Ioana and JP met in 2011 in Lagos, Nigeria while working for the energy sector. Ioana is from Transylvania, Romania while JP is a Gaucho from the south of Brazil. Although they came from different continents and JP was afraid Ioana could be a vampire when they first met, they fell in love quickly. They knew they had to iron down the cultural differences to make it work. Shortly after they had met and on a latin style JP popped the question: “Do you want to travel the world with me?” Ioana said without thinking too much: “Yes!” :-))
They married in 2012, in Transylvania. People remember their wedding as a great party with guests from all around the world. Everybody had a blast, especially the groom. Even at 8am he did not want to leave the dance floor. Poor bride 🙂
Since then, JP made good on his promise and they travelled around the world for work and leisure. They lived in countries like Nigeria, The Netherlands, United Arab Emirates and Brazil. They enjoyed the multicultural experiences, the learning process and making so many wonderful friends on the way.
In 2017 Ioana and JP decided to regroup and ease down their professional career pace when both were exhausted, and their relationship was suffering. They wanted to reconnect and decided to embark in a lifetime adventure.
They had different ideas about what this adventure would be. Ioana wanted to relax and just stay put for a while, ideally in her hometown Sibiu. While JP proposed to reactivate an old childhood dream of his to overland the Pan-American Highway from the northernmost point of North America in Alaska to the southernmost tip of South America in Ushuaia, Argentina.
Ioana was terrified thinking about it. She hoped JP would forget and give up of the crazy idea. However despite Ioana’s disdain, JP was researching and planning day-by-day. The idea was only growing on him.
One day Ioana finally decided to stop pulling in the opposite direction and said “Ok. Let’s do it!”. Let’s “Keep on Exploring” life, freedom and adventure. So, they quit their jobs, packed their Dubai fancy lifestyle in a memory box and bought an Iveco Daily 4X4 expedition truck in The Netherlands to ride the Pan-American highway. While JP was exhilarated, kitting the truck and getting all ready, Ioana in the little time she had in Romania before their departure to Halifax, Canada (the starting point of the over-landing expedition) had to secure her truck driving license. She was definitely not exhilarated :))
But they did it, and Ioana never regret it. On the contrary, she realized it was the best thing they could have done. It was a great opportunity for self-rediscovery and finding common grounds for their differences while sharing the 8 square meters living cell 24/7. It was a chance to realign their values, downsize, live simply and minimize to what is necessary and important. All these while meeting a diversity of cultures, tremendous nature and amazing people.
Ioana became pregnant in Mexico, halfway on their journey. They completed the road trip in Ushuaia, Argentina and when Ioana was 7 months pregnant they returned to Romania to prepare for the arrival of their first baby boy. Their lifetime adventure could not had been more fulfilling.