Here’s a new kind of post for my blog: an interview with my boyfriend! He recently galavanted through Europe, leaving me for 9 days, and now that he’s back, I decided to interview him about his trip. So enjoy!
What countries did you travel to?
I traveled to Vienna, Austria; Bratislava, Slovakia; Budapest, Hungary; and then back to Vienna, Austria. We had a layover to and from in Lisbon, Portugal but we just stayed in the airport while we waited.
Why did you choose to go to those places?
My friend is studying abroad for two years in Vienna, and we went right before the school year started for him so he could show us around. I went with our other friend and his wife, so my friend who’s studying abroad was our unofficial tour guide.
Where did you stay on your travels?
When I was in Austria the first time, I stayed in the first district—the inner city—at an Airbnb that had the cutest and friendliest cat ever. It was so hard to leave him knowing I’d never see him again. But he was a good friend to have while I was staying there.
When I left Vienna, I went through Bratislava to Budapest, and I stayed in a hostel in the center of the city. I had my own private room and bathroom for the two nights I was there.
And then when I went back to Austria, I stayed at my friend’s apartment for one night, and then the last night I stayed with my friend and his wife in their hotel room; I went with those options to save money.
What were some of your favorite places you went?
One of my favorite places was the vineyards in Vienna because of the hike going up the mountain, having wine at the top with a view of the city, and then going back down the mountain. It was such a breathtaking view.
In Budapest, I went to the Szechnyi Thermal Bath, where I had the opportunity to soak in a thermal tub while enjoying 45 minutes of unlimited beer pours. They put in 3 different beer ingredients into the water, and it’s supposed to be soothing for the muscles. After that, I went outside to the big thermal spas and was told I smelled like beer by my friend. It also made for good people watching.
My other favorite place was the touristy part of Bratislava, even though I was there for only a couple of hours. The food and beer were very cheap but very good, and it was a relaxing spot to spend part of the day. It was cool to see the architecture of the buildings and be in another country.
What are the best and worst things about international travel?
The worst thing is the airport because you have to go through customs and security, they ask you questions, and you panic because you think they’re grilling you, and you feel like you’re in trouble but you’re not. But I guess that’s just part of traveling—everyone goes through it.
The best part is seeing different places, meeting new people, learning new parts of a language and the culture, and sight-seeing. It’s just surreal. It’s just crazy to think all of these people live here and I’m just here to visit for a short period of time.
What were the biggest differences you noticed between Austria/Hungary and the US?
- An obvious one: language. They speak German in Austria and Hungarian in Hungary. It’s easier to pick up on German than Hungarian.
- The cars they drive are different; I saw maybe like 3 Fords and a bunch of car companies I’ve never seen in the States before.
- Smoking cigarettes are a big thing over there, which I wasn’t expecting.
- You only have to be 16 to drink, too. And you can walk around with an open beer on the streets—except on transportation. It felt illegal the first day, walking around.
- The money is also different, but because of inflation, we caught up with the Euro, so it wasn’t hard to figure out the conversation rate.
Have you traveled internationally before?
I did in 2019 to Ireland, and it’s still my favorite experience overseas. I definitely want to go back to Ireland one day. They love Americans there, and the beer is good.
Share some of your favorite pictures you took
(*Note from Becky: Since I couldn’t go on the trip—due to the whole no-passport and no-flying thing, I printed a 4×6 picture of myself and taped it to a piece of cardboard so I would be there in spirit.)
Who did you miss the most while you were gone?
Anything else you want to add?
- Definitely do your research before traveling, like for cultural differences so you know what to expect.
- Don’t use American lingo, it will confuse people. At least practice some common phrases in the language of the country you’ll be going to. For the most part, though, a lot of people speak English overseas because it’s easier.
- Don’t over plan—it’ll ruin your vacation. Because you’ll feel like you’re doing too much if you overplan. You have to find the right balance of visiting places but also enjoying your vacation.
A big thanks to Josh for agreeing to do this interview with me! I’m really happy he had a lot of fun but he also can’t leave me for 9 days ever again.
PS: I will never let him live down the fact that he ate horse. Yes, like the animal. Any questions, comments, and concerns can be directly addressed to Josh.