Interviewing Canadian traveler Stephanie Huff from The Pink Backpack.
Stephanie, first of all, thank you for the very inspiring article “ 10 Ways that Bucharest will blow you away “. I loved it and would like for The Bucharest Lounge community to know you more. Tell us a bit about how you caught the travel bug and how you design your life right now.
I caught the travel bug at age 20, during a university exchange program where I spent a semester abroad in Australia. It was the first time I had really travelled on my own and I remember feeling so happy and free. My life now, nearly 9 years later is fueled by good karma, bold coffee and adventure! I live a semi-nomad life, split between my home base in Canada and wherever a good seat-sale takes me.
In which way is Bucharest a “ truly special place “ , maybe one of your favourite European cities ?
I mentioned that I felt Bucharest is ‘a truly special place’ because I picked up on the vibe that the city is authentic; it’s not trying too hard to be something else. Bucharest embraces its history and culture and that seems to be its appeal.
Please say something more about your impressions on “ gorgeous rooftops, music and nightlife “ ? How would you describe the Romanian way of partying ?
I noticed that Romanians are very social and fun-loving people, so it seems that music, dancing and connecting with others in social settings is very natural for them. I would describe the Romanian way of partying to be very outgoing and inclusive. During the #experiencebucharest event, we had many of these gatherings and I noticed that it didn’t matter who you were or where you came from, everyone mingled and no one was anonymous.
What is that Romanian kindess about ? Could you exemplify ?
I think the kindness could stem back to how proud Romanians are of their country. People seemed to genuinely want me to have a good time exploring their city and to have a positive impression of Romania, so they would offer advice or provide help with no hidden motives or strings attached.
What would say to a friend who is sceptical about going to Romania ?
I would suggest just being open-minded and to give it a chance! Like I mentioned in my article, with its history, culture, food, coffee shops, nightlife and more, I really did feel that there is something for everyone in Bucharest (and Romania).
If you could give 3 practical advice on how to run a successful social media platform, what would that be ? Let’s say some useful advice for all the people who tries to promote Romania through their blogs, vlogs, Instgram, FB, Snapchat and other channels ?
-It is so easy to get caught up in numbers or what trends are marketable, but authenticity and high quality content trumps the amount of subscribers or followers in my opinion.
-Engagement has become a huge conversation piece this year surrounding social media and I have learned that ‘you get what you give’. You can’t expect exceptional engagement if you don’t also participate in the platform’s community and engage back with other people’s content.
-Cross promotion across platforms is an easy way to boost content and subscribers. For example, referencing a blog post within an Instagram post, or linking to an Instagram post within a tweet.
What is important to think of when deciding on a
a) title for a blogpost ?
b) cover picture for an article ?
a) I think a title of a blog post needs to be catchy and accurate. It needs to convince someone to click on it, but must actually represent the content that is in the article or readers will quickly move on (and may not return).
b) For my blog, I like to add bright and bold text to the cover photo because I personally find these more engaging and entice me to click on them more when I see them on other people’s platforms.
Describe Therme Bucharest for someone who has never been there !
Therme Bucharest is like a luxury tropical vacation right inside the city. With so many rare and unique plant species, relaxing hot pools and treatments and even a swim-up bar, I really felt like I was on a resort somewhere south.
What is the Romanian countryside for you ?
The countryside for me was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. Between the lush rolling hills that turned into beautiful mountains and the fairytale castles, my road trip outside of Bucharest could be described as idyllic.
How do you think traveling build bridges and fight prejudice ?
I think travel has the unique capability to meaningfully connect people from around the world who otherwise would not have crossed paths. Travelers tend to be open minded and eager to learn about diverse ways of life, so travel can serve as a vehicle for equality and advocacy. For me, the opportunity to travel is a privilege and it has helped me see the world with a more critical lens, so I realize its potential in creating positive social change.
What does it mean , for you, being adventurous and courageous ?
The latin root of the word courage is ‘cor’, which means heart. To me being courageous is to live a life that is authentic, intentional and true to one’s heart. Though travel will always be in my heart, I do believe adventure can be found in the simplest places and courage can be found from within.
Anything else you would like to add, that you find valuable in this context, something that I missed ?
Bring on #experienceRomania !! xx
Connect with Stephanie Huff here:
All photos featured in this article are posted with the courtesy of Stephanie Huff.