Sunday, January 26, 2014

My American life - Part two

Hi everyone,

In the first part of this entry, I began to summarize the long period of time that I spent in the United States. I spoke about the greatest challenge, the first nice experience, the most frequent experience (diversity), and I showed pictures of the nicest places I visited. A great Hungarian blog called “My Life in America and Afterwards” (Élet Amerikában és utána) published my entry in Hungarian as well. Let’s continue.

5. The nicest day 

the summer of 2013, my country, Hungary, had a great opportunity to demonstrate it's culture to America. In the course of the Smithsonian Folk-life Festival, “The Hungarian Heritage:Roots to Revival”   program demonstrated not only the diversity and authenticity of contemporary traditions in music, dance, arts and crafts, gastronomy, and family life, but also the significance of the Hungarian folk revival movement worldwide. Even though I love speaking English, it was a great experience to speak Hungarian again (and taste Hungarian foods).

I guess I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said that, during those days, Washington D.C. was the second largest Hungarian city in the world. I was amazed to see that American people were so interested in my country’s culture.

Everyone liked the big puli-statue.

I visited this event very often and, for the most part, I didn't go alone. Once, I went there with my kind colleagues who helped me to put together my presentation. They really liked the programs, the dances and the songs. I translated for them what I was able to; however, some folk songs were very hard to describe in English. We also spoke with some artificers and I really enjoyed translating for them. I hope my colleagues also enjoyed this program. For me, it was the nicest day in the United States.

6. The greatest critique

Before I traveled to the United States, I was afraid of traveling. I didn’t know how I’d travel within American cities. Later, I learned that Washington D.C. has a very developed publictransportation system () including the Metrotrain and Metrobus. I traveled mostly by Metrotrain, and I could reach the most important parts of Washington D.C. On the one hand, it was very good. But on the other hand, I didn’t like the hectic schedule, the almost permanent overcrowding, the Orwellian style stations, and the frequent breakdowns. In addition, it was quite expensive. Despite my critique, I used the Metrotrain since it took me from the hotel to the office in only thirty minutes. I would have needed at least one hour to do the same by the Metrobus. All in all, D.C. residents and tourists can rely on the Metrotrain, but it’s far from perfect.

7. The hardest thing (which I could barely handle)

Even though I missed my family and home, I had bittersweet feelings towards the end of the program. I was told that the hardest thing that I would have to face would arrive after my return home. In the States, I had an everyday routine that I got used to. It was stable and, despite being quite busy, very enjoyable with lectures and free time activities.
I was warned that my experience might mean nothing for others. It can be frustrating for the people around me to hear so much about the States, especially when I continually say good things. Maybe sometimes I spoke too much about what I saw in the States. These things are very interesting to me, but might be annoying to others.
It was good to be with family, but I really missed my American life which I loved so much. In my first days back home, whenever I wrote messages to my classmates, colleagues, and friends, my eyes would fill with tears. Re-adaptation to my country, to my home, wasn’t easy. Nowadays, I don’t cry anymore. Instead, thinking about the States makes me happy. I like speaking with everyone who was involved in this program, as well as some American people whom I “met” after my return (such as Gardeniafly).

8. The most frequently asked question

Since I returned, I’ve received one question several times: “Would you return to the States if you had the opportunity?” My answer is DEFINITELY YES, provided I could combine two things: keeping the family together and being in the United States.
In conclusion, it was a great blessing, the best gift of fortune, that I could live in the United States. I intentionally use the word “live” as it was more than a tourist visit. What I lived through in the States will always be present. But now I have another task: to take advantage of everything that I learned there. It is interesting, exciting and a great challenge.

Gardeniafly checked this entry again. She is not searching new students anymore. But I can recommend someone else, or you can visit Italki.  I’d like to ask her to tell us her opinion.

When staying in a foreign country for a long period of time, you might think to yourself at first that the hardest part of the trip will be adjusting to your new environment. However, a lot of travelers are surprised to find that the real challenge is coming back home. There is a predictable cycle when living abroad: initial euphoria and amazement, a slump of homesickness, a gradual rise in mood until departure, and then another period of depression when you arrive home. It's best to try and prepare yourself for this cycle and to know that what you're going through is normal. To end on a light note, traveling and living aboard is a very rewarding experience and the memories that you have afterward last for a lifetime.

See you next week,



  1. it's such an amazing experience . . i took advantage of your blog !!!
    thank you so much Attila .

  2. Loved hearing your thoughts on your eerie nice and the US.