Hello lovely people! We are Mihaela and Octavian, an oldish couple who after 3 years of backpacking around Austral-Asia, mostly volunteering and meeting awesome people from all over the world, have decided to settle down in the Transylvanian mountains called Apuseni. It is a special place with incredible energy and beauty, unspoilt nature and amazing people living very traditional. As most young people in theses villages have moved to the city, old and beautiful traditional houses become ruins very fast, the forest is taking over fast (which is not necessarily a bad think) and old traditions disappear slowly.
We are the very proud owners (paper wise) of a hill and 3 old traditional wooden houses and barns, which we intend to bring back to life. We're also into permaculture so just observing the place to see patterns and how nature works, before doing anything else. We capture water from the spring in the woods, buy dairy products, honey etc from the neighbours on other hills, have many fruit trees and wild flowers as much as you can see. It is so quiet and away from the craziness of the world, ... there is space to watch your own crazy mind. We're into meditation and yoga, connection with nature, hiking and simple life.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
First of all, it's a magic place for the people that like quietness and nature, a great place for reflection and introspection. Not really for party goers, sorry! You will interact with local people, awesome neighbours and people in the nearby villages. This is remote place and people still live traditionally, making the hay, picking fruits and making jams and pies, managing a little home farm and growing their own veggies. It's mesmerising to see how they live this busy but at the same time, slow paced life, how they help eachother and find freedom and happiness in simplicity. We might go pick mushroom from the forest (which is everywhere), cook vegetarian food, do storytelling around the fire in the evening, do hikes or just chill. The nearest town, connected by bus, is about 40min away if you want to explore an old gold mining town (no more mining today but there is a museum you can visit). There is also a small ethnographic museum in the village and the local 'pub'. But living simple in the nature is, we think, the highlight!
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We are at the early stages of this eco-project, still learning about the place, adjusting to the wild nature around, renovating a house; soon moving on to renovating a barn and making some outdoor shower and toilet. We need help with renovation work which means some lifting and heavy work, cutting the grass and pruning some neglected fruit trees, cutting wood for the winter, making improvements to the access road, picking fruits, work in the garden, designing beautiful stuff for the place, etc. There is also farm work with the neighbours... some days we'll go to help them with various jobs like hay making. We will of course adapt to your experience and fitness as much as possible, and will discuss all this before you arrive so that you're not disappointed. We've been volunteers ourselves and kind of know what makes a good volunteering experience.
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
Accomodation could be in the newly renovated and converted barn, or in the recently finished loft of the house, depending on preference and how busy we are. Both are very nice spaces with lots of room, bathroom and great views! There is also an outdoor compost toilet and an outdoor summer shower with water from the spring (for the hot days). We'll cook vegetarian food, but some days you'll need to prepare your own meal. In general we share preparation and cleaning... We try and source most products from locals but will do a shopping trip to town when needed. Our aim is be self-sufficient so catering for allergies, or other special needs could be difficult.
Access here is relatively simple, despite the remoteness. Nearest cites are Deva or Alba Iulia which are both connected by train to most of the country. From Deva, there are regular busses to Brad, the nearest town, about 30min drive away from here. From Brad, there are two mini busses daily which will drop you 500m away from our house. Hitchhiking is also popular in Romania and very feasible and an affordable way to move around. Ask and we'll provide guidance for your travel plans.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Wi-fi connection via mobile operator is generally very good. You need to buy SIM card widely and cheaply available in any town
This host has said they are willing to accept those travelling with a pet.
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week