US Expat in Hungary - Expat Interview With Adri
|Published:||26 Nov at 7 PM|
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Here's the interview with Adri...
Where are you originally from?
In which country and city are you living now?
How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?
12 years, no idea
Why did you move and what do you do?
My husband is Hungarian. We met in the U.S., then lived in Amsterdam for four years, then decided it was time for me to live in and get to know his native country, since he'd done that in mine. I'm a journalist, now working in corporate communications.
Did you bring family with you?
All I brought was my husband Zoltan, or he brought me. Since we got here we've had two kids...
How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
This is the fifth foreign country I've lived in, so you could say I'm a serial expat. That said, Hungary has its quirks, and the fact that the language does not resemble any other language can be disconcerting!
Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
It wasn't harder than in any other new city, except for the language barrier, so I worked really hard on the language, especially the first two years. I immersed myself into local society, and only sought out the expat community after having been here several years!
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
My blog is chock-full of off-the-beaten path things to do, foods to try, and places to go. Budapest is easy to navigate, so you can see the main sights in a few days and then hit the Buda hills for a hike with a view, take a day trip to a Hapsburg castle or a medieval fortress overlooking the Danube, or best of all, soak in one of the many hot-springs baths that dot the city and the country.
What do you enjoy most about living here?
Crossing one of the bridges over the Danube every day. The city has the most spectacular setting of any I've seen, and I've seen a lot of the world's great cities.
How does the cost of living compare to home?
Food and services are slightly cheaper but everything else is more expensive, especially gasoline, utilities, electronics, and clothing. But I have my favorite spots to shop and save...
What negatives, if any, are there to living here?
The language is difficult (it can be mastered!) but people are thrilled if you just try to speak Hungarian. The bureaucracy is frustrating, but that's certainly true in a lot of countries I could name! All in all, Budapest is just the right mix of exotic and cosmopolitan, wild eastern Europe and world capital...
If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
Dive in! Get out of your comfort zone and make a new one.
What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
The time and effort learning the language well enough to use it anywhere, everywhere.
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
- Pursue your favorite hobby or sport here, with locals or expats, or a mixed group. That's the best way to meet people!
- You can do almost anything in a store or food market using just hand gestures to communicate. Don't feel silly, get your message across however you can!
- Eat a local dish once a day for a week. Ask a local for recommendations on what and where to find good local food.
- Shop at the colorful food markets, not just at huge multinational supermarkets.
- Look around you, ask questions, read up on Hungarian history, customs and holidays. This country is mesmerizing!
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
One day, I noticed that people were saying "Adri knows!" when expats would ask questions about Budapest, everything from which cheek to kiss first when greeting a Hungarian to the best place for a child's birthday party. I realized that I could share my knowledge, gained over my 12-year adventure here, in a blog, as well as a seminar for new expats.
How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
Via my blog (see below)
Adri blogs at http://adriknows.com/ which we recommend a quick visit if you haven't been already. Adri Knows has an ExpatsBlog.com listing here so add a review if you like! If you appreciated this interview with Adri, please also drop her a quick comment below.
Credit to Jozsef Ferencz Photography for the Nador street Budapest image used in this expat interview
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Comments » There are 6 comments
I'm a Hungarian serial expat who hasn't lived in Hungary now for quite a few years. I stumbled upon Adri's blog through this website and I love it. It's fun to see my country through someone else's enthusiastic eyes.
Loved the article, and Adri's advice is practical for any country - dive in and meet the locals. Well - good advice for most countries anyways. I've traveled Western Europe some, but haven't made it too far East yet. I'll ne sure to check out Adri's blog for some tips.
Great interview, Adri certainly does know!
I always read Adri Knows even though I've never been to Budapest. It always makes me want to visit and see the things see describes. She makes it sound so wonderful.
I love this blog, especially 'off the beaten path' suggestions with fun, family-oriented things to do. Adri definitely knows!
I can personally attest that "Adri Knows" all about living in Budapest. I'm also an avid follower of her blog. Go, Adri!!