The one where the reality of traveling is learned

Hösök tèr (Heroes Square) (photo courtesy of Sunny!)

There’s only so much castling, museuming, and coffee shopping you can do without getting seriously stupefied.

As much as traveling is exciting, it is tiring.

I finally returned to the apartment after a 7 hour bus ride from Budapest back to Prague. Relief surged at the comfort of being at ‘home’ again after 7 long days of transient living.

Bedrooms are best when not shared with 13 other travelers, including loud, oddly sing-songy French boys, older budget travelers set on doing their own thing and making it a point to not notice they’re staying with mainly young 20-somethings, and people you’d rather not see again a second day.

Vacation days are best when spent in warm, sunny locations where it’s enjoyable to spend an afternoon strolling the streets or sitting in a park just lounging. Cold, rainy and/or foggy days that chill you to the bone and then turn comically to unrelenting night by 5 pm get old after the first few of them.

Vacations are best with a wallet full of money and the desire to spend it.

Budapest was great, and I did have a really good time. Still, days spent in a rush to get to all the necessary destinations before their geriatric closing time or nightfall (whichever came first), pulling out your wallet at each stop whether it be for food, entrance fees, coffees, or drinks, and combing through all the logistics and hassles of getting from place to place (in the damp chill of Central Europe) really tried my patience. I felt like we had so much time we had to fill without the desire to spend the time and money to fill it with traveler attractions. All of the easy and free ways to while away a vacation were off limits in damp Hungarian November. I managed to get myself to six different museums I felt were compulsory to visit, but was disappointed by ALL of them. They weren’t horrible, just ehhhh, sub-par. Especially after the splendor of Vienna’s museums.

A lot of the trip were great, and I met a few really cool people I hope to keep in contact with. But truth be told, a good part of this trip was a mix of constantly feeling slightly bored and not knowing what to occupy ourselves with, and then being disappointed after most of the activities we did. It didn’t excite me, didn’t wrap me in thrill or enthusiasm.

I am happy I went on this trip, I really am. Budapest is an incredible city. I suppose this is just me realizing that traveling isn’t the perfect lifestyle. In my years of growing up, I pined to be constantly on the road, always going somewhere, seeing something different. Now I understand the hassles and aggravations much better than I did while sitting on my couch only looking at pretty pictures of the Prague Castle or the Eiffel Tower. I’m rather pleased with my discovery that I’d actually hate backpacking, contrary to the opinion I had before I got to Europe. A post-grad backpacking trip will not be in my future – oh the headache that’d be.

Stay tuned for a post about the good things from the trip, there were many.

Budapest architecture > Prague architecture (photo courtesy of Sunny!)
Budapest Bridges > Prague Bridges (photo courtesy of Mackenzie!)

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