At least for me.
Year 2007, round marriage anniversary of my grandparents and my 20th birthday is coming. Something special and memorable is needed. The family council gets together and announces the verdict: the grandparents are traveling. With me …
The first (and last) package tour
After the decision was made about the gift, we only had to select the destination. At that time I did not even know about Facebook, not to mention the Skyscanner-Tripadvisor-Booking.com Golden Triangle. Beside of that my travel organizing experience converged to zero, so we visited the one and only travel agency in the town. We discussed our budget and needs, and value-for-price wise Tunisia seemed to be the best choice. Thinking backwards it was a good decision to select an organized holiday that time because of two reasons. On one hand, because it made my grandmother a bit less worried. On the other hand it made me understand early enough that the predictable, over-insured and ‘sterilized’ type of travelling is not for me.
The first flight experience
I was very happy with the trip I received, but I was really scared of the idea of flying. I was not afraid to fall or something like that, but to be sick. Unfortunately I get sick easily in the car, on the bus, and sometimes on the train too. From one moment to the other my limbs go numb and my nose too (I don’t understand either), start sweating like hell and feeling extremely nauseous. So I thought that as soon as the machine moves, I’ll be sick until we land in Tunisia. Surprisingly, it was not the case, and I haven’t been sick during my flights since then. (I wish there was a flight between Budapest and my hometown 🙂 So I took my seat, checked if there was a sick bag and I tried to fasten my seat belt. Excitement and fear mixed up in me, and I could not figure out the belt. At this time, a little girl started to the talk next to me:
– Can’t you fasten your belt? Look, this is they way. Is this your first flight? Are you excited? It’s ok, I was the same. We travel a lot with my mum. Are you afraid? Do you want me to hold your hand?
So this is how my first trip started. So it’s not a surprise that I love flying since then.
The first international holiday with my grandparents
Sandwiches and drinks to the cooler bag, coffee to the thermos. The car’s door is opening, grandchild to the back, grand mum is in, grandfather making the engine start and we hit the road with the little Trabant to get to the pool nearby our town. That meant the ‘grandparent journey’ to me.
Tunisia was a big change, especially because the life with my grandparents is exciting enough, no travelling needed for that. Just to feel the thing: a week before the trip, my grandmother scalded herself with boiling water, her big toe has broken, and right before the flight she was stung by a bee… The streak of bad luck has been ended as soon as we got there and it ended up a great holiday. Only one issue came up between my grandfather and a taxi driver who wanted to buy my pretty, blonde grandmother for some camels. 🙂
The first culture shock
I haven’t seen much outside of Hungary or even my hometown before this journey, so I couldn’t really compare the Tunisian experience to any other. The language, the behavior of people, the vibrating bazaar, the smells (and stench), the colorful and loud cavalcade gripped my mind at the first moment. I still remember when I heard the ezan (call to prayer) first first time and the strong smell of jasmine what was mixed with the sea’s salty air. At this time I had no idea about the fact that few years later I will have to hunt for this ‘abroad feeling’ when I’m travelling in Europe.
Not only Tunisia, but the Hungarians were shocking too. The latter are with their behavior. Every morning, somebody tried to take out a sandwich from the restaurant in his pocket and of course got caught up. Every. Single. Morning.
The first UNESCO World Heritage Site
Walking through the ruins of Carthage, history has evolved. We were walking through the site and listened the guide’s speech with the the group. The walk could not be either faster or slower. It was impossible to feel the place or imagine the stories what I’ve read in my history books. For sure I’ll go back once again to discover the antiqued buildings myself.
My first big mistake
I mean, in terms of data storage. Unfortunately, at that time, I didn’t put enough attention to the storage of my photos. My old laptop, where those date were stored has broken, and by the time I was informed about that, it was no longer possible to save the photos. Only these few pictures left about the unforgettable first adventure.
PS: My English is far from perfect. I am not a native speaker, I started to write posts in English for my foreigner friends (Turkish, Italian etc.) who don’t mind my mistakes 🙂 Any corrections and suggestions are welcome 🙂