with Lake Tahoe. It was gorgeous and will definitely come back again for the Peanut Butter Stout.

It was the most epic trip I’ve had. USA will always have a special place in my heart. I loved the country and the people. Thank you husband, thank you USA. Until next time!

xoxo, Win

Apricale – Untouched Italian Beauty

There is always beauty in a place whenever there’s not much tourists and nobody speaks English.

This summer when Einar and I decided to just rent a car and stay wherever we feel like stopping in our French and Italian Riviera road trip adventures, we found amazing places that only few people knew about or at least have been to.

Arriving in Nice and drove directly to Liguria, Italy, we have managed to book ourselves a place in Apricale. It’s only about an hour drive depending how you drive – both Italian and French boarders have different speed limits.

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Apricale is very picturesque and its so amazing how they managed to preserve the stone buildings, houses and even our BnB is made of stone.

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The only down side of spending a long holiday with big luggages in this type of beauty is that elevators doesnt exist and you have to carry your bags in lots of stone stairs. But once we have arrived in our room, its all worth it!

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This is the most famous photo over the internet when you search Apricale on google. We basically parked in this area and we stayed right next to the church (at the top!) It was indeed one of a kind adventure and I cant wait to go back again one day!

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