“Travel story” – Kata

We contunue to meet new travel bloggers! Today our guest is Kata Nagy she is 26, lives in Romania and loves traveling and drinking coffee.

Q: When and why did you start travelling?

I always liked traveling, and somehow whenever I reach a new destination I fall in love. Every country has such a unique atmosphere and frame of mind that I just can’t stop admiring. This is why I feel this need to travel more, because it’s such a nice experience to explore all the different places, nature or architecture, culture and people, and this unbelievable feeling they all create together. You can not be not curious about what’s more out there. This is why I started a longer trip this time, on 21st of March I had my first flight to reach Asia, and got here next day.

Q: What are the most unforgettable events/moments happened with you?

My unforgettable moments.. They are small things that made my day, and usually exactly when needed most. In Thailand we were going up north, skipping the usual Phuket or Phi Phi island route where usually all the tourists are going. One day we decided to go to a small town (Chiangdao), very hidden, it’s basically just nature and locals. We took the traditional simple bus, which is not very popular among tourists. So when we got to the town, we sat down in a café on the side of the road and asked the staff if she knows how can we get to our place of accommodation. She even asked a policeman who was having a coffee there as well, but they didn’t know. When we started leaving with the thought that we will find a taxi, and pray that they know where it is, a woman who joined the policeman at his table with her husband, ran after us and asked where we want to go. When she couldn’t really find the address on her map, she asked for a phone number, called the host and then said she will give us a lift with her husband. We wanted to pay but they refused to take any money, even more, they gave us each a drink. It’s such kindness you don’t experience every day..

Another nice memory is from Cambodia when we were walking on the street in the evening, in Phnom Penh. We heard some music so I said we should go there and check what it is. It was a sort of street party, some people blocked their small neighbourhood area with scooters, so vehicles can’t access the road, they put out some tables, big speakers and started to enjoy themselves. It was a week before Khmer New Year. There was barbeque, drinks, games, dancing, and lots and lots of happiness. The unusual thing about this party was that it wasn’t held by young people who drink until they become unconscious and start acting inappropriate, but by families, people from all different ages. The music they were playing wasn’t anything with sexual content as it’s now popular, but songs (I believe made specially for children) they could all dance to, with well known moves. Kids were standing in a line, in front of the “Dj” desk, having the best time, and their parents making food, having a chat, joining the dance and always keeping an eye on the small ones. There were also games played, where someone’s eyes were tied and they had to break a bowl tied up on a string with a big bat, and if they did, they could keep whatever was inside ( candies, money, etc.) As we were standing there watching them, a bit unsure if it’s right or not, they came to us, giving us drinks and food several time, started to get to know us, chatting with us like we belong there. Even kids were running to us with their most beautiful smiles and laughters. I was amazed how important family and having fun together is for them, how caring they are about each other, how they like to share everything they have, and mostly to share their infinite love (are you a stranger or not) with you, that you just want to hug everyone. It was one of the best nights I had.

It’s just beautiful how people who don’t live in such good conditions as many other people in the world with all the comfort, shiny luxury apartments and tons of money, are a lot more friendly and no matter how small things they have, they want to share it with you, they want you to take part of their joy and make sure that you are happy. They are not ignorant or selfish..and this is how they become richer than anyone else who’s addicted to live a material world, not realising what the most important thing in this life is.

A lot of people were trying to help us everywhere, no matter if we asked for help or not, they just want to make sure everyone is okay and happy.

I took part of a 10 day meditation course in Cambodia, where any kind of communication was prohibited, unless you had some problems you couldn’t solve on your own. In that case you could talk to the manager. Also if you had questions about the meditation, you could talk to the teacher, but you couldn’t communicate with other participants in any way. Phones, books, notebooks had to be left with the management when you arrived to the camp. Our rooms were nothing usual and they were close to some kind of forest, lots of bushes with lots of animals like insects, frogs, spiders, ants, (even snakes sometimes) etc.. There was one day I can still laugh about. I went to my room and checked if there’s any animal inside. I couldn’t see anything unusual, so I decided to take a shower. As I moved the curtain separating the bathroom from the room, I saw a black spot on the floor. I went to turn on the light so I can see properly. (Usually I didn’t turn the light on, because we only had one big roof for all the rooms, no ceiling, so the light coming from the room next to me was enough). As I turned the light on, I saw a frog in my bathroom. I thought great, the day before a quite big thick spider, now a frog. But I had to take a shower so I had to be brave. While I was doing my thing, I was watching it so I can see what’s going on. Suddenly it started jumping around, getting closer to me. I got scared so I quickly turned the shower off and started to run out of the bathroom. But I was wet and the floor slippery, so I fell down in the room as I was, not even in a towel. I got up as quick as I could and jumped in my bed which was covered with a net after, so I could feel safe. It hurt at that moment, my arm even got bruised, but next day already I was laughing at myself. Probably I won’t forget this “shower with a frog” scene ever.

Q: How do you afford to travel – are you rich?!

Haha, no, I am not rich. I had this dream of traveling for a bit longer for quite a while now, but never thought it could actually happen. I just read all these articles about people doing it, and felt very jealous. My friend said she is planning to go traveling again, as she did it before, so we said how fun it would be if I could join her, because I wasn’t really happy at the time and I wanted to get out of it somehow. But still, I couldn’t imagine myself here, it was just a nice dream. Until the last day of last year, 31st december 2016, when we were at her place chatting, and started to search for tickets out of curiosity. Then I said to her “Let’s buy some tickets, so we know it’s becoming a plan now, it doesn’t remain just a dream”.  So we did. It was very exciting. After that moment I was more motivated than ever to work hard, to make sure I am not wasting money on anything, I didn’t buy any clothes, didn’t buy expensive food, sold my netbook, etc.. I “gave myself” a small amount of money for every two weeks and then had to live out of it. Wasn’t easy, but possible and makes you feel a bit proud.

Any other time I’m just trying not to overspend my money, not to buy too expensive things (of course sometimes I do) and then when I have a bit, I just buy a ticket somewhere, if I can..


Q: One thing which you don’t like about travelling.

Nothing?! Haha, that’s a lie, nothing is perfect, but that’s how it becomes more interesting.

For example sometimes I don’t like to live out of a backpack/suitcase. That I don’t have my wardrobe, MY bed, my bathroom..specially the bathroom, I really miss a nice proper clean one in here. But this one as well is a lesson, makes me appreciate these small things more. It teaches me not to take anything for granted (even hot water!). Makes me feel thankful for being able to wash myself with clean water, no matter the circumstances, makes me feel thankful for not having to sleep on the streets, to appreciate a bed, a roof above my head, no matter if it’s comfortable or not, if it’s something I’m used to or not.

Q: What places do you still dream to visit?

I don’t think there’s a place I wouldn’t like to visit. There’s something beautiful everywhere, there’s beautiful people everywhere I’m curious about. I just wish these bad people would finally come to peace and realise they are making this beautiful Earth, a gift they got from God, a living hell, and they would stop destroying all the beauty others could discover, the beautiful people others would like to meet, to share happiness and love with them.

Q: Are there any three things you can’t travel without?

Well, my passport! Haha. Toothbrush, something I can wear and.. shoes? I think everything else can be sorted, even if not in an easy way.

Q: Can you give some useful advices, tips & tricks for future travelers?

Well the first thing that comes up in my mind is to make sure you pack useful things (which I was advised of as well). Carrying a big suitcase after you (full of clothes and shoes you probably won’t use anyway) is not only hard, heavy, but expensive as well. Specially if you go by plane. Having a smaller bag is free, easy to carry, you don’t have to wait after it. For a short vacation it’s okay maybe, but still, in my opinion what matters most is not how many outfit sets you have, but the experience you’re having. Check with yourself if you will really use your camera or not, specially if it’s a bit heavy. Because you have your phone you can take quite good pictures with now, it’s handy, easy to carry.. I had to send mine home, because it was just some extra weight in my bag, it was lot easier to just grab the phone and take a picture. And you enjoy the moment more. There are exceptions of course, just check with yourself first.

If in Asia, go eat where locals do, even if it’s not a fancy place! Cheap doesn’t mean bad, and expensive doesn’t always mean quality.

Q: Any other thoughts?

Be brave, open, friendly, and try new things.

Pray for strength before you leave, work hard, pray for it on your journey, on your bad days, and trust yourself. Be thankful for everything and everyone and try to find something good in everything.  And when you are scared of stepping out of your comfort zone, fight it because it does worth it.

If you liked Kata’s story you can follow her  on Instagram.

This article is part of “Youth mobility – Cro – EU” project which is funded by the European Union. Objective of our project is to inform Croatian youth and involve them in various educational, work related, volunteering and traveling opportunities.  If you want to be updated on various opportunities “Youth mobility – Cro – EU”, please, subscribe to our mailing list by sending us email on urbanamladez@gmail.com with title “Subscribe” and put in your name and surname and year of birth.