“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world” (Gustave Flaubert).
I’m sure most of you are wondering where I have been. Well hopefully I am able to answer your questions and inquires. To answer the most frequently asked question “Kelly, where have you been?” I would like to reply with: where haven’t I been? This might sound like a funny answer, but seriously where haven’t I gone? For the past couple of weeks I have been traveling. Not traveling for vacation, well not really anyway. I have spent the past few weeks in Europe. For some reason the end of May is always the time of year that I feel the sudden urge to get away.
Why do people need time to get away? This a question I used to ask myself frequently. Why bother leaving home for a week, if you’re just going to get hit back with reality? I found out the answer to why I need to go away sometimes. I need to go away so that I can come back. I wanted to miss home, I needed to miss routine, and most importantly I needed to remember to appreciate the familiar faces, sounds, language, and tastes that I am ever so used to. What I noticed from many of my trips in the past year is that whenever come back, I walk through the same front door to my house and I talk to the same people in my neighborhood – but I always see them differently. I come back with new eyes and I see things in brighter colors. Coming back from being away is always the beginning of something new for me.
Now to answer the next question: “Where did you travel to?” I will make many more posts referencing my travels but I will make the short list here: I went coast to coast in Ireland, Munich/Germany, Prague/ Czech Republic, and last but not least Budapest/Hungary. If I haven’t said it already, this was probably one of the best experiences of my entire life. Each place had it’s own personality. The different culture, language, architecture, foods, and people. All of the places were beyond wonderful but for my first post about my travels I would like to talk about my favorite stop besides Ireland which was Budapest, Hungary.
Arriving in Budapest early in the morning, I was already tired. Not to mention, it was cold & rainy, and to top it off I was feeling a bit under the weather. “What a long trip this will be…” was the thought that was replaying over and over again in my head. After checking into the wrong hostel by mistake, we finally made it to the right place- Carpe Noctem Vitae. Intimidated by the many flights of stairs that were ahead of me, we climbed to the top floor of this Hungarian building and when we entered the front door we were greeted ever so kindly by the Vitate staff. They told us about all the fun activities there is to do in Budapest.
First and foremost, the bars were absolutely grand. They had a very fun nightlife atmosphere and though I wish I experienced more of it, I intend on visiting Budapest again very soon. Secondly, we did this “thing” called an escape room. Rumor has it that Budapest is known for the Rubix Cub and other such puzzle like activities. So in these escape rooms you are locked into a room and have 60 minutes to use clues and problem solving skills to unlock the door Lastly, the craziest and most exhilarating activity was caving. This consisted of wearing really attractive red jumpsuit-like outfits and head lamps, whilst crawling through the caves under the Buda side of Budapest. As if these activities weren’t enough…our hostel organized nightly events!
Because this hostel is a party hostel, the staff knows how to have fun. Now, getting back to the fact that I was sick I stayed in the first night, boring right? Wrong. The staph created a very “home” like atmosphere and all the fellow backpackers and guests staying at Vitae become friends with eachother almost instantaneously. Whether it is everyone sitting in the living room listening to guitar or it is going to the open-mic night together. Budapest has a special place in my heart.
Looking back on my experiences traveling I think that I have become more humble. What is funny is that when you tell someone you are going to some of these countries they pre warn you of all the bad people and possible disastrous occurrences that could happen. But it isn’t until you are plopped down, right in the middle of these cities that you realize everything you heard isn’t what you would experience. Yes, there are bad people out there -but no, they do not just coincide in land that is foreign to you. 95% of the people I met were incredibly nice and patient. The patience was definitely appreciated with my English clashing with their native language-but there was always a happy medium. I will continue writing about this trip in greater detail as weeks go on because I head back home tomorrow morning.
So, please remember one thing: people can sometimes be meaner than you expected. But people are also more loving than you ever imagined.