Wandering is Good for the Soul

Authored by:
Lauren S.

Happy Monday everyone! I think there's some unspoken rule that every abroad blog must include a recount of Thanksgiving abroad so here's mine:

Our program directors were super sweet to bring us cupcakes with little turkeys on top and wish us all a Happy Thanksgiving. The weirdest part for me was that I had to go to my political science class. In my 20 years of life, I've never once been to class on Thanksgiving. many other kids in my programs had their families visiting, so they weren't in class and our professor asked if people were sick, or traveling. I responded that no, a lot of people were just with their families since today was Thanksgiving. His reply? "Ah, yes, a very important holiday for you, just another Thursday for us Hungarians." That night, I got to FaceTime my family while they were all together, which was so nice. Then we ordered some Pizza Hut and just hung out and chatted, enjoying being with friends when we couldn't be with family.

The rest of this weekend, I spent wandering. I think it's really difficult abroad to set time aside for downtime. There's this feeling that you have to always be doing something, exploring, adventuring...but I'm here to tell you that it shouldn't be that way. I am a huge advocate of taking care of yourself in all the ways: emotionally, physically, spiritually, etc. And sometimes you just need some downtime, and that's what I needed this weekend.
Friday I spent sleeping in, and eventually when I got up and around to it, I just started walking down the river towards Parliament. Every once in a while I'd stop, sit on a bench, and just hang out for a bit before moving on. Eventually I made it to one Christmas market where I did a bit of shopping, and then eventually moved onto the Christmas market that had just opened in front of St. Stephan's Basilica. I've said it before and I'll say it again...I LOVE CHRISTMAS MARKETS. From there I wandered over to a Chipotle-style Mexican food restaurant that one of my friends had recommended. You don't realize how much you miss Chipotle when you haven't had it for 3 months. Then I wandered back home again to watch a movie and go to bed early.

Saturday I did much of the same. I had heard that Szimpla Kert (Simple Garden in Hungarian), which is a ruin bar here, was going to be hosting fashion vendors during the day, so I wanted to check that out! Before that I got myself breakfast, and then went to check out a new coffee shop I stumbled upon on Apple Maps. Side note: sometimes I like to find new places to get coffee or eat by just looking around on Apple Maps, and if the place has decent reviews, I'll go try to find it and check it out! So I went to the coffee shop, and then went and wandered around the Jewish Quarter for awhile before walking back towards the Christmas Markets (can't keep me away!!!!) and then I went home again due to a large downpour.

Sunday I got to go to Hillsong again for church, and it was just as great! It was so lovely to be recognized and welcomed back with such open arms. But my really exciting news....Erin is coming to visit this weekend!! She is my big in my sorority and one of the most inspirational and loving women I've ever met. I can't wait for her to get here on Wednesday so I can show her Budapest, but also so we can take an adventure to Vienna for the incredible Christmas Markets there! I absolutely cannot wait.

Thanks as always for reading; isn't it crazy that I only have 3 more editions of this blog after this one?!

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