Greetings —or szia — and welcome to my last blog entry from Hungary.
WOW. It is now starting to hit me that I just studied abroad for a full semester. As I sit here contemplating what to write about, I recall all the great memories I have had here in Pécs, Hungary and abroad.
“This is one thing I like about being abroad: You meet other travelers and you instantly connect with each other”
I’ll start off by recapping Thanksgiving. This is my first time being away from my family for that day. It is also a holiday not celebrated in Europe. However I still enjoyed the day, and had a thanksgiving dinner.
I met with my Greek friend, Haris, and two classmates of his — a Jordanian and an Italian. Together we all cooked and made a delicious meal. After dinner we enjoyed each other’s company, played a few games and told stories about being abroad. Overall it was a great Thanksgiving dinner; even without my family, I felt that “home” feeling.
The week after I traveled to Budapest for the weekend. A friend of mine, Susie, is currently studying abroad in Spain and wanted to visit Hungary. So she got into contact with me and we set up the trip. My friend, like me, comes from Southern California, so she was not ready to embrace the cold hug of Hungary. It was between 25-35 degrees Fahrenheit while we were in Budapest.
Bottom line: it was FREEZING.
Apart from the cold temperature, we both got to enjoy the city. All the Christmas markets were set up and there were so many different types of food, and they all smelled incredibly delicious. It was definitely a sight see and a smell to enjoy.
On the trip we also got to meet a nice couple that had recently gotten engaged. We went out for the day with them and had an absolute blast, talking about trips abroad. This is one thing I like about being abroad: You meet other travelers and you instantly connect with each other. Next thing you know you find yourself at a coffee shop talking for hours with someone you just met.
The hostel we stayed at also offered an exclusive boat party for us and a partnering hostel. Although it may been freezing on the Danube River, it was a fun experience. My friend and I even met another Mexican who was traveling abroad (my friend Susie is also Mexican). It honestly amazes me who you will find traveling. You never know who you might find.
The last day in Budapest we went the famous Szechenyi Thermal Bath House. I have to say, it was the best place to go visit, especially in this cold weather. The hard part is having to walk outside in 25 degree weather while getting in and out because the bath is outside.
While on this trip, Susie and I talked about where we were going to travel for the holidays and little did we know are going to be in Berlin, Germany for Christmas and Paris, France right after New Years. So we already made plans to meet up and go traveling together. In that time I will be traveling with my fraternity brother, Victor Lezo, who is also from the same area as Susie and me, and as you can guess we all know each other.
So I already know we will be sharing some good memories that will last a lifetime.
Before I go into sharing about my last trip throug Europe, I’ll fill you in on how finals are going.
Thus far I have not had any, but I had to turn in two essays which I did this past weekend. This week I have my first final for my geopolitics class on Thursday. Next week is the tough week. I have two finals Monday, one at 8 a.m. and the other at 2 p.m. Tuesday I have another two finals, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday is my day off and Thursday I finish with back-to-back finals at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. That means this week I am studying all week to prepare.
I also want to spend time with all the friends I have made here. People are beginning to leave this weekend so I want to enjoy every last moment I can get with them. After Thursday, Friday is my last day to enjoy this beautiful city of Pécs. Come Saturday, my two-and-half weeks of travel in Europe begins.
As for my my trip: On Saturday I leave Pécs for Budapest. From there my fraternity brother Victor will be landing and joining me at a hostel. From then until Jan. 9 we will be going to Krakow, Poland; Berlin and Munich Germany; Brussels, Belgium; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Paris, France; Bratislava, Slovakia; and back to Budapest where we will return home.
I cannot fully describe how excited I am to go on this trip; I am just really fired up for it. Moreso now because I know I will be traveling with Victor and meeting up with a friend along the way. I could not ask for a better way to end my study abroad experience — ending on one of the highest of notes of my life so far.
Stay tuned for my last entry where I break down my last experiences in this beautiful country and in Europe.
Until next time everybody! Have a happy holiday season!
Mauro Abel Ordiano is an international security and conflict resolution major with a minor in religious studies. He is studying fall semester at the University of Pecs in Hungary.
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