Two Years Later, We’re Moving Out from Constanta to…

Two years ago, my family and I moved to Constanta, Romania. The main reason behind the move was our son – actually being able to offer him the best possible education. Fortunately, even though short-lived, at least this was a success.

However, things have changed drastically in these past two years and now we’re forced to move again. And we’re going to move back to my home town, the smaller and cheaper Drobeta Turnu Severin – I have an article about living in this city, in case you’re wondering.

Exactly two weeks from the day of writing this article, we’re going to leave Constanta and continue our life elsewhere. To me, this feels like a major failure. But, despite the storm of feelings I have to deal with these days, I keep telling myself what many Romanians do:

Orice șut în fund e un pas înainte (Every kick in the butt helps you take a step forward).

And since today’s article might be a bit more personal and on a sadder note, you can read afterward the one about funny Romanian expressions.

But, to be honest, I don’t feel like laughing right now. I’m trying to make the best out of it – especially for the sake of my son, as he’s also finding it difficult to move back. But sometimes you do what you have to do. And there’s no denying that this is exactly what we need to do.

Why leave Constanta behind?

To be honest, my initial impressions about Constanta were not great. I wasn’t an instant fan of the city, but it slowly managed to grow on me and I ended up loving it, the people here, the Black Sea nearby – and everything about living in Constanta.

Best part?

My son was happy. My son was happier than ever. He loved his school, he loved his teachers and his class mates, and he managed to finally make some friends. He was happy. If you are a parent, you know that this is the most important thing in the world.

But, unfortunately, we can’t do this anymore. And I am the main reason why. I can no longer afford to live in Constanta, where we have to pay rent and where the cost of living is much higher than in the small city we’re moving back to. Recent changes to the business ecosystem that I’m in (and sudden ones too) really turned my world upside down.

I won’t lie. It’s difficult. I feel like a failure these days. I feel that I failed my son and my wife. It’s really tough – especially looking at my son and knowing that he’s hurting inside doo.

But I will get over it. We will get over it. It’s not the end of the world, and we haven’t hit rock bottom yet. But it’s a massive blow nevertheless. One obstacle that I will have to overcome. And I will.

However, to do it, we must make this change. In my home town, we have our apartment that is paid for. We have a village house where we’ll plant vegetables and cover at least some of our basic food needs. The city is smaller, quieter and cheaper. It doesn’t have the sea nearby, but it has the beautiful Danube River. It’s not the same, but it could’ve been worse.

The more technical details…

I wrote more about this in the previously published article titled “Help me keep Romania Experience alive.”

The short version is that my online business, which I’ve been running since 2008, depends almost exclusively on traffic from Google searches. Starting September 2023, mainly due to the rise of ChatGPT and AI content, Google was forced to take drastic measures and change the way Web Search works, penalizing (that’s putting it mildly – it’s more like “destroying”) most websites out there, many of which were – like Romania Experience – genuine websites, offering helpful content and being appreciated by their readers.

(If you want to dig a bit deeper and see the names of some of the many big websites that were heavily affected too, you can read this article. Big names include Substack, Collider, Screen Rant, The Culture Trip, Mental Floss, and many more)

Nowadays, it’s the big media conglomerates and the likes (think Forbes and the likes) that are shown when you search for anything on Google, as well as Reddit and Quora. Because of AI spam mostly, my online business fell (like many, many others) as collateral damage, since Google decided to penalize everyone in their quest to put an end to the said AI spam (there were sites publishing hundreds, and even thousands of articles per day – most of them pure garbage).

I have multiple websites – Romania Experience being more of a passion project – which was, for the most part, obliterated. Most of my websites have lost around 80% to 90% of the visitors they were getting from Google and this resulted, as you can imagine, in a massive drop in terms of revenue since, in the online world, website visitors = money.

The latest – and hardest – hit came in March 2024 when I, as well as many other bloggers hit by the previous changes, were actually hoping for a fix. Instead, it was almost the last nail in the coffin. Total destruction.

Even though our decision to move back to Drobeta Turnu Severin had already been made due to dwindling income, since last September, this major hit was not expected and didn’t make things easier – on the contrary.

We fortunately have a solid emergency fund in place, as well as other savings and some investments that are giving us a trickle of monthly passive income. This is great because we’re currently not making enough to support our monthly expenses – not here in Constanta, not in Drobeta Turnu Severin.

But, for at least 12 months, we should be covered if no other major emergencies pop up. And this is hopefully enough time to turn things around. It has to be – there’s no other option, really.

Bye bye, Constanta!

Parade near the Constanta Casino building
One of the many free events we enjoyed during our stay.

We’re leaving Constanta behind with a heavy heart. We all ended up loving this city more than I thought we might. And maybe, one day, we’ll be able to return – and not just as tourists.

I am grateful that we got to experience living in the city, and especially the fact that, for the short period of time we’ve been here, my son was genuinely happy.

We’ve learned a lot too, we’ve grown together here, and I am sure we’ll be able to put the things we’ve learned to good use and ensure he will continue to be happy, no matter where we live.

Yes, I will definitely miss drinking the best coffee in Constanta, enjoying the best pizza here or going out at one of the best restaurants in the city. I will miss the Black Sea, which was a 20-minute walk away from our apartment, and which I visited almost daily. I will miss the amazing weather here, the vibe of the city, the people, everything.

But, for now, it’s the end of a chapter. A new one begins – one which, hopefully, has a difficult start, but will get better and better as time goes by. After all, even Constanta wasn’t an instant hit, as it took me a few months to fully get used to it and fall in love with it.

As for Romania Experience – this website will continue to live for as long as possible. Hopefully for many, many years from now, as I have no plan to stop working on it, as long as I am healthy.

I have also launched this Patreon page where you can become a supporter and help me keep it alive (and recover some of the massive losses recorded). You will also get some small perks – like an ad-free browsing experience here on Romania Experience, unique posts on the Patreon page, and hopefully much more in the future.

There are already a few people who have signed up to support me and Romania Experience and I want to thank them again here. It means a lot to me!

As for Constanta – it was a great adventure and a beautiful episode in my life (as well as my family’s). One that I want to end with a quote from Dr. Seuss: Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

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4 thoughts on “Two Years Later, We’re Moving Out from Constanta to…”

  1. Calin, sorry that you are experiencing a difficult patch. I’m sure you’ll somehow ride it out, you seem the sort of person who can manage things well. On a positive note, you will be closer to us in Plugova, and I visit Drobeta frequently, in fact I was at Bricodepot just last week. Ironically, although I’m a different county, Drobeta is the closest to is for both Brico and Dedeman, both places I always seem to need something from.
    We will make every effort to meet up in the near future.

    I hope your son can adjust quickly, in fact I hope you all will, and wish you well.


    • Hello Shane! Yes, at least there’s this positive to look forward to – finally meeting, as we’ve been trying to coordinate for several years now. Thanks for the nice words too – we will turn this around!

  2. Calin, I don’t have anything clever to say. Life has its ups and downs. I hope you are healthy and keep a positive attitude. You are very talented in vlogging and webpage design. Let us know how things are progressing.

    • Exactly! And things can always be/get worse 🙂 I am sure that once things calm down a bit and we’re settled, everything will be clearer and easier.


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