Hi! My name is Mirela Letailleur and I’m the owner of The Travel Bunny. But I think you’ve already seen that while reading the articles on this travel blog. By now, you probably know that I’m crazy about all forms of travel. It’s always a treat to get off to an exotic, far-flung destination, but I also enjoy the local tourist thing as well.
Born and raised in Bucharest, the capital of Romania, I’ve always been fond of traveling and I have to thank my parents for instilling this passion in me. Ever since I was a small child, they helped me discover the beauties of my own country. And, when I was around nine years old, they took me on my first road trip through Europe, exploring bits of Hungary, Austria, Germany, France, and Italy. Our travels continued over the years and the continent, feeding my hunger for novelty.
As I grew up, geography fascinated me, and I studied it thoroughly for the exam at the end of secondary school, and then for my baccalaureate. Then, I got a perfect score on the Tourism Faculty admission exam, but I also got into two other colleges: Political Science and International Economic Relations.
After college and a couple of random jobs, I worked as an educational travel agent, managing the agency’s website, blog, and events with international school representatives. Then I switched to working at the British Council because all my life I’ve been passionate about two cultures: British and Japanese. But I have yet to make it to Japan, it’s on my list.
Anyway, while I enjoy traveling with family, with friends, and sometimes alone, nowadays I travel mostly with my husband, Mathieu Letailleur. He also enjoys visiting new places, which is what brought him to Romania in the first place. And my country became his home away from home for several years.
Our love for travel is what got the two of us together, in the end. And since we crossed paths, in March 2017, we’ve visited lots of countries together (yes, including Romania and France, where we’re still taking turns in being the guide). We thoroughly research our journeys, arrange and book our trips on our own, find the best deals, and plan our travel itineraries together.
Mid-December 2018 I quit my job as a Digital, Events & Adult English Courses Coordinator at the British Council, in order to join Mathieu on his next work adventures. We were supposed to go to Paris for a few months starting at the end of February. But apparently, he needed more in Romania, so we stayed there for another year.
Then, in 2019 we focused on sailing courses and getting our permits. And in February 2020, we bought a sailboat to travel the Mediterranean Sea from port to port. We thought about this when we were visiting Piraeus, and we stopped to drink some sangrias next to a marina. It was kind of spur of the moment, but the idea stuck.
And that trip (that you’ll read about in a new book soon) is what brought us to our new life in a lovely hilltop village in the beautiful South of France: Bagnols-en-Forêt. We were on the boat in Santa Lucia marina, after spending the confinement on the Cote d’Azur. And, as usual, we were drinking sangrias. One thing led to another and we decided to move to Bagnols-en-Forêt after our sailing trip.
And here we are, enjoying life in the South of France… and we’re getting ready to become camper van owners. So 2023 definitely has some new adventures and destinations in store for us!
Besides seeing the world, I am also passionate about languages:
- I’ve been working on my English since kindergarten, moving up to an intensive class in secondary school, a bilingual class in high school, then college with lessons taught in English. And in high school, I had the privilege of attending additional classes on the geography, history, culture, and civilization of Great Britain.
- I studied French for 8 years in school but never had enough chances to practice my speaking. So when Mathieu took me to France to meet his family I had the courage to start using French with his 5-year-old niece and his grandfather. After a couple of courses at the Institut Français in Bucharest, some Duolingo and Memrise, but mostly just speaking to a lot of French people in their native tongue, I’ve made a lot of progress.
- In college, I took Spanish lessons. And I also took some courses at Instituto Cervantes in Bucharest, as part of an exchange program they had with the British Council.
- Because I studied Latin for 2 years (that’s normal in Romanian schools), I can also read and understand Italian. But they speak too fast for me to follow and reply back.
- I also learned a bit of German with a private tutor and also at Goethe Institut in Bucharest. However, although I love how this language sounds, I found it too complicated. But if I spend a few days around people speaking German, I start to understand the conversations.
- Last but not least… I told you I love Japan. So I began learning Japanese on my own when I was in high school and even learned two of the syllabaries – hiragana and katakana.
- Ok, and speaking of other alphabets, I can read Greek and (most of the) Cyrillic alphabet.
When I’m not traveling or working on the blog, I also love to read and enjoy drawing, painting, modeling clay, and all sorts of other crafts. I also spend a lot of time binge-watching all sorts of series, and I’m always looking for a movie “with a nice story, please!”
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