Last Stop: Budapest
We reached the end of our back-packing journey and it was time to return to our individual lives. Some of us had 9 to 5 jobs to resume, others were prolonging their holidays and continuing traveling, and as for me – I was packing up my bag once more and moving my life to Florence.
One by one, the group dissipated. Our final embraces signified “see you later” rather than “goodbye.” We knew we would all be reunited once again, in one country or another; however, the harsh reality that we would no longer spend every hour laughing and exploring together fell upon us. Nevertheless, we did not mourn our looming departures while in Budapest, but rather, we celebrated our amazing summer together and enjoyed each other’s company for the final remaining days.
First and foremost, an immeasurable amount of thanks needs to go out to our lovely friends in Budapest who housed, fed, and entertained us. Without you all, we would have simply wandered this beautiful city; but your generosity and company filled Budapest with even more love and life.
After we arrived in Budapest, post a memorable over-night train ride from Serbia, we dispersed among friends homes to get settled in. It was extremely refreshing and comforting to “make roots” in a country for a period of time longer than a few days – not to mention sleep in knowingly clean sheets, eat home-cooked meals, and take a hot shower.
The first night in Budapest, fellow Camp Cal workers and our traveling group reunited for bor, fröccs, and palinká. Drinks, laughs, and stories flowed throughout the night, leaving us all warm-hearted to see dear friends. Over the next few days our gracious tour guides brought us to see all the sights of Budapest – Parliament, the Castle District, Margit Island, local restaurants, dive bars, and live music, among many others. This is an easy city to fall in love with – it is brimming with beautiful people, architecture, and things to do – truly coming into its prime.
We explored Budapest during the day, experiencing the great capacity of life and enjoyment Hungary has to offer, and later reconvened at night to reminisce over funny tales of the summer or share pending plans for the future.
The week of delicious food, fun bars, and incredible sights flew by quickly and before I knew it, I was saying my final goodbye. Boarding the plane in Budapest, I was brought back to the memory of my departure from New York three months prior: for the second time in 2012 I would be moving my life to a new country with no set plan, just a dream.
I settled into my miniature seat on that lovely Ryan Air flight (what a spacious airplane) and was not sad over the goodbyes or the official end of my glorious summer. I was brimming with excitement knowing that I get to continue to create my new life and manifest my own happiness in Italy. I was ready to start the next chapter of my journey; intertwining my experiences of the US and travels abroad along with my eagerness and the infinite possibility of my future in Italy.