A Budapest Break
What do you do when you have two days of annual leave that you *must* take?
The answer is not: stay in your hometown.
With the end of another contract round the corner and two days to fill, instead of twiddling my thumbs in London: I booked last minute flights to Budapest!
The brief was simple: A place with wifi and easy to reach, just not in London.
Many will recommend Budapest in the winter and after stumbling across some old photos from the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, my mind was made up. So without further ado, I confirmed my annual leave, booked the Airbnb and then waited for the best day to book flights.
Fortunately, there are a lot of cafes to work from in Budapest, but I wanted to take this one step further. Hence the Airbnb. This time, I wanted to hire a space just for myself where I could curl up, be inspired and work. The result did not disappoint!
The idea behind this trip was to be able to start implementing the life I want to live. Packing lightly, keeping a routine but slightly amending the background canvas. January is still January and I was not feeling in an energetic, pack-everything-in-one-trip mood this time.
It took exactly two hours for me to fall in love with the city as a base. In the kindest way possible, it doesn’t look like much from the outside. But then you wait just a second, take a closer look and something clicks.
Dropped off in Astoria, I made my way to the flat, ensconced in a quiet part of town, to meet my Airbnb host. She showed me around and then left me to it. This was midday.
Realising I hadn’t eaten anything since 5am and keen to keep up Veganuary, I did a little research and found some vegan eateries to try. None disappointed!
*Great Bistro - for a vegan club sandwich.
*Kozmosz - for a seitan stew.
*Ecocafe - for a coffee and (vegan) croissant.
*Napfényes - for a final dinner of falafel, salad and fries.
On a couple of occasions, I spent less than a fiver for a huge dish! Safe to say I was a happy plant eater.
Navigating Budapest was a chore - and a phone battery drainer. Knowing there would be snow the second day, I dashed down to Szimpla Kert and the Danube for some quick pics before making my way back to the flat for the afternoon. Bring good walking shoes because everything is at least 15-20 minutes apart!
Making a list of what I needed to do in the airport, I set about completing as much as I could, half-wishing I was staying there a little longer so I could cook/make snacks.
The second day was a bit more of a blur, sleeping through my alarm and trying to fit some more work in before tidying up the flat and checking out.
It snowed that second day which meant getting around took a little longer. A quick search on the ol’ Google and I ducked into the Ecocafe for a breakfast bite - and more importantly, wifi. They serve the best oat milk cappucinos and vegan croissants!
Using the time wisely to pitch for jobs and reply to contacts, it was super easy to pass a couple of hours here. And the staff are very chilled about it.
Then it was time for some relaxing! Being a Londoner, I chose to walk the twenty minutes to the ** bathes, but you could have probably taken the metro just as easily.
Sitting in these bathes, even with lots of people, I could feel myself ease up straightaway. It took only five minutes.
Completely overestimating the time I needed to be at the airport, I took the metro (less than £1) to the city centre for the final stop: a good dinner!
No joke, Hungarians know their food - at least their vegan food! One thing I worry about with being on the road or out of the house so much is whether I am going to eat well, but I needn’t have worried!
Personally I enjoyed my little corner near the quirky Dob Utca, but the inner city was worth a quick wander culminating in my final restaurant stop.
Satiated, it was time to hop on the shuttlebus to the airport and head home.
A short and simple trip, but a lot was achieved on a routine not entirely unlike the one I have at home.
Could I be location independent-ready? Me definitely think so!
Where would you love to live for two days?