A tip for those short brown female travellers who want to travel Eastern Europe and not feel like an oompa loompa – go with your Serbian girlfriends, it’ll make all the difference – at least, it did for me! Even after they decide to buy water in the market and make you miss the ferry so you instead have to take another boat AND two 6 hour busses, it’s still worth it 😉
There is nothing like travelling in a foreign place with those who know the local language… knowing the locals is the cherry on top. Thanks to the Master’s Degree I completed two weeks prior to this trip, the first stop of our 2016 summer trip included our very own ‘local’.
Hvar has become something of a hot spot for young travellers lately, and the prices certainly reflected that. Our 4 days spent there were full of sun, sand, sea, and expensive meals. Everywhere we went looked like paradise but for me the highlight was renting a small boat with our little group and exploring the islands on our own. Funnily enough, my favourite memory was only possible thanks to my Croatian classmate who joined us. For a day we got to pretend it was just us relaxing on our own island. Seeing the massive yachts parked at the dock that evening reminded me of Monaco, and quickly put things back into perspective.
Montenegro was the next stop on our tour and I can honestly say I wouldn’t have thought to visit if it hadn’t been for one of the girls who had been there before. Getting there was..interesting..thanks to the missed ferry adventure. Budva was quite similar to Croatia in terms of the tourists, food and temperature, but we were happy to note that prices couldn’t have been more different and it also had more of a ‘homey’ vibe. In Montenegro our group grew to be 10 Canadian girls and we did everything from lying on the beach to climbing a fortress in dresses and flip flops 🙂
After we said goodbye to the ocean and a few of the girls, we flew to Budapest where some others joined us. The main reason for choosing Budapest was to attend The Sziget Festival (and watch Rihanna perform). We managed to do a few other things including a Beer (cider for me of course) Bike Tour, and a Széchenyi thermal bath party – another word of advice, if your trip continues after this party, try to make sure there’s more than one bathroom where you’re staying.
This trip marked countries 35, 36, and 37 for me yet it was quite a unique experience. I’ve always wanted to explore Eastern Europe but have been slightly hesitant due to my lack of everything European – from language to culture to looks. This was the first trip where I really got the chance to appreciate travelling with those who grew up like me, but seamlessly fit in wherever we went. The fact that they also happened to be some of my closest childhood friends just made it that much better.