Romanian lifestyle trends in 2019: Dreaming of a sabbatical year to do extreme sports, couch-surfing or seek spiritual guidance

Aurel Dragan 12/03/2019 | 11:48

Two thirds of Romanians are willing to take a sabbatical year – a third of them are interested in extreme sports like rock climbing or parachute jumping, while others are interested in couch-surfing or getting tattoos, according to a survey by Unlock Market Research.

Other trends identified show that more than half of respondents were open to the LGBTQ community, while a quarter were looking for spiritual or religious guidance.

Hunters, the trends division of Unlock Market Research, launched a comprehensive national study outlining new trends in Romanians’ lifestyles. The data was collected over an entire year and shows how people are rethinking their way of life, being more tolerant and open to new life experiences. For the first time, Hunters took into account some controversies discussed in public space last year, such as accepting LGBTQ communities, the #metoo movement or talking about a healthy lifestyle.

The study measures the annual development of trends in Romanians’ thinking and behavior, especially in how they relate to traditional social roles, their communities, and the growing pressures imposed by the alert pace of life.

Among other things, the study reveals that women with higher education and above-average incomes are willing to take a long vacation to travel and live in a different culture/on a different continent for a while – 67 percent of Romanians had a positive answer to this question. All women with high education and over-average earnings, and especially between 16 and 34 years of age, are more open to friendships with someone with a different sexual orientation, of the 56 percent who answered “yes” or “rather yes”.

49 percent of Romanians who want to test their limits through high-risk activities (parachute jumping, climbing, parkour, hiking in hard-to-reach areas, etc.) are especially young people aged between 16 and 34, most of them from Bucharest, with high education and above average income; many are employed and have been through higher education.

Of the 41 percent who responded that they were willing to get a tattoo or a piercing (ring, earring, etc.), a large share of women are generally 16 to 34-year-old, from Bucharest, with high incomes. Many of them are students.

People who want to do couch surfing (traveling abroad to stay in the homes of strangers and welcoming strangers into their own homes) represent 40 percent of respondents; but there are no differences in age or gender as with other responses in this study.

33 percent use or have used a dating/matrimonial service, and they are mostly male, high-income, aged between 25-34, living alone, many in Bucharest.

Also 33 percent are willing to have short-term intimate relationships (one-night adventures) or atypical relationships (eg. open relationships, more than one partner, etc.). Most of them are also men, 25-34, living alone.

Young people aged between 16 and 34 are the majority among the 27 percent who could choose to change their religion to another that they would feel closer to. The trend is even more evident in young people under the age of 24, especially in the capital, but also in Transylvania.

One in four Romanians (25 percent) are seeking or could use spiritual services from people like shamans, mediums, astrologers, gurus, etc. With such options there are more women with middle and high incomes, most of whom are from Bucharest.

“It is very important to realize that people change their way of life and, implicitly, their social behavior, and that they have recently become very concerned about themselves but also about their relationships with others. They are much more open to novelties, new experiences, more attentive to the more social ones. It is, if you will, a paradigm shift, which has been long time coming from the new generation and is now reflected in society. The trends of change are of course also influenced by events in the public space, which are being processed and lead to new approaches to social life, unexpected even as reflected in our study. The main actors and decision-makers in society, but also in companies, must take these trends into account when developing social policies and business strategies,” says Adina Vlad, managing partner of Unlock Market Research.

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