As you can tell from my last post (Best bits of Budapest) my trip to Budapest was a series of amazing moments. I had planned the trip to celebrate my 31st birthday (!!) and I couldn’t have been more delighted by how the trip unfolded in terms of balancing seeing the sights, tasting the food, drinking the wine, and luxuriating in the spa. While traveling to new places usually feels like a magical chance to skip down ancient cobblestone streets, sometimes the Instagram version isn’t exactly accurate.
In truth, I was also miserably sick for the entire trip! This is what I didn’t post on Instagram: I was starting to get sick in the week leading up to the trip, and I tried to hydrate and sleep it off, but as I uncomfortably discovered on the plane, I was really congested and the turbulent ride made it feel like my skull was imploding.
Thankfully everyone in Budapest, including those who work in the pharmacy, speak really good English and I was able to get hooked up with some super sexy nasal spray.
So, the more accurate picture of my trip was fitful, mouth-breathing nights, and days broken up between enjoying the stunning and interesting moments that Budapest had to offer, interspersed by my trying to find tissues, lying on any flat surface to rest, walking so slowly, and stopping after each of the million flights of stairs to take a rest and to clear my airway from the horrid accumulated gunge in a decidedly unladylike fashion.
I am not sure why I am compelled to dispell the illusion that my travels are always hunky-dory and simply chock full of spectacular sights and soul-quenching moments. But sometimes trips don’t go as planned. And sometimes trips don’t look just like the Instagram version.
Being sick while traveling is really tough – I was so tired, more irritable, and less adventurous. Even though being sick changed my experience of the city, it was not all for the worse. Sure, it was miserable blowing my nose raw, but being sick also forced me to go slower. I didn’t go to all of the “must-see” areas and I was physically forced to stop as I wandered to rest, which I think helped me soak in the city in a different way. And when a view or a moment cut through my cloudy brain, it was even more resonant and beautiful.
Traveling sick also taught me that I really need to beef up my first aid kit! More drugs are necessary. I quickly depleted my small Advil supply and my lozenge stash. I was so glad that I was able to get help at the pharmacy, but as this was the second time in so many months that I have needed to procure a nasal spray in a foreign country, I am considering adding it to my regular travel kit.
I hope I soon kick this summer cold, so I am going to share some of my fav pics of Budapest and relive the good moments whilst coughing up a lung.