One of my goals this year, is to travel to at least one country that I’ve never set foot in before. When I shared that in last weeks post, I also mentioned that, unless something major happens between now and then, I have tickets to fly to Budapest, Hungary next month.
When I talk to people about this trip, as with my Mexico City trip last year, the first question always seems to be “why?”
While the reasoning isn’t super complex, I thought I’d write some of the why behind this particular choice of destination. There are a ton of places around the world, why choose Budapest?
So… Why Budapest?
My usual answer to this question is to oscillate between these two direct quotes, “why not” and “because I can.” But, let me break both of those down a bit.
I am in a somewhat unique situation of life. I’m single. I don’t have a mortgage. I don’t have a lease. I have a job that allows me to work from anywhere. I enjoy traveling to new places.
And that’s really basically it. I can do it. I enjoy the adventure part of it. I also enjoy seeing new places around the world. So… I guess “why not” pretty much sums it up.
I almost wish it was more complicated than that. It would make for a better story if I had had a dream or something.
But Seriously Why Budapest?
I guess I still haven’t answered this question. So far we’ve only looked at some of the surrounding bits that make travel and work abroad possible. Lets take a look at why I decided Budapest was the place to go.
For several years I’ve been fascinated by the “digital nomad” community. Hardcore digital nomads live “abroad” year round. I’m not that hardcore for a number of reasons, but working from my laptop while exploring new places does really appeal to me.
Ever since last years month in Mexico I’ve been thinking perhaps I should do something like that again this year. I couldn’t decide exactly where I wanted to go this time. At times while doing research it seems like there are almost too many possibilities. It is a large world.
As recently as late December I had almost decided that I wouldn’t do anything early in the year. I had pretty much decided to just keep my eyes open for tickets after strawberry season.
And then I started seeing good deals on flights to Europe. I’m subscribed to Scott’s Cheap Flights and get flight deals in my inbox nearly every day. It’s a constant source of inspiration for new potential places to visit. The flights they send out are usually a very good deal.
I started digging into the several destinations in Europe that were part of this deal. Bucharest. Prague. Warsaw. Krakow. Budapest. There were a few others as well, but these were the ones that kind of stuck out as interesting options.
From there it was a matter of research. Besides googling details about these destinations like a caffeinated penguin, and checking Airbnb prices, I use another service to help get a good idea of whether a city is a good fit for what I need to be able to work – Nomad List.
Nomad List is a place where “nomads” all over the world can congregate and share how they found a particular city as it pertains to the digital nomad. That means there are scores for costs, internet speeds and reliability, safety, as well as a bunch of other metrics. While a lot of the metrics aren’t particularly helpful, they can help give a good idea of whether a particular city is a “go” or a “no go.”
It wasn’t very long before Budapest started to stand out from the pack. From everything I can tell Budapest is a city with a fascinating history, incredible architecture, good food, decent prices for housing, and quite good internet.
Oh, and there is a river flowing through the city. My Airbnb is just a couple of blocks from the Danube.
So, thats basically why Budapest was the choice this time.