Dear Nomadic Matt,
My name is Kay and I am a sophomore at Rice University. I’m studying cognitive sciences, which is kind of like psychology except a little more neuroscience-y. Other than that, I really don’t know what I’m doing with my life. All I know about myself is that I constantly have an itch to travel and I’m not very good at staying in one place.
I’m an avid ukulele player and photographer. My ukulele, named Snapdragon, and my camera travel everywhere with me. I also love to write and I bring a trusty Moleskine notebook with me wherever I go.
I also have a deep desire to learn how to speak other languages. Last year, I made over 100 Icelandic flashcards merely because I thought it sounded cool.
Snapdragon and I also like to write songs when we’re home alone (but I guess that’s not too important right now).
I am always up for any excuse to come in contact with other cultures, traditions, languages, and (most importantly) food!
So why should you ship me off to Europe for 12 days?
As a college student, I usually live like this:
and like this:
but I want to live like this:
which is where you, Nomadic Matt, come in.
I love traveling, especially traveling alone, and I’d do it all the time if I could. I have a “Travel Fund” box sitting on my desk for every cent of spare change that I come by. I even had my mom sell my car to fund my trip to Asia last summer. I love the feeling of landing in a foreign country, learning its language, meeting people and hearing their stories. I believe in taking responsible (and safe) risks when I travel, going out on a limb to talk to strangers, and learning as much about a place as I can.
But let’s face it. I’m a typical poor college student. I’m taking out a lot of loans to be here right now and a lot of the money I make at my part-time office job is going to pay for my education here. International travel often seems like a distant dream from my crowded dorm room here in Houston.
I promise that if I’m given the chance to go to Budapest, Prague, and Vienna, I’ll talk to friendly strangers, eat the delicious food, and go out of my comfort zone. I’ll try to learn the languages, lose my way, and then find my way around again.
I’ll explore the ancient buildings of Prague, getting lost in the fairytale-esque spires of the city.
While in Vienna, I’ll indulge in beautiful music performances and delicious food, being sure to soak in every second of the very artistic culture there.
And of course, in Budapest, I’ll immerse myself (quite literally) in the world-famous baths, while also taking in the vibrant Hungarian traditions and culture in the process.
Most importantly, I hope to learn about an area of the world I’m totally unfamiliar with. I’ve been hearing about these cities in world history, music, and literature classes for my entire life, yet I’ve never set foot in any of them. I promise you that the most important takeaway from my time in Europe will be the lessons I learn about life in Eastern Europe, which is much more valuable than any one experience alone. (Plus, I promise to come back with some beautiful photographs and stories as well!)
So, to put all of this into perspective, Snapdragon and I will write a song about each destination we go to and we’ll post it on our blog. So, in addition to the surprise at the end of this entry, we’ll record a musical video and include it in our blog posts about each place we go. We won’t let you down :)
To “rap” things up, in order to adequately describe to you how much I want this trip, I’ll let this short video do the talking.
I am so honored to have had the opportunity to go out on a limb and enter your contest. Danke, děkuji, and köszönöm, Matt, from one of the many young (and young at heart) travelers that you’ve inspired with your stories and advice.
Keep It Real,
**This post is an entry to Nomadic Matt’s 12-Day Trip to Europe Contest!
***All images are linked to their original web sites.