Schuyler young– Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- Over the months of June and July I had the incredible chance to take a two-week trip to Europe.
The opportunity arose when my girlfriend’s Romanian aunt invited her family to a wedding in Cluj, Romania. I was asked to tag along, and I knew it was an invitation I could not decline.
After a 15-hour journey and a layover in Barcelona, I finally arrived in Cluj at around midnight the local time.
Upon arrival we were greeted by her family with many hugs and kisses and despite the time, a dining table completely covered in all the local foods. There was no sleeping until I had eaten at least two helpings of every dish and said goodnight in Romanian, “noapte buna.”
The best part of the trip was that it was organic and not tourist-oriented as her aunt and other family took us around Romania. It is not often that you get to travel to a foreign country with people that know the ins and out.
The traditional Romanian wedding was held in a beautiful, small village with mountains on each side. The following reception lasted all night and we quite literally danced the night away.
Aside from all the fun I had that night, there was one experience that had the biggest lasting impact on me. This occurred when my girlfriend’s grandfather invited us to visit his “garden”.
We entered through an old gate and started up a hill passing by hundreds of grape vines, until reaching the top to find more fruits and vegetables than I can name.
Additionally, there was a small house for himself, his dogs, chickens, and cats, all hand crafted by one dedicated man with a hobby.
This experience has stuck with me because it was a testament to how one can be content with a simplistic lifestyle. Incredible people made this experience unforgettable and I would return in a heartbeat.
Advice I would give to anyone traveling abroad would be to go with an open mind and experience whatever comes your way. Get out of your comfort zone.