Back on Track!

Authored by:
Lauren S.

Good morning! I'm back in Budapest on this lovely Monday, refreshed and prepared to power through the rest of my classes for the semester. This past weekend was the best. My friend Mari came to visit and I got to show her around the city! She is such a sweet, kind soul; the type of friend with which you have the best, honest life talks. We talked so much about our study abroad experiences (she is studying in Salzburg, Austria) and how on the outside, study abroad seems like an amazing experience and the time of your life. It definitely is, don't get me wrong, but nobody really talks about the times that aren't as fun. There are times I've been lonely, I've missed home, I've missed my sister, and I definitely don't love the city. Abroad can be frustrating and infuriating, and it's good to hear those feelings are being felt by other people, and it's not just me.

Abroad is amazing, yes, but it's also terrifying. In the past 65 days, I have grown a tremendous amount personally. I have gotten comfortable being alone (thanks for the best advice Liz and Erin!), and have made it a challenge to do something new everyday. It doesn't have to be something big, but just something like walking a new way to school, grabbing dinner with someone new in my program, or finding a new coffee shop. My new thing for today is a new coffee shop location, next to a law school. It's nice to be in a place filled with local students, instead of tourists or even other adults. It's so easy to get stuck in a schedule, or just stay in my room watching a Netflix show or reading. But I think if I get stuck in that, my abroad experience won't impact me as much, so I am not letting myself be comfortable all of the time.

Since I've been here, I've been traveling non-stop almost every weekend and it's been so much fun. I've visited 10 countries in the past 8 weeks and have had so many excellent adventures. But I got home from Krakow on Thursday, and I've been here. It's been great to be back in the city I'm living in, but haven't really been in (if you know what I mean). The rest of my time here will go by fast (only 41 days left!), and I will spend a lot of it in Budapest, being able to show my friends this city. While I do have a few trips planned, I am looking forward to being able to slow down and spend more time in a coffee shop or wandering the streets, instead of in security lines at the airport or at the train station.

If I can offer a little advice for your week, it's this: Be Present. In whatever you're doing, be present and make the most of the moment. Thank y'all as always for reading, and see you next Monday!

Love, Lauren


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