Why I Left Hungary
It was a big decision to move there and a big decision to leave…
This kind of pains me to talk about, but I need to clarify why I left this crazy country. Before we get into the rest of the blog I have to say… just because I left Hungary DOES NOT mean that I am done traveling. In truth, by leaving and having some time to process my life I realize that I can’t stop traveling and it is the one thing that makes me feel the most alive. I know what you are thinking, Everyone loves traveling and for the most part you’re right, but I am dedicated to work around my travel and not travel around my work. I have learned so much about myself in my time living in Budapest and the person I am now is RIDICULOUSLY different to the person I was when I left the US… and I’m so thankful for it! I have a new understanding of what matters to me, what I want out of life, and how I want to serve others, but before I get too deep too quick- let me explain why I no longer live in the goulash loving capital of Hungary…
Missing family is one of the downfalls of being an expat or traveling full time and I am not immune to this feeling. Check out video on Homesickness
As time went on, it was difficult not physically being with my family…but I could sleep at night. It wasn’t until I got the news that my brother was having a child that it really hit me, Wow, I’m not there, things are changing, my family is growing and I can’t do anything about it. I knew as soon as I heard the news that I wanted to be there for the birth and (thank God) I got a flight back 3 days before my nephew David John was born! Talk about culture shock within the first week or so of arriving in the states, David was born on Nov. 22 and shortly after was Thanksgiving (a holiday that is just another Thursday in Europe) which we were celebrating with the new in-laws that happen to be a HUGE Italian family from the north. This was a site to see since my mother’s heritage is from Eastern Europe and my sister in law’s heritage is from Western Europe and IT IS OBVIOUS. People from Eastern Europe are a bit more reserved and shy (my mother) and people from Western Europe are much more outgoing and talkative (the in-laws.) Let’s just say, coming back was nothing short of eventful! I was overjoyed for my brother and his cascade of blessings: Baby David, marriage and a new home. It was definitely something I had to witness in order to understand it’s significance and beauty (which I am still trying to process.) Although it wasn’t exactly easy leaving what I started in Hungary, I knew that family came first-no matter what. Plus, the all-encompassing warmth that comes with seeing your loved ones can rejuvenate any individual. And although I believe in the saying you can never go home again, seeing the smiles on my family’s faces felt exactly like curling up on the couch during a rainy day with some warm high starch food watching a Disney movie. In other words, it was comforting.
I mentioned leaving what I had started in Hungary and my, my, my, what carousel of confusion they make for any foreigner trying to start a business. Let’s go back to the beginning so we all are up to date on how I even got into the country. Ok, I took a job teaching ESL for a Hungarian primary school and kindergarten which allowed me permission to live and work in Hungary based off of the visa they helped provide me with. As time went on, I realized more and more that the position I was in was not for me so I left that school and at the same time I started working remotely making 3 times as much money as I did at the Hungarian school. Watch my Youtube video on Teaching in Hungary for more details..
Anyway, since my visa was attached to the job that I originally came over there for, I was in a bit of a pickle. Luckily, my boyfriend at the time allowed me to live with him as I sorted things out. I looked into different visas for Hungary and settled on applying for the visa that stated I was setting up a small business in Budapest because essentially, I was. I was growing my Youtube channel and website, working with individual clients on voiceovers and ESL, and continuing to work remotely while spending my income in Hungary. I thought, I know it will be difficult to obtain this visa, but hey, I’m covering all my bases here. I should be fine. Oh… how wrong I was! You see, Hungary used to be a communist country not too long ago and unfortunately, the remnants of that philosophy still lingers in the paperwork. I don’t want to say that Hungary isn’t an open country, but the entrepreneurial spirit that you find by the fist fulls in the United States is very scarce in this Eastern European land. As I began to get my documents together to show to the Hungarian government it seemed like for every 2 steps forward I made, I had to move 3 steps back. Anyone who has lived in a different country, especially in Europe, is all too familiar with this choreography, but for me, I had the family situation ringing in my head as I was working on this process which didn’t make it easier. Basically, Hungary was not as welcoming as I would have hoped in the process of starting a business there and on the other hand, my family was beckoning for me to come home, even if temporary, for the new child on the way. So, as time got closer to the due date of my nephew and I still did not receive an answer about my acceptance, I made a decision to not wait anymore and leave. I know, I know, it’s crazy. Especially since a few weeks after arriving in the states my ex contacted me saying that I got a letter from the Hungarian government that looked like they had accepted my proposal. Meaning, that I was approved to stay in Hungary. Do I regret leaving before getting an answer? Not at all. Like I said earlier, there are several things that changed about me through the process of living in Budapest and one of those things was that after I really thought about it, I didn’t want to live in Hungary anymore.
It was time for me to move on.
By this point, I think it is safe to say that I was changing as a person in this whole process and realizing more and more of what mattered most to me. The thing that trumps (get it? Trumps… lol) everything else that I talked about was that I found my faith again. I had some really challenging, eye-opening things happen to me in Hungary that made me realize how far away I had been from my relationship to God and it weighed heavy on my heart coming to that realization. While in Budapest, I found an expat church which I started to frequent and with each passing Sunday, the voice inside me grew louder and louder. It was making me question my decisions up until that point and showing me things about myself that I worked hard not to see. Though painful, I did not, nor could not ignore the stirring that was happening inside of me. You may know the feeling. That melancholic awareness that I was not being true to who I was nor doing all the things I really wanted to do. Yes, I had moved halfway across the world which may have looked like I was living the Instagram dream, but I was still in the habit of isolating myself more than involving myself. I became hermit-like with my behavior because I had been so used to accepting darkness rather than light in my life. I would always assume the worse and be so mean to myself and that aforementioned voice that kept getting louder wasn’t having any of that. It was like a light went on in my spirit which showed me that if I trust, have faith and connect to God all will be well. It highlighted the things I was doing and the motivations behind them which then gave me permission to reassess my values and how I wanted to live my life. It was my wake-up call. You know, that true feeling of coming into your own or finally finding shoes that fit your feet. So, I guess if you want to be picky my spirituality didn’t necessarily make me leave Hungary, but it turned me on to the feelings that helped me make that final decision. I call it God, but you might call it instinct, intuition, the universe, whatever, yet the fact still remains- when you have an overwhelming feeling that you need to change something in your life, you are doing yourself an insurmountable disservice if you don’t change. I don’t believe in mistakes and I don’t have regrets. I walk by faith and not by sight which assures me that my journey is not over, oh no my friends, it just started…