When Romania joined the European Union, everyone focused on Romanians moving to other European countries. Yes, large numbers of Romanians have left for greater opportunities. But Romania has a lot to offer. From pristine snowy mountains to the Black Sea, this is a beautiful country. Because the legend of Dracula is set in Transylvania, we think of Romania as mysterious. In reality, the reason it is mysterious is that so few people from western Europe have spent time there!
Two reasons combine to make moving to Romania an excellent choice for anyone who works online. The cost of living is extremely low for Europe, and the technology infrastructure is very good. More and more people in technology work remotely. If your salary is the same no matter where you live, why not live in a country with a very low cost of living and spend a year or so saving? Why not have an adventure in a country with a vibrant capital city, spectacular mountains and a string of beach resorts along the Black Sea with every type of amenity? Of course there are jobs in Romania, and the unemployment rate is lower than it has been in decades.
Whatever type of work you do, to enjoy life in Romania, it helps to speak Romanian. The good news is that for English speakers, the language is not considered very difficult. It’s possible to find English speakers and when you do, they will generally be very helpful, but this is not a place where one can get by well speaking only English.
Getting to Know Romania Today
Moving to Romania will bring many surprises no matter how much research you do. While the IT infrastructure is very good, the physical infrastructure isn’t. The roads in particular might remind you of rural Ireland 20 or 30 years ago, and in some areas they are worse than that. The roads are only one challenge to driving in Romania; expect to encounter somewhat more reckless drivers than is usual in Ireland. But don’t let any of that keep you from exploring the gorgeous countryside and experiencing the rural traditions. The cities are a mix of older, elegant architecture and Soviet-era structures, but the countryside could be the setting for your favourite childhood fairy tales.
While violent crime is rare, petty crime such a pickpocketing is common. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, and be mindful of who is near you when you are walking around. Some sources suggest that greasing the wheels of bureaucracy is common. It isn’t essential, but it is not unheard of to offer gratuities to doctors or other healthcare workers to get seen quickly. It’s annoying, and local attitudes about it vary from resignation to outright refusal to participate. There is a significant difference in quality between the public and private hospitals; most expats in Romania advise going private.
Shipping to Romania
One big question when moving overseas for an extended period is what to bring. Many rentals in Romania are furnished, and yes, Romania has Ikea. But many people do want to include more personal items such as kitchenware, bedding, sports equipment and the like in their personal shipping to Romania. If you have skis or a snowboard, definitely including them in your shipping! Spratt offers online quotes that should make it easier to decide what you can take with you.