Daniela Ilieva - A Character With Character
...because interesting people are more fun to work with
I was born in Sofia, Bulgaria during the dark years of the communism. Despite this, I had a sunny, fun-filled and very active childhood: I learned to ski before I could walk. Skiing became my lifelong passion and later turned into my first career. I developed a passion for traveling early in life touring my homeland with my parents. When the Berlin Wall fell down, I hiked and hitchhiked around Europe and, in my late teens decided to take my adventures to another continent. I have now been a resident of Chicago for over ten years and greatly enjoy the diversity a global city has to offer. Of the famous places I have traveled to around the world, one of my most memorable experiences occurred in Waco, Nebraska where I spent Christmas Eve stranded at a gas station along I-80 in a massive whiteout, later to be rescued by a local farmer on Christmas Day. I have always known there is something interesting in every corner of the world and this experience proved it.
What is your greatest fear?
Water in my nose ranks pretty high on the list. I would do anything not to have a drop of water enter my nostrils. This fear not only prevents me from participating in water sports, but also mandates extra care in the shower.
What is your most treasured possession?
I treasure pictures because they capture life’s most fun-filled moments. Through pictures, I can look back and reflect on times past, people I love and relationships I’ve made along the way.
What natural gift would you most like to possess? Why?
Musical talent. I would love to be able to sing without having to turn the radio up so high that I can’t hear myself. My co-workers might appreciate this as well.
If you were a restaurant, which restaurant would you be and why?
A tapas bar. At a tapas bar, the culture is about sampling and sharing with friends – it is more than an eating experience. And of course, at a tapas bar, there are always fantastic drinks involved.
When was a time you had to be the “bad guy”?
Being a Gemini, I’m equally talented at playing both the “good guy” and the “bad guy” – sometimes simultaneously. I play the role of the “bad guy” more often to myself than to anybody else.