From seeing Desus & Mero live to all the delicious food I ate! Detroit was a good time!
My last leg of my solo trip is to Budapest. My friend visited Budapest last year and told me how much I would love the city, which prompted me to book this trip altogether (as well as Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel). I stayed at a beautiful Airbnb in the heart of the city with had a desk by the window with a gorgeous view of the city. It was the perfect spot for a writer.
The first night I walked around the neighborhood and witnessed the city's breathtaking skyline.
Budapest is split by two cities Buda and Pest. I decided to take a day tour of the Buda side where I visited the Fisherman's Bastion, Buda Castle, Matthias Church, and the Holy Trinity Statue.
This is a statue of Andras Hadik. Allegedly, if you rub the horse's testicles you receive good luck. I did not test this theory so I'm not sure if it's completely true or not.
I loved the architect of the Fisherman's Bastion and decided to take a selfie but each time I attempted, tourists kept getting in the photo. I settle on cropping the photo.
The big part of this trip was trying as much local food as I could. I had Hungarian beef stew with a delicious duck liver spread. Never thought I'd have duck liver and enjoy it.
Locals made me aware that you're not Hungarian until you take a shot of Palinka.
I of course had to test it out. It tasted like rubbing alcohol and I had to wash the taste away with coke, but now I'm Hungarian.
Toured the Pest side of the city (the area of which I stayed) and visited the Hungarian Parliament, Soviet 2nd WW II memorial, St.Stephen's Basilica and a statue of Ronald Reagan (?!?).
I wish I had stayed a few more days to squeeze in a visit to a bath house and to experience the legendary Budapest nightlife.
However, overall I had a fantastic time visiting Eastern Europe-- cities I never thought I'd see in my life. And now I have the itch of figuring out where my next solo trip will take me. Maybe somewhere in South America, Asia, or South Africa. Any suggestions?
Traveling has always been a part of my life. Fortunately, my family has made an effort to travel (most of the time) to a new place every year together and has been our tradition since I was a little kid. As I have grown older, I have taken the time to travel without my family to see different places I’ve always wanted to see. The most common question I receive is “how can you afford it?” Yes, traveling can sometimes be very expensive and seen to many as a luxury but it doesn’t have to be that way. I am a budgetista when it comes to travel and love to find the cheapest way see a new city. I reached out to travel agent, Rebecca Mitchell, to give Pierre into My Life’s readers some tips to be able to be a global trotter on a budget.
Flexibility Is Hot
“Be willing to travel during the less busy months. September and May are great for this because the weather is pretty similar to the summer months, but you'll find better deals. Also, be willing to travel Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The savings on both airfare and lodging can be significant.”
Alternative Lodging Ideas
“Luxury can wait, unless you intend to just stay and enjoy the amenities at your hotel, you don't need to stay in luxurious comfort. Try an Airbnb or a nice hotel that has free breakfast. You can visit those luxurious hotels and Snap and Instagram from the lobby or bar. No one will ever know.”
Snack on the Go
“Snack like you're in kindergarten - instead of going out for each meal, snack as you tour around. You'll get to sample more of the local culture this way and save money.”
Seek out a Professional Planner
“Use a travel agent - sure, you can research and do everything yourself, but why not have someone with experience take care of those details for you? Travel agents are paid by the travel partners they represent, so it does not cost you any more to use a travel agent than it would if you book it yourself. Plus, you'll have an expert in your corner from the planning stages through your trip.”
Use Your ‘Rents As An Excuse To Travel
“Get someone else to pay for it - no, really. Multigenerational travel is the hottest trend in travel right now. Encourage your parents to take that big trip they've been talking about. They fulfill their desire for family time and you'll get a free trip, win/win.”
Rebecca Mitchell is a Travel Agent with FTM Travel and is always looking for her next adventure. She specializes in Disney Destinations, but she can help you with any destination around the world and would love to turn your vacation dreams into your dream vacation. You can get in touch with her via Facebook.
In two short weeks, I will be heading to Europe for 14 days, and I have already begun mentally preparing myself for the 9 hour flight to Budapest. As I have gotten older, and started traveling and flying more frequently, I have learned what helps to keep anxiety down, while en route to your destination.
1. Facial Wipes and Baby Wipes
For most international flights, you will depart early evening and arrive to your destination in the morning. In case you’re not aware, there are no showers on the flights. I recommend packing travel size baby wipes or facial/makeup wipes, and heading to the bathroom 30 minutes before you arrival to clean your face to help take off any excess dirt your face has produced while on the flight. Once you arrive to your destination, head to the restroom and use the baby wipes to give yourself a bird bath. Hey, you do the same with babies, why can’t you do it as an adult?
2. Bring an Extra Pair a Clothes in Your Carry On.
I like to dress comfortably for long flights which normally means leggings, baggy shirt and a sweatshirt. But once I arrive to my destination (after my bird bath), I change into something more stylish.
Keeping yourself hydrated is key. Bring an empty bottle with you to the airport and fill the bottle up at a fountain while you’re heading to your gate. It’s easy to lose water weight while on your flight, so occasionally have some water to keep yourself hydrated. Drinking/swallowing frequently can also help when your ears begin to pop!
4. Sleep Essentials
Some airlines will provide you with eye masks and a pillow, but to be on the safe side, carry an eye mask, a travel size pillow, and even ear plugs to drown out any unwanted sounds. If you’re like me, I need complete darkness and silence to get a good amount of restful sleep, and I always have the best luck when it comes to sitting next to someone who needs to keep the overhead light on for the entire flight (grr, hate those people!).
I’m not into purchasing in flight Wi-Fi, because it’s nice to be disconnected for a few hours, but I definitely need something to occupy my time. International flights normally have a wide array of films and TV shows, but I get anxious and can never settle on what to watch. Instead, I plan ahead and make sure my iPhone has everything I need to keep me entertained. I create a playlist on Spotify with about 500 songs (enough tracks to skip through and not repeat any songs), and I download about 2-3 episodes of my favorite podcasts to listen to.
My favorite portion to prepare for any travel is to pick out snacks to eat on the journey. Sometimes I will purchase junk food at the local drug store the day before and pack it in my backpack, but if I slack, I will splurge and buy all the goodies at Hudson News. I also always make sure to get ginger ale just in case I get motion sickness on the flights, because my stomach never matured with my body.
If you’re like any normal millennial and glued to your mobile devices, then you already know how important chargers are. Make sure to pack your charger in your carry on and also charge up your external battery as well. You can purchase a portable charger that works with any USB port on Amazon for just a few bucks. Most international flights have outlets for you to charge your phone, but again with my luck, I have definitely sat at one where my outlet didn’t work.
It may sound weird, but if you’re sitting in one spot for 8+ hours, it’s a good idea to get up periodically to keep your blood flowing. Every few hours get up and walk the aisle, go to the back of the plane and flex your legs. Personally I like to do squats and stretch my legs. Flight attendants have probably seen way worse, so no need to be bashful, get that blood flowing!
Earlier this year I went through a rough breakup and after months of grieving, I decided it was time to get over the dude and focus on me, myself, and I. I created the hashtag #SummerOfBrittny to be the personification of living my best life. I was going to do whatever I want, when I want, and how I want. I was going to learn to stand up for myself, build up my confidence and try to take in life as much as possible and it has become one of my favorite summers ever.
Since #SummerOfBrittny was such a success, I decided to share some of my favorite moments throughout each month, starting with June!
Foster the People
I jump started #SummerOfBrittny taking in a live show of one of my favorite bands, Foster the People with my close friend Jackie. Foster the People headlined at the legendary Agora Theatre and Ballroom venue in Cleveland, OH. This was my second time seeing them, I saw them back in 2011 but they continue to put on an amazingly fun show that had us dancing the entire night. Plus they perform tracks from their new album 'Sacred Hearts Club' which made me immediately love the album before ending hearing it in its entirety.
The Annual Pierre Vacation
Every year my family gets together and travels to somewhere we have never been before (for the most part). This year our destination was Málaga, Spain and the Canary Islands.
Our favorite restaurant in Málaga, Spain was the Copacabana. They had fresh fish that was absolutely mouth watering and our server was super handsome and so sweet. Nothing better than good food and nice eye candy.
Wake Up and Wine Up
My mom and I decided to take the day tour to a winery in the Canary Islands. We visited Viñedos Angola in Vilaflor in Santa Cruz Tenerife. The winery was so high in the mountains we were above the clouds. We arrived to the vineyard at 10 am and immediately they pour us glasses of wine. I hadn’t even had breakfast yet. During the tour we were instruction on the proper way to produce the finest wine. One important thing is the Spaniards are very heavy handed when it comes to giving us samples of each wine (which was around 10 bottles of wine). We were also treated to moonshine that was 68% proof and tasted like nail polish remover. Yuck! But overall an amazing experience with delicious wine.
I met a very hot man on this very exclusive dating app called Tinder. He was about 41 years old, super handsome like drop dead gorgeous and Australian. Only I could go all the way to Spain and not hook up with a Spaniard. Brittny got her groove back!
Touch the Sky
My sister, niece and I climbed the Volcano Teide, where we were 12,000 ft high.
Non-Stop Sight Seeing
My family can’t go anywhere without taking a day tour. We spent 12 hours touring the entire island of the Canary Island.
Since moving to Cleveland, I gained 40 lbs. Once my family decided where our vacation spot would be, I was determined to get a thot body. After a few months of personal training sessions, Zumba and strength training classes, I finally started to really love my body and curves. Close enough for me to be a z list Instagram model right?…kind of.
The family decided to make a pit stop in Canada before heading back to America. We visited Niagara Falls and rode the Maid of the Mist to see the beautiful falls close up.
After loads of traveling all over the place, I took the rest of the month of June binge watching Riverdale, 13 Reasons Why, and Difficult People. There are no photo evidence of that.
After getting my groove back during my vacation with the hot masseuse, Tupac’s “I Get Around” was my anthem to keep me feeling myself. Stay tune for July's roundup!