Cyprus Mail
A minute with Life & Style

A minute with Erika Zembyla Volleyball player


Where do you live?
I currently live in Cyprus with my parents and although they are great roommates I plan on moving out into my own place at the end of this month, once we’re out of lockdown.

What did you have for breakfast?
Two toasts spread with orange jam and a glass of orange juice

Describe your perfect day.
My perfect day would start with a delicious breakfast, toasted bread with anari and a hint of honey, served with a Cyprus coffee. Ideally enjoyed outside with fresh air and mountain views. I would love to go for a walk in a nature reserved area and eventually fill my appetite with Cypriot traditional food and dessert. What first comes to mind is halloumi, koupepia, loukoumades, all the good stuff and Cyprus coffee! Good food would make up a perfect day for me.

Best book ever read?
I wouldn’t say the best book, but a book I really struggled putting down was this book called Marked from the series House of Night, by Kristin Cast. I don’t really fancy Science Fiction, however, I enjoy a book or movie where the main character starts to figure out their supernatural ‘powers’.

Best childhood memory?
What comes to mind is a picture of me petting and feeding a donkey in Pafos!

What is always in your fridge?
Orange juice, of course!

What music are you listening to in the car at the moment?
You know how music can really change someone’s mood, well, lately I’ve had this song – Roses by OutKast – on repeat and I swear it has made me a better driver! It really sets the right mood for me on game days on my way to play. I generally enjoy jamming to R&B Soul music and Hip Hop.

What’s your spirit animal?
I would say an elephant because I find them peaceful, gentle, and wise, but this question had me curious enough to Google search it and I ended up taking a quiz, and this is what it said: “Your spirit animal is a snake. You often play the role of a guide and emotional healer. The snake facilitates life events to go smoothly – a connector of dots who reveals the big picture”. I must say I couldn’t relate more.

What are you most proud of?
I’m very proud of how far my sports career has taken me. Being able to compete for the National team, traveling all around the world – to more than 15 countries in three continents – and all the opportunities this has allowed me. At 17 I earned a full athletic scholarship in the United States. That allowed me to compete at a high level and finish 2 degrees with good grades, and debt-free! I have learned so much and I have gained great experiences in both my athletic career, as well as my professional career path. I feel like I have so much to give!

What movie scene has really stayed with you?
I am terrible with names and faces as it is, one can’t expect me to remember a movie scene!!

If you could pick anyone at all (alive or dead) to go out for the evening with, who would it be?
Michelle Obama, the most beautiful and inspirational woman today. Michelle holds a high level of self-respect and respect for others. She is such a great leader and encourages many young people around the world to work hard and become future leaders themselves. I see Leadership as a whole new chapter in my life and I hope to inspire others.

If you could time travel when/where would you go?
I’d choose a time from my past, back to the summer of 2002, in Sweden. I was young and carefree, my grandma was still alive, and my only care in the world was to spend as much time as possible with my grandma, before she had to tend to her grown up responsibilities. She was my best friend!

What is your greatest fear?
To be kidnapped, which is odd, because I’m 180cm tall and athletically built, ain’t nobody coming for me.

What would you say to your 18-year-old self?
To start making my bed every morning! Because if you can’t do the little things right you’ll never be able to do the big things right.

Name the one thing that would stop you dating someone
Lack of respect towards others. On all my first dates I always observe how my date treats the waiter or waitress, that would give me an idea of how they treat others.

If the world is ending in 24 hours what would you do?
Let all my people know how much I love them and appreciate them and then try skydiving

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