So, once again, things haven’t quite worked out the way I thought they would. (Surprise, surprise!) As it turns out, me and the hostel owner had a different view of fair treatment. From being woken up 3 hours after finishing my overnight shift, for some impromptu heavy lifting, to being asked to do 16-hour shifts without any prior notice, it was evident that this guy really didn’t treat the employees or volunteers with any sort of respect at all.

It all came to a head when I was accused of not doing my job during one of my night shifts. Words were exchanged and after the owner claimed that I was quote, “fucking arrogant”, I told him I was done, walked away and began packing my things. What I really wanted to do, was knock him out but luckily, cooler heads prevailed.

Lucky for me, my new and ever so lovely friend came to the rescue that evening. Prior to knowing about my decision to leave the hostel, she offered me a place to stay, just outside the city center of Bucharest. I figured “Why the hell not?”, and off I went.

She welcomed me with the warmest of smiles, and I was certain I had made the right choice to accept her invitation. We just shot the shit that night, probably until 4am or so. It was a beautiful thing.

The rest of that week was all about enjoying ourselves, and that’s just what we did. In some cases, we did it a little too well (at least on my part, anyways). Never have I met a girl who could party from the early evening, to the next afternoon. I give myself points just for staying awake as long as her. She told me it wasn’t unusual for Romanians to start their nights out around 10pm or so, and not come home until the middle of the next day. God love em!

She asked if she could join me in Cluj-Napoca for the next month, to volunteer as part of a permaculture community. This would also be the first time I had taken anyone with me on my adventure, but I knew I could show her just how rewarding travelling this way could be. I would make it my mission to show her the beauty of these things.

So after many home-cooked meals, meeting and sharing with the family, and spending so much time with one of the most generous souls I had ever met, we were on the train. Ten and a half hours later, we had arrived. The energy felt different here, somehow new.

It was then that I knew…this was gonna be a whole new kind of adventure.

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