I originally thought this was going to be just another mini adventure blog, but has ended up so much more, in part my first solo adventure, pushing away the fear of traveling on my own with a disability, in part meeting up with friends, and an unexpected chat with a monk!
A lot of people have inspired me in this last year, which has made me relook at myself, how I live my life, the dreams I have and have had, how I had fallen into a world of just plodding along being content. it's made me want to do so much more, facing my fears, trying not to let my disability or age stop me from living my life and having new adventures. I'm not someone who lives with regret or feels like I'm one of life's victims, but I have let fear get in the way sometimes.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear” — Nelson Mandela
It can take a lot to take the first step
Lots of people struggle with holidays, anxiety can kick in, the fear of flying, losing your passport. Traveling with a disability adds a whole new dimension to it and there can be a lot of stress when it comes to traveling with a disability. But I just don't want that to subtract from a good time. I'm trying to focus on the bright spots, even if things didn’t go how I wanted, I'm going to celebrate the things that work out better than I could have imagined.
For me at this present time, life is all about experiences. We can spend a lot of time and money accumulating things, but ultimately, I believe experiences make a much more lasting positive impression on us. Getting outside of my comfort zone, I'm basically rubbish at saving and just spend what I have on doing things!
Gatecrashing Ellie and Courtneys European Adventure
So, When Ellie and Courtney told me about their European adventure, I found it inspiring, two months traveling around Europe by train. so, I decided in the middle of their adventure I would pop out and say hi, buy them dinner! It was never meant to be Budapest; I was originally meeting them in Barcelona. Two weeks before I was going, they messaged me to say they have cut Barcelona out, so the dates I was going out on, fell on #Budapest. It was never a place that I had thought off all I knew of the place was what I had seen on FBI International, but I'm so glad it ended up Budapest.
“This world is for all of us, and we shouldn’t be restricted by whatever impairment that we have,”
Going Solo I flew out the day before they were due to arrive, this was a #first for me, a bit of test. I have never travelled to another country alone before; my legs can fail me at random points, I'm not supposed to have a shower or bath without someone else being in the house, I can have sharp pains, I can lose my balance, so can be dodgy on stairs! So, this trip was a bid deal!
On the day I wasn't worried, took myself of to Stansted airport, parking booked in the short stay, traveled light, with a small carry on, gave myself plenty of time. the flight was only delayed by 15mins. It's a pretty short flight just over two hours, as we flew into Hungary the sun was setting as I looked out the plane window it was an endless sunset of orange. I had booked a taxi that took me to the centre of Budapest, I had an apartment booked in the hipster part of town. When I arrived, it was lively street full of bars and restaurants, a vibrant city.
I explored the city by night, with bars playing live music the city was live even though this was a solo adventure I enjoyed the moment. The following morning was total contrast of the night before the street felt empty. there was a calm about the place, the first sign I saw said wonder land that just seemed to fit my day. Even though I have my own difficulties I wasn't going to let them stop me, so, I wondered around St. Stephen's Basilica, and wow what a beautiful building and me being me decided to climb the steps to one of the best views I have seen in a while. My legs are so not designed for going up, when I already spend most of my life walking on you tip toes but coming down seemed like a breeze.
"We owe it to ourselves, and the people around us, to not allow our surroundings to stifle our adventurous spirit".
So, I met a Monk Whilst I waited for Ellie & Courtney to arrive in Budapest from Vienna, I had the opportunity to explore the centre of #Budapest Where I came across this guy who I thought was just trying to sell me something on the street, I nearly just walked on by. but for some reason decided not to. So, it ended up being a 23-year-old Buddhist monk who we ended up having a long conversation with, he told me his story, his journey of how it led to where he is now, how he sees the world that touched on the different types of meditation. he had this look in his eyes that I rarely see, he seemed to truly love what he was doing, the world around him, meeting new people and hearing their stories, and I briefly told him mine, and where abouts I'm on it now. even told about this blog, the first book that I'm just about to finish, how it surprised me and the reasons why. He even suggested a second book I should give ago. so that book will now be the second book I will read. The next day I heard from this monk who had looked at my blog, and said it's a beautiful thing I am doing, I must admit that's one sentence I would ever hear about this blog. I think great gift we can give someone is the ability to view things from their perspective.
Ellie & Courtney So, it's about 16:30 and it's time to go and catch up with Ellie & Courtney they looked really pleased to see a familiar face, as we headed back to centre of Budapest they told me about their adventure so far, the six countries they already visited, and Ellie being Ellie wanted to know how things at work are. So, I did buy them dinner, and both went for burger and fries and it's like they hadn't had a proper meal in a month, as I was in Hungry, I went for a Gypsie Hungrian steak. Then we went on the Budapest eye, I thought I was getting better at stepping out my comfort zone, I thought hights weren't bothering me as much now, well. I was wrong! I can't say I enjoyed the whole view and when it stopped at the top for a bit to long for my liking and swing away. well fears don't just disappear, but I done it and would again. The evening ended with us all having chimney cake, that was amazing, so good we had it the following day to.
Day Two with Ellie & Courtney So today was full, we met up in the shopping district and walked along the river #Danube seeing all the sculptures on route. we went across the river Danube to see Buda Castle a historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings of #budapest. what had the most amazing views and art. We went back down on the funicular train and headed back by tram towards their hostel where they should me around and how they have been living their lives. We decided to across the river again to watch the #sunset on Gellert hill, again amazing, with amazing views. We ended the evening with a little shopping followed by dinner, and no Ellie and I don't own matching jumpers now!
It was so good catching up with them, letting me gatecrash their European adventure, and I'm sure they will have the best time seeing so much on the rest of their journey.
So, I'm thinking about having my own European Adventure in 2024!