I am ready.
I am home in the United States and am ready to move on to the next stage in my life.
One of my Hungarian students recently emailed me and asked, “After living in Hungary, how would you subscribe this year from your point of view? Did you enjoy being here?”
The answer, although not an uncomplicated one, is ultimately, YES.
Living abroad was an important life goal for me. I didn’t want to just breeze through as a tourist or even volunteer somewhere for just a few weeks. I wanted to live and work in another country, to immerse myself in another culture, and hoped that that would help me figure out who I am. Because when you’re separated from almost everyone you know and are far from all that is familiar, it’s a good opportunity to reflect on who you really are.
I considered going to Bangladesh and Africa, but I ended up in Hungary, and I’m glad that I did.
And I’m so glad that Jesse did it with me. Teaching high school students was decidedly not one of his life goals, but he promised me that we could go abroad after he got his master’s, and teaching English was the best way to do it. It wasn’t easy, but we now have amazing memories.
Over the course of ten months, I taught over three hundred students. At least some of them improved their English.
I had the incredible opportunity to volunteer at a refugee camp.
I visited seven countries: Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Romania, France, and Italy. I won’t try to pick a favorite, but I will say that I don’t regret going to Italy three times. It is a truly bewitching place.
I fell on my chin, visited a Hungarian hospital, and got two stitches.
I did the cha cha with kindergartners.
I brushed my teeth in front of sixth graders.
I rapped for twelfth graders.
I made friends with a puli dog.
I took trains all over Europe, and I never once went in the wrong direction or got off at the wrong stop.
. . . And now I am glad to be home. We are moving to Syracuse, New York, at the end of July. We found a cute apartment relatively close to campus (but outside of the dangerous zone inhabited by undergraduates) and we are now the proud owners of a washer and dryer. One of my college professors once told me that you’re not officially a grownup until you own a washer and dryer. So, according to that metric, I am a real adult.
This concludes Hungary for Adventure, but for my readers, it doesn’t have to be viszlát (good bye). I can no longer offer you photos of European destinations, but I will keep taking pictures and hope to be mildly entertaining. Please visit my new blog, Scribbling Scarlett.