Hello Rio

About Ioana

Who am I? I am an adventurer that always dared to dream big and I have always strived to turn those dreams into reality.

I was born in a small medieval town in the heart of Transylvania, Romania and raised in a family of nature lovers. My father was a trout fisherman and at the age of only three months old my mother took me to my first outdoor experience. I grew up in the valleys of the Carpathian Mountains, fishing for trout and camping with friends. From a young age, these experiences carved out an adventurous spirit inside me and ignited a passion for exploration. It created a love of meeting new people and a curiosity of different cultures.

One of my first opportunities to travel came during my university studies when I joined an exchange student program in Belgium. This was followed another program to the USA. These experiences showed me what a big and diverse world is out there. I started to dream of seeing the world. Soon after graduation, I started my own business in the field of communications and event management. This  gave me the opportunity to travel and discover countries such as Hong Kong, China, Italy, the UK and the Czech Republic.

Then, at the age of 26, I decided to pack my life in two suitcases, accepting an international job opportunity with a media agency and one way ticket that put me on a rollercoaster of events and learning opportunities. This brought out skills I never knew I had.

me nigeria 2011

One life-changing experience was living and working in Nigeria. I landed with absolutely no experience of the African continent, fearful of tropical diseases and kidnapping. I was confronted with the realities of a tough environment, but it was also a fast-track to an intense lesson on how to overcome my fears. It was a unique learning experience on appreciating the differences and uniqueness of each culture, adapting to rough environments, getting street tough and negotiating for everything on a daily basis.

It was in Nigeria that I learnt that sometimes you have no choice but to make things happen. Because of this, the country will always have a special place in my heart, and it is a place I keep returning to like home. It taught me how to embrace and love. I was welcomed and greeted with genuine warmth and I had the chance to make lifelong friendships. And for the icing on the cake? it was here that when I least expected I met JP, who would become my husband. We have now been in each other’s lives for six years.

Since then, I had lived and worked in six countries and traveled to more than 50 around the world. It has been an intensive cultural experience, overwhelming at times, but it has given me everything I ever dreamed of and more. From the stand-up paddle boarding in Trinidad and Tobago and white nights in Russia, to jogging and learning samba by the Copacabana beach, visiting slave fortresses in Ghana, trying crocodile by the Congo river, being charmed by Baku, Azerbaijan and enjoying the best views of Bosphorus in Istanbul.

Our last living and working experience was in Dubai, which was a much more spoiled, but at the same time an intense, working lifestyle. We were both traveling for work in the Middle East, Europe and Africa too often. After a while we became ready to slow down the pace of our international business careers and decided to once again be simple explorers and dreamers. (…at least for a while).

Rio us 2

Traversing the Americas overland from Nova Scotia, Canada to Alaska and then southern Argentina is an exciting project. It is our sabbatical year. Fearing the unknown, the dangerous and unpredictable situations but with the same adventurous spirit, excitement and interest, I am looking forward to seeing whales in Canada and watching the Aurora Borealis and grizzly bear in Alaska. I want to relax by the beach and visit the ancient sites in Mexico, to dance Salsa in Colombia and Tango in Argentina. I will drink my favorite white wine from Chile and eat again one of the best beef steaks in the Pampas of Brazil, alongside my husband and his lovely family from Brazil. Most importantly I would like to learn from these experiences either good or bad, to be a better person and stay connected to my true self.

“Keep on exploring” stays at the core of our values and lifestyle and we want to inspire you to dream, and then dare to make those dreams come true.

Yukon (26)