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Flashback to 2013: Under a Bridge in Budapest

A note I'd taken while abroad on my time in Hungary's capital, and learning to be happy alone as well as with others.

I was digging through my online notebooks and found some journals from my time abroad. This one is from a trip to Budapest, Hungary’s capital, really struck me. Like most people, loneliness has bothered me in some form or another, and this was about finding joy in life while alone. Sometimes it feels like I’ve forgotten this lesson, so I wanted to repost it here as a better reminder to myself.


Budapest really is a beautiful city, and I will miss it. From sitting here at the very edge of the lake, having small drops splash against me while I hear boats, cars, and locals going around me in all directions, I feel like I’m in a world of peace and rush all at the same time. It’s curious, but I also love it.

A view of the deserted stone steps next to the Budapest river, with a large bridge in the background.

If there’s one thing I want to take away from this trip, it’s to keep embracing this idea of learning to be happy alone. Even as I seek to make more friendships and be more social, I can still find ways to be happy by myself at the same time. Knowing this actually makes me more comfortable in my own skin, and helps me be more social and independent as a result.

Most importantly, I’m not as lonely anymore. Heck, I barely feel lonely at all. And having that burden lifted off me is the greatest gift of all. One I’ll be sure to never forget.

A dark view looking over the Budapest river, underneath a bridge.

In this moment of peace, my mind calm, content, and happy, I just need to keep doing what I’m doing. I need to carry these lessons and life outlook with me once I return home. If I really do intend to be happy, it’s something I need to do. And even if it’s hard, I definitely will.