From a young age, I really adored travel. For family holidays I was always the one begging to go to a new country. To say that I am obsessed with travel is an understatement, and it's taught me one very important thing: to be proud of where you come from.
I always said that I would move abroad when I was older. Last year, I had the opportunity to study abroad for a year, so I leapt at the chance. I wanted my year abroad experience to be like nothing I had ever done before, and to really push myself out of my comfort zone, so I chose to study in Budapest. I barely knew anything about the city let alone the country prior to my arrival – and the culture shock was real.
The city was like nothing I had ever experienced before, from the bohemian flair of Buda, to the modern edge of Pest, and the most incredible architecture I had ever laid my eyes on. I was in awe, and I wanted to experience this feeling forever.
The more I travelled, there was one reoccurring theme. Everyone I met along the way shared their jealousy of me living in the UK.
This was such a strange concept to me, as I’d been led to believe that all the UK was known for rain, endless cups of tea (partly true) and Geordie Shore. But the more people I spoke to, the more I was reminded of the wonders of the Scottish Highlands, the endless green hills of the lake district and London’s stunning skylines. How was I missing out on all of this?
This really made me question myself. For so long I had a ‘grass is always greener on the other side’ mentality, thinking I had to travel to abroad to seek adventure when there was a whole world of adventure just waiting on my doorstep.
Travel is amazing, but people often forget that it can start in your home country. I’ve now made it my goal to rediscover as much I can about my own country and the cultures that form it, and I’m so excited. I practically skipped off the plane after my return journey with my head filled with the all the adventures, wonders (and a good cup of tea) that I would soon get to experience. I just can’t wait to emulate the feeling of wonder and awe that I first experienced on my arrival in Budapest within my home nation.
I have never been to the Scottish highlands or walked along the endless green hills of the Lake District. These are just a few examples of the limitless things I’m planning on doing next.
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