I was born in Communist Romania and by the time Ceausescu was overthrown I had collected some poignant memories of that era. At the time, seen through a child’s eyes, they did not seem so awful, but as I grew up I realized how lucky I was, unlike my parents and my grandparents, to have escaped so young from such a terrible nightmare.
Then came the endless transition to democracy and free market economy. Along with free speech, Coca-Cola and private initiative, came harsh economic inequalities, consumerism and a savage industrial assault on the environment.
At times depressing and unnerving, this transition period was nevertheless challenging enough to arrest my attention for more than a decade of my adult life. I spent these last 10 years working for non-profits, promoting environment protection, voluntarism and a better life for the destitute children and elders of Romania. I’ve complemented this work with a career in the media, be it written journalism, TV shows or personal blogging.
Two years ago I decided to take on a new challenge, that of making a career abroad. Though I had never spent more than a month living in a foreign country and had never traveled to the United States, I promised myself that I will be enjoying my 30th birthday enrolled in an American MBA program. I was lucky enough to be able to deliver on this promise and to have my top choice business school offer me a chance to prove myself.
This, then, is the journal of my voyage into cultural shock and self-discovery. There are many ways this trip could go and it is not for me to know which is the better. But I’ll be tracking it as a constant reminder of another promise I made to myself: that I will enjoy it while it lasts.