Miami Beach is no stranger to European tourism: 32.4% of greater Miami’s 10 million annual visitors hail from our neighbor across the ocean. Despite this significant statistic, many are not so familiar with tourists from Moldova, most likely due to its standing as one of Europe’s poorest nations. It is a rare treat for Moldovans to be able to venture out of their home’s landlocked location between Romania and Ukraine.
Beautiful and unassuming, 28-year-old Aliona Mirosnicenco is one of these privileged few. Director of media and production at Moldova’s Radio Alla and host of her own weekly travel show featuring international tourism destinations, Aliona, who goes by Ellen Green in the states, enables her Baltic States audience to live vicariously through her travels. She holds the dream job of many: professional jetsetter.
“For Russians and Romanians who’d love to visit this sunny paradise, most think Miami is just beach and nightlife, but I wanted to look deeper and discover new things,” said Green. With a mere month to explore her new territory, she quickly put her all-inclusive Miami venue and attraction pass to proper use, exiting the beach in search of Miami’s lesser-known art and culture scene. Villa Vizcaya, the ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami, the Museum of Science, Butterfly World, the Metro Zoo, and the Seaquarium are some of Green’s favorite locales crossed off of her endless checklist.
Citing Miami and Miami Dade as perfect destinations for the adventurous Florida traveler, Green has already caused quite a stir. “I have, to date, sent several articles overseas already, writing about my experiences in Miami and Florida; the response has been absolutely terrific. Many people from all over the Baltic area have been flooding me with comments and questions, representing for the first time potential vacationers that are truly finding out very important information on this citynot just the beach or its night life, but also areas of interest that they would never find in an article or video.”
“The Ellen Green Travel Show” is broadcast every Saturday morning on cable television and radio, with videos produced in countless top destinations such as Spain, Italy, Greece, England, and France. Not bad for a girl who started “just for fun,” moving her way up from art manager at a music nightclub to a radio DJ for a new station, then on to London School of Radio and Television, prompting her to launch her own show that is now in its third successful year. The show’s frequent vacation traveler program is always seeking new destinations in order to discover new points of interest to educate listeners and viewers prior to venturing out on their own.
While it is true that Green is a naturalborn communicator exuding charisma, do not ask her which destination is her favorite. “It is too difficult to choose!” she exclaims. “I like Greece, France, Italy, Spain and of course when you go for short periods each opens up its own unique adventure, so it’s hard to tell my favorite. London is among my favorite because it is very cultured, with so many different nationalities and architectural points. Florida is my favorite right now because I’m still here and exploring. Greece, which I visited in Spring time, makes my top 3.”
The many disparities between life and culture in Moldova and the United States continually intrigue Green. The large immigrant population within the states, particularly in Florida, fosters a tremendous mix of various cultures in everything from food to fashion. “Fashion weeks and shows in the USA are full of influence of different countries’ cultures; in Europe, they’re more conservative, especially in Italy or France. It’s good- exciting.” She also notes the warmer climate effect, identifying Floridians as “smiley, positive sun people,” compared to Russians’ more serious demeanor in the wake of dark, freezing 1 degree weather.
Despite long distance, Green’s family remains her biggest support system. They are always the first to read and critique her articles, providing her with energy and inspiration to keep her on track. With an Olympic swimmer brother who is also currently in the U.S., international traveling seems to be in the bloodline. Green is quick to thank all who have made her trip to the states possible, ranging from Disney World Director of Sales and Marketing Europe Todd Heiden, to Miami hosts and Chamber members Laurence Branchetti and Barbara Knaub, to Florida Senator Marco Rubio. The first political figure who stepped forward to promote goodwill and tourism in the Baltic States, Senator Rubio provided crucial help in endorsing her trip to the U.S. and making possible the very first video and tourist attraction information to be delivered in Russian and Romanian.
“Like so many travelers I have always had a dream to discover and explore places on our beautiful planet,” said Green. “I felt it was time to explore the tropical paradise that I had only read about. Finally my dreams have come true: the people, the climate and food, and the culture are absolutely fantastic. Floridians are truly blessed with this huge playground available to them daily.”
According to Green, a new airline service will be flying direct from Moscow to Miami starting this month. The frequency of flights from the Baltic area and Moscow has increased dramatically, with the large population of Russians residing in the Sunny Isles area drawing many visitors into South Florida. With additional support from the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, Department of Tourism, and Miami Beach Convention and Visitors Center, an influx of Moldovans and Romanians could be in near sight. All of Green’s experiences in the Miami and Florida area will be televised and promoted throughout the coming months as “A Trip to Remember”; be sure to check out her take on Miami, as well as future exciting travels, at Radio Alla online.