Through no merit of my own I was born to loving parents and through no fault of my own, I was born in a communist country. I was five at the time of the Romanian Revolution, not old enough to be distressed by the rationed food and rationed freedom, in great part because my parents' sacrifices to keep me well fed and well read. Like most people, as I grew up I learned from listening to my parents' life experiences. One element, something many of us take for granted, was a common theme in their stories: Freedom. Whether they did or did not have the liberty to choose became a permanent part of who they were, which would have an influence on me.
My parents' stories, their books and their own unfulfilled dreams of exotic travels instilled in me an unmitigated desire for the freedoms they were denied. I deemed myself as free so long as I could travel far.
The year I turned 18 I traveled abroad for the first time as part of a volunteer exchange program in Turkey. Later, between graduating from high school and going to university, I took a gap year to volunteer at a school for children with special needs in Oxfordshire, UK. I couldn't understand how my friends already knew what career they wanted to pursue straight out of high school while I was still confused. How could I decide - at 20 years of age - what I was to do for the rest of my life? That gap year in England was an amazing experience in itself, but at the same time it helped me decide on a career path: Special Psychopedagogy.
After 4 years of University and halfway through my master's degree (in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy), it was becoming more apparent each semester: if I stayed I would never leave. Against everyone's advice I abandoned my studies and went to Peru to fulfill a life-long dream: see Machu Picchu. Somehow, as a 26 year old Romanian who didn't speak a word of Spanish, I found home in a boisterous, exuberant, chaotic, and beautiful new country. Over the next few years I would further explore my love for travel, seeking out experiences and finding more beauty than I can express. The desire to capture that beauty is what led me to photography.