How to stay positive in transit:  You learn how to snowboard…

I come from a land that gets a decent amount of snow each winter. Sighisoara is roughly 2 hours away by car from some pretty good slopes, and yet, I have never skied or tried any other winter sports besides ice skating since I was able to move the right foot in front of the left one.  I can’t tell you why this was. Perhaps because I never expressed an interest in it and most probably because skiing is a very expensive sport and my family could not afford it.  But looking back on it now, the main reason must have been the fact that in Romania you are brought up to think that if you did not start-up a sport whilst you were very young, you will never be able to do it and why even bother, ever…

So my mind was set this way for many years. I was not able to do many things in life because I never picked it up whilst I was a child. And just like that, fear settled in… motionless it creeped into my subconsciuos and it started speaking to me in this annoying voice: You are not capable of playing a musical instrument because you have no musical ear, or you are not able to ride a horse because you need at least 100 private lessons and you can not afford them, or you are not able to be a stewardess and see the world because you are too short! So many imaginary obstacles…  Thank God I finally grew up and learned in my own way, that yes, some things will always be out of my reach, but majority of the things that I dream of achieving are on the other side of ambitious, self-discipline and a willingness to not give up half way through obtaining that goal.

With this said, I would like to share that a year ago I had a very long list of things that I wanted to achieve in 2017, and one of those was snowboarding. Somehow this was made possible by ending up in Niseko, Japan alongside a bunch of crazy and extremely passionate people about snowboarding. Thanks to them I am now capable of coming down a mountain without falling on my face every other minute. Although snowboarding is a one man’s kinda sport, the main reason why I want to become better and better at it is so that I can join this awesome bunch in their backcountry experiences, I want to feel stoked that it has not stopped snowing for over a week and I can be the first one to cut down that fresh powder every morning. After all, I am living in the most amazing place on earth in terms of skiing conditions. Life has given me all that I need in order for me to pursue an old dream that seemed so far out of my reach, and I better make it happen

And yet, every time I get up on that mountain I have butterflies in my stomach, I am nervous that I might fall, that I am not picking up the sport as fast as I should, or that I might give it up before discovering its true beauty. Right at the beginning, my time spent on the piste was 10% wobbling along on the snowboard for a meter or two and 90% winging, falling  on my ass, eating snow, cursing and most of all thinking that I will never pick this up because I never learned when I was a child. Plus, I am being completely ridiculous to think that one day I will climb Mount Yotei and snowboard down in  it’s volcanic crater… Complete crazy fear talks…

25 hours on piste later, I am 100% positive: this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between me and my snowboard! The secret to this complete mind changer is non stop improvement and not giving up half way there.

The conclusion to this post is that I am 32 and I learned how to snowboard. Nothing is impossible and I can not wait to prove myself wrong about so many other myths that I have stored in my brain for far too long.


Keep riding on,


Let’s start with a burning desire for change…

It all began on January 1st 2017 after a raving party in Marisel mountains in Romania at one of my friends apres ski. 2016 was a deceitful year and I felt that I was stuck in a routine and vicious circle of self pity and in no mood of actually doing something about it.  As I woke up that sunny winter morning, in that natural and snowy landscape, still feeling the sound of deep base in my ears, I took the decision that I will completely change my life around! I will go back to London and find a way in which I will work in a job that is more fulfilling, that I will strive to find my true purpose and improve my life overall.

As we all know, ideas and plans are easier thought than done…  It took me  3-4 months to finally finish my CV and started to pass it over to my friends for them to tweak it here and there. Originally I was looking to find a job back in my home country so I started setting up Skype interviews with various companies, but in the end none of them were offering me what I was looking for or I was not qualified for some of the roles that they had on the table. Following up, there were some months where I concentrated on a few social events and I kind of lost faith in changing my life around. Going on, in a moment of divine inspiration I was crazy enough to buy a plane ticket to Bali for October and gave myself a deadline. By the 1st of September no matter if I find a job in Romania or not I am moving out of London for good, I will quit my job, no matter what. I would save enough money to last me for a good couple of months and in the meantime I will come up with a plan whilst lying on a beach, or a job opportunity will arise.

As summer was approaching I was getting more and more anxious about my escape plan, it seemed at times that I was too hasty taking this decision,  perhaps I should have thought things through better before taking such a big risk … But you see, in life everything is so well linked together, although we barely notice it and before we know it someone, circumstances or even luck ends up laying out the truth, the chance, the long awaited answer in front of us… I was part of the founding members for Escape School since 2014 which is a programme part of Escape the City ( more info  here ) a global community helping professionals to find more meaningful work.  I was now actively looking on their website for jobs, I was going to interviews, and suddenly one morning, this listing came up with the title: Live & Work in one of the most iconic places in the world renowned for the best powder snow in the world! At the time I looked up briefly the location and the company that was advertising the job, I have applied and did not think about it again, up until I checked my junk box a week later, and realised I have missed their reply. They wanted to set up a Skype interview! I could not believe it!

Everything started unfolding wonderfully easy and straightforward from this moment onwards. I had my first and second interview and they have offered me the JOB! It came with all the right perks and bonuses. It was exactly what I was looking for, but it was not an easy decision to make as I was not convinced that I am ready to move to the other side of the world once again… I was not 23 anymore like when I started my adventure in London… I would be so so far away from my family and loved ones, I would yet again not return home… Nonetheless leaving all fear aside, I was feeling the excitement of a new adventure, a new beginning in a place that seemed somehow linked to my home and its people from various points of view… strong and deep routed values, traditions and the most important of all, honour and common sense. I felt the need to be surrounded with genuine people, after living for such a long time in the urban jungle.

Actually I never visited Japan and I had little knowledge of the country. My main information consisted of images of geishas, Dragonball Z and sushi. Living in this country meant starting totally fresh from the boat, and my curiosity and feel for adventure was growing day by day…

Here I am now, one month in and I can not emphasise how grateful I am for the opportunity that was presented to me, the wonderful people I have met so far, the food delicacies I taste everyday, the magnificent landscape that surrounds me and the majestic snowfall that with each snowflake creates a dance as it comes down from the sky… But most of all I am grateful for the escape that I had from a life that was only half lived…. This decision to move across the globe, in the land of the rising sun was based mainly on my intuition and I am glad that this whole year has taught me to keep on trying and not give up at the first failure as I have done many times in the past. Finding your path and true purpose in life, may seem hard at times and it might appear you are driving on a road without a clear direction, with no hints on where to turn right or left, but what I have learned so far is that I all need to do in order to stay on the the right road is to turn on the radio and enjoy the voyage.

And so my journey begins… I have planted myself here alone on a rocky island shaken up by earthquakes and typhoons from time to time, hoping to establish some friendships and memories in a new and unique culture, just like the Akashia tree is planted solitarily on sliding lands so that it strong and fast spreading roots can penetrate the soil and hold together the sliding terrain. My aim with storytelling is to connect with people all around the world, that share my passion of continuously improving oneself and finding a greater meaning in our day to day life.

In the hope of sharing some of my experiences gathered in Japan, please follow my future posts, feel free to get in touch and let me know what you think.

Paula aka Paura ( Japan version )