We’ve officially lived in Budapest for a year! It’s hard to believe, as I would swear we only just arrived. However, it’s true. Last week, Facebook reminded me on the day we took our one-way flight across the pond. Living abroad in Budapest was always a dream of mine, and thanks to my amazing husband, we are here sharing it together. To celebrate this milestone, I thought I would tell you 5 things we’ve learned living abroad in Budapest, Hungary.
1. Determination and patience are key
When we moved here, we really did start our lives again from scratch. We had nowhere to live, nowhere to work, no friends and no idea how to tackle Hungarian bureaucracy. However, what we did have was each other. Our strong partnership was essential for making some stressful times much less so. It helped us laugh, love and enjoy along the way. And of course, Stuart and his team at InterRelocation were a huge help too!
2. You can live with less “stuff”
Sorting and selling our worldly goods in order to move to Europe was tough. However, living here with less has been fabulous. All that stuff you thought you couldn’t live without? Well you can! Of course we replaced some essentials when we arrived – but there is practically nothing I miss. Especially not my car! Public transportation is amazing here. I love that its more environmentally friendly and that I’m not wasting my life sitting in my car. I read so many more books while taking public transportation!
3. Age is just a number
Moving here midlife – and by choice – was just not something everyone could understand. I learned that it’s never too late for changes and we can always chase our dreams. People shouldn’t be discouraged by their age – quite the opposite. When you’re older, you’re more experienced and you know what you want from life.
4. Dollars, pounds, euros or forints?
The day will come when you stop converting money in your head. For a long while, we were still converting everything into Canadian dollars to truly understand the price of things. However, we realized a couple of months ago, we no longer find ourselves doing it all the time.
5. We have different accents
A few weeks ago someone told me I speak with an accent. Happily, I though this meant maybe I had developed a bit of a Hungarian one… but they said, “No”. Then, my glee quickly turned to horror as I though I perhaps developed an affected British accent like Madonna? However, thankfully, they also said, “No, its not that either”. What they meant, was more that my speech has changed. I choose my words differently now knowing that (Canadian) English is not the first language of most of our new friends and co-workers. And they are right, my language has definitely changed. However, my husband’s English accent has also absolutely become much stronger over the past year. My Canadian influence is fading…
Emigrating to another country certainly might seem daunting and I do believe that not everyone was made for this journey. But if you feel like you want to leave your country and would like to see the world, then do it! Fight your fears, open your mind and go!
As for us? We are still on our journey. We are currently trying to work through our final bits of Hungarian bureaucracy getting our Hungarian Driver’s Licenses. At first, we thought we would simply be able to exchange our Canadians ones, but apparently that is not true. What it does mean, is that we’ll be starting off 2019 back in Driver’s Ed. Wish us luck!