I am beginning month number three in Budapest, Hungary and it is safe to say the adjustment stage has officially gone away. While preparing to go abroad you think you’re ready and it is going to be a walk in the park – “oh my gosh, a semester abroad- HOW COOL, I’ll be SO cultured!” This is true, but the phrase that hit my hard 1 week into the trip was “I have FOUR months to be here.” During the first week you want to do everything. You explore the entire city, eat tons of exotic food, do everything you can think to do- and then when you are done you realize you have a very long time to be there. Luckily for me, two weeks into my trip I got a visitor, which saved me from too much culture shock.
After exploring this beautiful, historic, wonderful city my boyfriend, Logan, came to visit and the next day we left for a trip of our own. Since neither of us had ever been out of the country we decided to use this time to explore a set of cities that both of us wanted to see. We bought a Eurail Pass and began our 14 day journey through Europe. On the first night of our trip we ran into our first problem- the fact that we don’t know how to travel. We missed a train (probably too busy eating cinnamon rolls the size of our face) and were stuck in Vienna for a night, which ended up being not so bad. The next day we got on a new train and finally arrived in Rome. We spent the next few days seeing the entire city, eating whole pizzas to ourselves, and ending every night with a scoop of gelato. Rome was nice, but not for our waistline. After Rome we traveled to Prague which is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, it looks like it is out of a picture book. There we explored the city, took a hop-on hop-off tour and even found a Czech Crossfit Gym! After three days in Prague we moved on to Amsterdam which is the most interesting city I have ever been. There you see the most brilliant buildings with hundreds of canals. Not only was it breathtaking, the atmosphere is so carefree which is exactly why I loved it. Everyone minds their own business and does not care what others are doing around them. The BIKES were my favorite part. It is normal to ride a bike around town but the Dutch use them as their everyday “cars” carrying their children to school or riding to work in a suit or dress, it is amazing! After a few days there we traveled to our final city- Munich. I can just say one thing about this city- Oktoberfest. At the end of our two weeks we arrived back to Budapest and Logan’s flight left later that afternoon.
Now that I have returned from dabbling through Europe I am finally back to classes and have a sort of structure to my schedule, which is nice. Luckily classes only meet once a week, the downside is they are three hours long but this helps the school week go by and the weekend arrive fast. I am readjusting back to being in Hungary rather than a purely tourist city and it feels almost normal, I even referred to Budapest as “home” while traveling. I currently have trips to Berlin, Brussels, Dublin, and the UK planned for the last half of my trip. I even have a trip planned to meet some other students from UofL in Barcelona for Halloween! Even though culture shock is real and it takes some adjusting, I still think this experience is the best thing I have ever done. I have exactly 2 months left and I already do not want to leave.