Round Trip Plane Ticket from Budapest to New York
I have just purchased a round trip plane ticket from Budapest to New York City and then back to Budapest for around one thousand US dollars. I usually don’t go in for round-trip tickets but the cost of a one way flight from Budapest to New York was the same price, or was more. I looked online and made the round of the travel agents here in Hungary, and this proved to be universally true: the round trip is the same price as the one way ticket. So I got two tickets for the price of one and now have an escape route from New York City if I choose to come back this way and finish the bicycle journey to Turkey. At least I know that I will not be trapped behind the iron curtain of rising prices of plane tickets.
So I am going to stinky old NYC to find the curiosities that are hidden on the other side of an urban mask that I find so wretched.
I am going to work on completing my university degree with Global College LIU in Brooklyn. The words of a handful of commenters on this blog played no small role in directing me down this Path. I must say that I probably would have rode through the university road block and gave up completing my degree if it were not for a few wise words that came at the right time.
On the advice and wisdom of a few good friends and readers, I have realized that three months and a lot of work in NYC is not a lot to sacrifice in the face of all of the years that I have been a university student. To cap it all off, to finally take a degree, would also probably make me happy. “Finish school, you’ll like the feel of accomplishment,” wrote a reader by the tag of “.g.” I think he is correct. I tend to be very adapt at starting projects, and I find myself pretty decent at carrying them out, but I find that I am overwhelmingly deficient in the ability to complete projects. International study at university was perhaps the largest project that I have yet commenced. I may as well finish it off and pat myself on the back with the knowledge that I will never have to finish anything else ever again because I would have the knowlege that I did accomplish something.
As it stands now, I have not accomplished anything.
“Go finish, just so you can say you finished,” wrote Andy the Hobotraveler. Yes, I think I will do just this. 112 university credits mean nothing if you do not have a degree. When asked if I have a degree, replying “almost” is about as meaningful as saying that I never went to university at all. It is a rather silly state of affairs when the entire weight of doing a multi-year task is held completely on whether or not you finish the last few months.
But I suppose an “almost” finished sweater cannot be worn, an “almost” chaste woman is not a virgin, and an “almost” finished degree is not a university education. When it comes down to it, “almost” has little real meaning when responding to an interrogative question. “Yes” or “no” are the only choices.
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Budapest, Hungary- August 9, 2008
Travelogue — Travel Photos
So I will return to New York to work towards completing my degree with Global College, Long Island University so that I can say, “yes, I do have a university education, and you can see how I am using it by sleeping with my head in the mud and making $10 a day writing penny and nickle magazine articles and blogging.” But I do have a secret: I really love going to school, I love doing research, I love writing silly theses that noone should ever read, and I am really longing for a library that has lots of good old books. A part of me wants to go back to school in Brooklyn just for fun.
I have never really enjoyed NYC on my previous trips through there. New York was always just a transfer point to other destinations. The longest that I have ever stayed there – outside of sleeping under the fake palm trees in JFK’s terminal 5 – is one night spent over at my old China friend Jojo’s apartment. But I sense that extreme feelings about something often have the freighening tendency to flip extremes. The greatest love affairs that I have ever witnessed began with mutual hatred, the greatest of joys often begin with sorrow, and I know that the places that I long for the most are often the ones that I concurrently hate.
It is my impression that love and hate are closely related. Extreme feelings become balanced in their antinym. It seems as if everything in the world moves towards balance. Extremes flip extremes.
I hate New York City.
But I wonder if I will find myself loving my time there?
“That’s right, Chinatown, NYC is only 2 miles from Brooklyn. That might peak your interest and make things a little more interesting. It is not Beijing, but for a couple of months, it’s something,” wrote Scott. He is right. I could conceivably get a room in Chinatown, find an old man to tuter me in Chinese, eat Chinese food, and be happy amongst people that I really like being around and looking at. No, Chinatown NYC is not China, but at least it is something.
“I say, go ahead and finish the degree. It is more than a piece of paper, it is an accomplishment that no one can take away from you. Like travel, it is yours for ever,” Scott continued in his comment. I believe this also to be true. A university degree does not NEED to be utalized for anything to be valuable. It would be mine, my education would be mine, and I could use it for myself.
“Have you heard the expression “Luck (success) is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”?” wrote Baron. I will always remember these words because they are full of wisdom. Without preparation opportunities are all too often too discreit to notice let alone grasp.
“You are young and resilient now but you don’t know what the future holds and a college degree could help you. You may regret not completing college but I doubt if the opposite holds true,” Diane wrote. Yes, I am bullheaded. I know that I can just take my return ticket back to Budapest and I will be in the same place that I stand four months later but without this weight of indecision hanging upon me.
“You could live in a snowbank for 4months if you had to,” wrote .g. Yes, I probably will. When I set foot in NYC I will only have around $1500. This is not enough money for one month. My wits will have to be as keen as they have ever been and my ears always kept down to the track.
“Note, maybe you can live in big Five Star Hotels in New York and so the Hideout thing, strange as it sounds, big hotels understand paying for ads, better than the small ones you have been in,” wrote Andy.
“Perhaps living and working at a NYC hostel would work out,” another option pointed out by Craig from Travelvice.com.
“If you’re that close to finishing anything, see it through. What’s the worst that could happen?” urged Greg from the Poets’ Corner Hostel.
These comments are all full of wisdom and I really appreciate that that they were sent in my direction. It takes time to write a comment on a blog, it takes effort and will to share advice. It is really special that so many people feel the urge to push me through this road block.
I am awestruck. Thank you for sharing your wit, wisdom, and experience. Thank you for preventing a wandering man from becoming chastened by his own wanderings.
Links to previous travelogue entries:
- Artists, WIne, Cafes, Bars in Budapest
- Global College LIU Graduation Requirements
- Hostel Work in Budapest
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