It’s been a while since there’s been serious, creative content on this is youth.
To put it simply, I find it difficult to write when I’m happy.
The last nine months of my life have been a happy story.
Unfortunately, I’m now in a position to tell it.
So where were we last? That’s right: Budapest, Hungary. 4 a.m., a foggy New Year’s Day, on the banks of the Danube….
I had come to know Hungary through my good friend and climbing partner, Shawn. Traveling southeast Asia after graduation, Shawn had met a Hungarian woman, fallen in love, and followed her home.
He’s been in Budapest for two years now; a testament to the good things that can happen when you’re willing to take a risk.
I had come to Budapest, this time, to take a risk of my own — to chase my own foreign love.
It had gone well; we’d had four amazing days together, just before Christmas. Midnight, Christmas Eve, I’d taken her on the tram back to the airport. She got on a plane and flew back home, to Italy. The pain was deep, biting and meaningful.
A week had passed. New Year’s Eve came around, filled with alcohol and adventure with my Hungarian hosts.
We were in a club in central Budapest when the clock struck midnight. I had expected to be filled with loneliness and longing; thinking of the girl in Italy, but instead, I found myself warmed by compassion. Everyone started hugging each other, gently, expressing best wishes for the new year. I felt included; accepted; and OK.
I sobered up four hours later: alone, with no memory of how I’d gotten there. The club had emptied out, and I couldn’t find my friends.
With no cell service and no other ideas, I walked out; headed to the Danube, where I could catch the number 2 tram back to Shawn’s flat. An ethereal beauty stood before me. The river was swamped in a strong mist: the bridges disappeared into nothingness. It was frigid, even considering the alcohol. Light twinkled in warm globes along the structures of the bridges. It illuminated the outlines of far-off buildings, giving just the slightest hint of a world beyond my immediate thirty meters.
I recorded a brief voice message, sent it to Italy, and then wandered home, alone, but not alone.
So started my new year.
The story from here takes us to a few foreign countries; some familiar, some unfamiliar. You can expect a healthy blend of #wanderlust and #feels. This will be a shorter series than my last one — thank god. I’m targeting around 7-10 chapters, so, not sure how fast I will get them out. But I’ll try my best.