While my group of friends have been in and out of relationships, I prefer to sail along with single life and only put in time and effort when the right person comes along. So, as you might expect, I’ve been single for many a Valentine’s Day. Usually on February 14th around half of my closest friends are in relationships. In one horrific year at Uni, I was the only single person in our house of three couples. I felt like I was taking up much-needed space in the living room, and probably should have crept up to my room to watch TV instead.
But this year is going to be different. For the first time, all of my uni housemates are single along with me, so naturally we’re having a massive Galentine’s Day celebration.
I had heard so many great things about Budapest before I arrived at their beautiful central station after sitting on several trains for around 12 hours. I normally get a strong vibe from a city as soon as I get there, and while I liked Budapest, we didn’t seem to click. Don’t get me wrong; there are so many amazing parts of this city, and some of the architecture is among the most striking I have ever seen. And yet, I didn’t quite fall in love.
Maybe it was the heat. Like most Brits, I am highly adapted to a diet of rain, cloud and wind. Stifling 30 degree heat and walking around all day leaves me exhausted. Or maybe it had something to do with the bizarre taxi driver who told Beth he was going to sell her passport to the mafia and charged us a small fortune for the journey to our hotel from the station.
There is one part of Budapest that I am irrevocably in love with, though. To have a parliament building as incredibly opulent as Hungary’s is a bit of a privilege. It is by far the most striking government building I have ever seen. I could literally stand and stare at it all day, taking in the gorgeous colour of the domes and Gothic revival spires. At night, it glows across the river, full of majestic mystery. If you need one reason to visit Budapest, make it to see this building. I think I’m a little bit in love.
At every single stage of life we have a different type of pressure on us. At uni, it was that we had to be with the best friends having the best times constantly. I thought that would lift when I graduated, and it has, but it’s been replaced with the massive pressure to make something of my life. Right now, that means a graduate should get the best possible job with lots of responsibility and hopes of promotion while being able to support yourself away from home for the first time in your life. Somehow, I’ve actually managed to achieve most of that and honestly, living completely without handouts from your family or the government in the form of student loans is incredibly empowering.
But what isn’t empowering is the thought that now that I’m working, like many of my just-graduated friends, we’ll be working until we’re easily getting towards our 70s. My friend Jess just got a letter to confirm that she had started a pension. She’ll be able to start receiving the money in 2060. That’s over fourty years of five weeks holiday per year and living for the weekends. A job might be the ultimate success on the surface, but we can’t seem to handle it straight after the freedom of University. A stable job at 21-years-old is not what my circle of friends seem to strive for. We want to get out when we’ve barely even gotten in.
That’s why so many of us want to travel long, far and soon. We are a generation who refuses to be tied down by work, homes or anything else. We want freedom. I’m not sure where I want to go, but I’ve had a look around and here are some places that will appeal to a lot of wanderlust-filled recent grads.
UPDATED 2018: I love watching these Disney vloggers and YouTubers whenever I can’t be at the place where magic lives. One of the main problems with loving Disney World is that you can’t be there all day, everyday. So during those depressing times when you’re not in Orlando, why not live vicariously through others? Lots of other people have filmed their whole Walt Disney World holiday experience and uploaded it for the world to see. Not only do you get to live their vacation alongside them, but it’s also a great source of inspiration for your next trip. From amazing new restaurants, to hints and tips, they have a lot of knowledge to share.
If you’re dreaming of your next holiday, get into the spirit with these nine vloggers. Let me know if your favourite isn’t on my list – I’ll probably dedicate the next week of my life to catching up on all their vlogs!
UPDATE: Since writing this list, I decided to vlog my own Disney World trip! I’ve started uploading my vlogs on my own channel, so be sure to take a look. I went to Florida in 2016, and I’ve now got an annual pass at Disneyland Paris. Here’s day one of my Orlando trip:
And I’ve just come back from an amazing Disney Cruise! If you’d like to see more Disney World, Disneyland Paris, and Disney Cruise Line content, click here to subscribe to my YouTube channel. I have lots of Disney trips planned this year!
London is an amazing city to visit, and an even better one to live in. Yes, we might have to deal with the highest rent in the world, but there’s nothing like having one of the planet’s best cities to explore each and every weekend. I feel quite a bit of pressure to make the most of my treasured days off now that I work the 9 ’til 6 life, so I spend a fair amount of time trying to discover new places with my friends.
Greenwich is one of those places that, while being slightly off the main tourist trail, is postcard perfect. If you’re ever looking for something slightly different to do with your weekend in London, especially if you’re interested in meeting Llamas and a small hike to an incredible skyline view, then read on.