Monday, July 16, 2012

ALBANIA | 2012 Meet the Misses e.32 - Miss World Albania 2012

Albania is located on the Adriatic Sea, opposite Italy. It is a country with a population of 3.6 million, with Tirana, the capital, being the biggest city. When communism was defeated in the early 1990's and democracy was for the first time introduced to Albania, things didn't went well initially. Despite an economy close to collapse, Albania survived and recovered from those problems after the introduction of very effective free-market reforms. Albania is very mountainous with elevations over 1,000 meters. Some areas are often inaccessible from the outside. Lowlands comprise one seventh of the nation near the coast and small valleys. The coast has a Mediterranean climate but farther inland the climate is Continental with highly variable temperatures and large amounts of precipitation. Even though Albania is a small country, it is distinguished for its rich biological diversity. Over a third of the nation's area is forested and very rich in flora and fauna. Albania debuted in Miss World back in 2002 but no delegate have reached the semifinals. This year, the Balkan nation will be represented by Floriana Garo, Miss World Albania 2012. 

The Times of Beauty proudly presents Floriana Garo, Miss World Albania 2012, in an exclusive interview for our interview series, Meet the Misses.

1. Give us an introduction of yourself, your country and your hometown.
I was born in a beautiful seaside city in the center of Albania called Durres. I grew up developing a love for the beach and at one point I even took swimming lessons. Then I decided I wanted to play volleyball and I was enrolled in my city team. When I was a freshmen in High School, my family won the Green Card lottery. My parents and I immigrated to the United States where we lived for eight years. I constantly missed my beautiful country and when I graduated college I knew it was time to return. So I did. I now work as a weather presenter in ABC News Albania, I am doing my masters in International Relations, and I work as a model. 
I was happy to return because here are my roots, my family, and my closest friends. The people in Albania are very friendly, family oriented, easy going, and have a strong sense of unity and togetherness. As for the country, mother nature has blessed Albania. In a small territory with a population of only 3 and a half million, Albania consists of high mountains, lakes, a stunning coastline, and a favorable climate. It is conveniently positioned in the Balkan peninsula making it easy to travel to both Eastern and Western Europe. My hometown is the second largest city in Albania and it is only 20 minutes away by car from Tirana, the capital, making it very easy to commute. Tourism is very developed in Durres thanks to its beautiful sandy beaches, its port, and its favorable geographic position.

2. What are your plans for the future?
I plan to continue my career in television, finish my masters, and get involved in charity work. I would like to travel in as many countries as possible, get introduced to new cultures, meet new people, realize, as well as embrace my role in helping others less fortunate than myself. In addition, I want to start a family and have children. 

3. What are you most proud of?
I am proud of making it on my own since I was 18 years old in New York. The Big Apple is a difficult city to succeed in, however, I was able to do so by graduating college with honors, being named Player of the Year twice for the CUNY conference in volleyball, as well as winning the CUNY championship, all while working to pay the bills. I am also proud of representing Albania in the Volleyball Junior National team in 2001 and 2002 and fulfilling my dream of being a presenter in national television. 

4. Which activities make you lose track of time?
Reading a good book, and playing volleyball. 

5. If somebody was describing your personality what would they say?
They would say that I am driven, passionate, positive, and caring. Also, that I am likely to obtain what I aim for. 

 6. What is something you know you do differently than the most other people?
Having lived in the United States for a long time I am able to think and act both in an Albanian and American way. 

7. Have you done anything memorable lately? 
I just finished shooting the second Cortefiel commercial for Albania with a coworker of mine. It came out great, and I discovered a passion of mine for acting. Some say I am a natural at it. :)

8. Which is worse, failing or never trying? Why?
Definitely failing. Because it teaches you a lesson, it gives you an experience; it means that you have the chance to get back on your feet when you fall, and be even stronger than before. 

9. If you could teach anyone anything, what would that be?
We have to live life to the fullest, each day, each hour, each minute as if it were our last. Life is too precious to be spent regretting, developing negative thoughts, holding grudges... We have to free our soul, think positive, laugh more, forgive, and help others. This way we will find true happiness.

10. How do you define beauty? How will you prepare for Miss World to achieve your vision of beauty?
Beauty is the power that touches hearts. It’s a combination of a healthy body, warm eyes, a radiant smile and a kind, and loving personality. I realize I have been preparing all my life for this major event. I am now just looking forward to meeting the other beautiful contestants from all over the world and learning from them as much as possible. 

11. Share a message to your supporters and readers of The Times of Beauty.
Since I was a little girl I imagined participating in a major beauty competition. I had to live so many other extraordinary things in life before I did this. I am very grateful that I had the chance to do so, because I now realize the importance of experience and trying hard before a wish finally becomes true. No matter the result of Miss World 2012, I will try my best to make it worthwhile and affect my future for the better. 
Thank you so much for your support! It means the world to me!

and finally...
Personal Motto: “Laugh often, dream big, reach for the stars!”
Favorite Food: Oysters, Sushi
Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Song: Belle (Notre Dame de Paris)
Favorite Movie: Shawshank Redemption
Favorite Book: Lolita, The Great Gatsby 
Favorite Singer/Band: Whitney Huston 
Favorite Actor/Actress: Angelina Jolie

Floriana Garo, Miss World Albania 2012
Vera Grabocka, National Director of Miss World in Albania

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