Valley Overseas: The Travel Wars

Welcome to Valley Overseas. We’ll hear from students exploring new lands full of strange customs, seemingly impenetrable language barriers, and Euro-trash. They’ll dish out the good, bad and the ugly of living in a home-stay, and the tales of discount airlines. From mixed-up vocab to drool-worthy people in fantastic fashions, let us show you the experiences of a lifetime.

I don’t want to go to Venice.

It’s not like I’d ever say, “Ew, a trip to Venice? Lame.” If so, I’d fully deserve a #firstworldproblems comment on this post.

I’m just Team Budapest.

Let me explain: here in France, fall break is upon us. Back in August, a few friends and I pounced on a cheap flight to Croatia. The only issue? There were no flights out of Croatia. We either had to find a train ticket to another country to fly out of or spend the rest of the semester futzing around the Dalmatian Coast. (I mean, worse things could happen.)

I was thrilled to find a decently priced flight out of Budapest, Hungary. Eastern Europe has intrigued me for a while, and although I’m happily studying in France to finish my French major and gain fluency, I knew I wanted to spend my breaks as far east as my budget would allow. Budapest, with its grandiose architecture, cool nightlife and perch on the Danube, was on the top of my list.

My friend Jess, on the other hand, found a cheap flight out of Venice, Italy and was determined to go. Tension ensued.

“I found a great hostel in Venice!” she’d say.

“Check out this cool article on Budapest!” I countered.

There are many travel situations in which I am willing to compromise. But the dream Eastern European vacation I’ve been saving up for is not one of them. So, without consulting anyone but my fellow Team Budapest members, I bought a train ticket. To Hungary. And then I posted the link on our trip’s Facebook thread with the caption: “Hey guys, I bought this.”

Passive-aggressive? Seemingly so. But I realized that my friend Jess, and everyone with her, had the right to do the same thing. I didn’t want her spending 100 euros touring a city she wasn’t interested in any more than I wanted to in Venice. Ultimately, we both have dream destinations and a limited time abroad.

Eventually, Jess’s plans to Venice fell through. And although I could snicker and
say, “Ha! Budapest wins!” I feel bad for her instead. Ultimately, we’re the same—she just dreams of gondolas and pizza while I dream about goulash and ruin pubs.

And that dream comes true in less than two weeks. Stay tuned.

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