Backpacking Diaries #9: Budapest (Part 2)

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

I woke up around 8AM this morning. I’m not sure why but I’ve been waking up pretty early each day. I’m not too upset about it because I feel refreshed and I have much more time in my day to explore!

I decided that this morning I would go ahead & do my laundry. I headed over to the Bubbles Laundromat that was literally right down the street. The laundromat was pretty empty.. I guess other people don’t usually do their laundry first thing in the morning?

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I figured out the laundromat system despite it being in Hungarian, and scrolled though my phone as I waited for my clothes to be cleaned. It was about 1400 HUF to wash & 1400 HUF to dry. The washing also included detergent, so it was pretty reasonable & convenient in my opinion.

I headed back into my room to put my clothes away into my locker. I got to talking to one guy who was also in the room at the time. He asked where I was from. I told him I was from the states, and he said that the guy in the bed next to him was also from the states. I love meeting other people who are from the states because I feel like there’s a little bit of a connection there. Something we have in common haha. Anyway, as we were talking about our travels, the other guy from the states happened to walk in.

We all talked for about an hour or so about our travels & lives. We all got along pretty well, it was nice.
I decided to head out & walk around the city for a bit. There’s just something about Budapest that I love so dearly. I love to immerse myself & get completely lost in this city. I spent an hour or two doing so.

When I got back into the hostel, I wanted to take a nap, but needed to charge my phone.. The outlet wasn’t anywhere near my bed which was located on the top bunk, so I plugged my phone in & sat on the floor.

Later on that night, one of the roomies invited me out to drink with the guys at the bar. I was debating on going because I had a flight to Athens to catch early tomorrow morning.. But I was in Budapest for just one more night, sooo why not?

We went to the bar that was literally right next door. You step out side, turn left, and there it was. The bartenders there were so much fun. The vibe was pretty chill. We all had a couple drinks and just got to know one another. We then headed to another bar that was known for their beer, I guess. I’m not that into beer, but one of the guys bought everyone a huge, I’m talking HUGE, glass of beer, so I had to be polite and drink it. It was like a roommate night out because all 7 of us were actually staying in the same hostel room.

After the bar, we headed to a club that the guys went to the night prior. I didn’t know how I would like it because I usually like going out dancing with my girlfriends, but as the night went on, I ended up having the time of my life. I realized that I wasn’t going to make my flight to Athens, but I wasn’t too bothered. We danced all night long. There were 3 of us from our group left when 5:30AM rolled around and they were kicking us out.

We were walking home and stopped by a little convenient store that was open 24 hours. One of the guys bought a hotdog croissant and we were teasing him about it. Long story short, he ended up giving us a bite & it turned out to be pretty darn good, so we went back into the store and asked to buy 9 of them. (They didn’t have 9… so we bought 3).

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

This morning was pretty uneventful. We were all quite exhausted from last night. I don’t think a single one of us moved from our beds until about 3PM. Well, I had to get up to extend my stay a few days, so I did have to walk outside to the ATM to get some Hungarian dollars… Does that count as being productive?

Other than that, we all stayed in bed basically all day until the Thanksgiving Dinner. It was great.

The Thanksgiving feast was held at the bar next door. The food was incredible! Except they forgot mashed potatoes.. The most important part..

We all ate our food, had some drinks, shared some stories, and even listened to some live music. Even though I had just met these people, it really did feel like my home away from home. I felt so blessed to be surrounded by such incredible people. My heart (& stomach) felt so full.

Once again, I decided to take a night stroll around the city for some peace & quiet.

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I’ve realized that I’m quite an introvert. As much as I love getting to know new people and spending time with others, I really crave time to myself to just think & reflect on the day..

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

I’ve learned from my hostel roommates that sometimes, it’s okay to not stuff your days with things to do one after another. Just because you are traveling in a new city, doesn’t mean you can’t have a chill day.

So that’s exactly what I did today.

I got to sleep in and I wasn’t in a hurry to get anywhere because I had nothing planned.

When I finally got myself ready for the day, I decided to do my favorite activity: get lost in this city that I love.

Today was different though. On this trip, I’ve noticed myself being so dependent on my iPhone, whether it be googling a place to eat or relying on my apple maps to get me to where I needed to be. My phone was dying and I did start to feel a little panic starting to arise.

However, instead of heading back to the hostel to charge my phone, I decided to challenge myself. And I can’t resist a little challenge.

Would I be able to figure my way around Budapest without my phone? People used to travel with maps all the time before iPhones existed, right? So that’s what I did.

I wandered the streets more present in the moment.

I was able to smile at more strangers because my eyes weren’t glued to my phone. I was able to listen to the hustle & bustle of Budapest because my ears weren’t busy listening to the tunes on my Spotify. I was able to truly experience everything Budapest had to offer because I wasn’t distracted by this tiny device that has somehow managed to take control of my life.

I pulled out my little map from the airport that was folded up in my fanny pack. I have never been so confused in my life. Let me tell you, I underestimated just how dependent I really was on my phone. How could a map be so difficult to read?

Anyway, I managed to find my way back to my hostel without using my phone and I must say I’m quite impressed with myself. Not impossible after all, haha. For my next Europe trip, my goal is to learn to travel without relying too much on my phone. Who knows all the things I’ve missed because I was too busy diverting my attention to this little screen..

Cindy

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