Tuesday, October 10, 2017

First 50 Days in Hungary

 I've lived in Hungary for 50 days.

Here are 50 things I've learned since moving to a foreign country.

1. The simplest things that I do without thinking in America are much harder when there's a language barrier. 
2. Observe everything.
3. Pray often.
4. Never stop exploring.
5. Celebrate the little successes.
6. Not all phone plans are created equally.
7. Be open to new experiences.
8. Allow time to process all the change.
9. Never make statements about things being "weird here."
10. It's not weird, it's different.
11.Public transportation is fantastic.
12. Appreciate other English speakers.

13. Avoid an American bubble--embrace the culture.
14. Learning to think in a foreign currency is much harder than I expected.
15. The Hungarian language is much harder than I ever imagined. 
16. Hungarian class is no joke.
17. Not being able to understand signs in the city is so confusing.
18. Cooking is actually fun #adulting
19. It's very possible to feel at home in a foreign country.
20. Distance changes relationships.
21. Feel fear but don't let it hold me back.
22. Patience.
23. Mosquitoes still haunt people even in October
24. Comparison is the root of dissatisfaction.
25. Time is not money and I need to slow down often.
26. Allll the flexibility. Plans aren't really actual plans, right?

27. Talk less, listen more.
28. Unplug from technology more often.
29. God knows my struggles and my frustrations and He's growing me through them.
30. Friends are so good for the soul.
31. Worship is worship no matter what language it's in.
32. Saying "no" is not a bad thing.
33. But say "yes" to adventure as often as possible.
34. Laugh often. When everything fails, laugh even more.
35. Ask for help. 
36. Have realistic expectations.
37. Creating a comfortable home is important.
38. Sleep is beautiful.
39. A bad day can't last more than 24 hours.
40. Appreciate the good days.
41. Facetime is a wonderful thing.
42. Decisions are hard.
43. Getting lost in the city is only a bad thing if you choose to be negative about it.
44. Teaching in a new culture is all kinds of different.
45. Teaching in a new culture is all kinds of amazing.
46. Gluten-free bread in Europe is the greatest. 
47. Ordering in a foreign language is basically the hardest.
48. European coffee shops are spectacular. 
49. Humor is very cultural. 
50. God will guide me through my time here.

Pretty sure that's the most random list I have ever compiled. These first fifty days have been incredible. Looking forward to the next fifty.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Random Questions: September 2017

1. What decision do you wish you didn’t have to make? There are a couple of personal decisions I'm not excited about having to make.
 2. What are you questioning? Everything I think I know the about Hungarian language.
 3. What was the most recent thing you learned? That Hungarian drivers will come dangerously close to hitting pedestrians before they stop!
4. Where would you like to go? Right now I'm thinking Ireland. :)
 5. The last doctor’s appointment you made was because I injured my foot.
6. Name 3 things you should have done today. Lesson planned more, cleaned my apartment and laundry.
7. What is the last thing you felt guilty about? I can't remember
8. My life would be easier if I didn't have food allergies. 
9. Does anyone owe you money? Nope
10. When is the last time you intentionally ‘wasted’ a day? Probably the week before I moved to Budapest...I had several free days to waste.
11. What is your favorite gadget? My phone
12. The computer I use the most is an Acer laptop.
13. How did you spend your free time today? Sitting outside reading by a fountain.
14. Were you stressed today? Why? Just a little...first day of school meetings!
15. What was the last thing you said to another person? "Goodnight."
 16. Who threw the last party you went to? A friend
17. What went perfectly about your day? The 2 hour nap I took after work
18. How old do you feel? 22.
19. What pressure did you feel today? To learn how to do my job well.
20. The last gift I’ve received was several cards from friends before I moved.
21. If you could change today would you? Nope
22. I believe Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life
 23. What do you wish you could have skipped today? The headache I've had all day
24. Were you in control of your day? I'm never in control of my days
 25. What made today worthwhile? Learning more about my teaching responsibilities
26. Were you a good listener today? I could have been better.
 27. I never want to say "never"
28. Have you broken the law? How so? Just some traffic laws (by accident!)
39. Were you bored today?  Not at all.

Hello, Budapest

I arrived in Budapest (a day late after a cancelled flight) over a week ago. I've spent the past ten days making this place home and learning how to live life here. School officially started today!

View from the top of St. Istvan's Basilica 

Mathias Church

A tram that I take often

Nyugati train station--designed by Gustave Eiffel 

My home. :) It has several apartments inside.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Farewell, Memphis

I move to Budapest in four days! I've spent this past week entertaining friends from out of town. It was great to take them all around Memphis and get to experience my favorite things/places in Memphis one last time before I move.

My favorite graffiti in downtown Memphis.

Hyde Lake at Shelby Farms Park

Beale Street

Overton Square

Sweet Noshings candy store


My first time ever having Memphis BBQ

Autozone Park

My absolute favorite place in all of Memphis

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Two Weeks until Budapest!

I move to Budapest in two weeks. Whaa? When did that happen?! 

Tonight while I worked on some classroom management plans, I listened to a throwback playlist on Spotify. And then it hit me. I'm going to teach high school students. The songs on that playlist were all songs I listened to in high school. It was all kind of nostalgic and crazy to be listening to music from my high school days while preparing to teach actual high schoolers. Woah. When did I become an adult?! I actually think that thought on a somewhat daily basis. And tonight's playlist made me seriously stop and think about it! It honestly wasn't that long ago that I was a high school student myself.
I really like this One Tree Hill quote
While I was preparing some class stuff, I was also texting a friend who is about to begin her own crazy adventure for the next year. And it hit us both: we had no idea when we met two years ago that this is where God would have both of us this year. We had no idea last year as we talked about what we felt God calling us to. Now that we're both weeks away from moving away from the familiar to do things completely unfamiliar to us, it's crazy to see how far God has brought us.

Experience is going to be my greatest teacher throughout this next year. I have so, so much to learn about Hungarian culture and specifically the culture of the school I will be teaching at. I've learned some, but really, there's a lot I can only learn through experiencing it. I'm sure I'll fail often, but I'll learn. I pray that I remain humble enough to ask for help when I need it, and to let failure be a springboard for growth.

Here's to a year of firsts: first time living overseas and first year as a high school teacher. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Random Questions: August 2017

1. What did you have for lunch today? A hamburger from Belly Acres
 2. What did you let go of? tons of physical stuff I just don't need
3. What is the one thing you want to accomplish tomorrow? At least one Hungarian lesson
4. What was the last gift you gave? I can't remember...
 5. The last time I exercised yesterday when I went to the park to walk around the lake
6. What did you create today? Memories
7. What memories did you think about today?
 8. What is the last risk you took? Driving on 240 North ;)
 9. What made you compromise? The need to avoid conflict
10. Who do you look up to? Two of my friends
 11. On a scale of 1-10 my day was a 8 
12. What did the last text message you received say? "We have the membership so we can meet you outside and bring you in free!"
13. Do you owe anyone money? Nope
 14. What is your own favorite physical feature? My eyes
15. What was the worst thing you ate today? A hamburger...so good, but so unhealthy
16. I hope no one was looking when I poured my third cup of coffee of the day
17. How many miles did you drive/ride today? Probably around 75
18. Who was the first person you saw today? My youngest sister
19. What’s your biggest phobia? Spiders
20. What was your first full thought this morning? "I need coffee."
21. How full is your fridge? Not very
 22. What was the last healthy thing you did for yourself? Worked out
23. What did you have to wait for today? Traffic
24. What did you win? I survived 240North
25. Who had the biggest influence on your day? My little sister
 26. What can you learn from today? Enjoy the little things
27. What was the highest point of your day today? Going to Overton Park
 28. Did you pay it forward? Yep
 29. What would you like to learn more about? The history of Central Europe
 30. What new TV show do you refuse to watch? I can't even name any new tv shows.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

30 Days Until I Move

In 30 days, I'll board a flight to Budapest. In some ways, I'm ready to be there now. In other ways, I feel like I still have so much to do. If I try to think about it all, I get overwhelmed, so I've been making daily to-do lists and trying to think about what needs done each day rather than what needs to be accomplished in the next thirty days.

Even though I'm 22, I've never had more "adulting moments" in my life than in this past week. Something about preparing to move overseas alone sure makes me feel like an actual adult. One of my goals was to get my retirement savings started before I move--talk about #adulting. I was so relieved to check that off my to-do list yesterday! Other things have included sorting out tax information and creating a system for tracking expenses.  Finances are my least favorite thing about this whole transition, but God has worked it all out beautifully and I have nothing finance related left on my to-do list. YAY.

Throughout this transition up to this point, God has really been teaching me to rest in His comfort about the unknown. There's a lot I feel that I need to know, but I don't yet. But I'm going anyway. I've never taught in a high school before and the unknowns associated with my new job are enough to terrify me, but I'm oddly okay with the not knowing. That's God. I've never, ever been someone to be completely okay with simply not knowing much about my future. I often don't like to think about it because the uncertainty scares me. But in the past few months, God has just surrounded me with His amazing peace. I'm moving to a new city in a country I've only visited for short periods and I'll be changing professions altogether--but God's with me. It's that truth alone that has gotten me to this point and it's the truth that will comfort me for the rest of my life.

I recently heard the song "Hills and Valleys" for the first time. I really, really love it. I feel like it's the perfect song for me to be reminded of God's presence in my life, especially when I'm in a new country and facing many, many valleys but also experiencing hills.

I leave in 30 days and while I'm rightly just a bit nervous, I'm mostly so very excited to be following God's call for my life.