Last February, I got a mild cold and went to the student health center at K where they hooked me up with some of the best cold medicine I have ever had. Seriously, it worked miracles. I wish I remembered what it was, because I am now facing the same cold here in Budapest. What started off as a sore throat escalated into a fever and a stuffy nose, and within a few days I was down for the count as I snuggled farther under my covers and a pile of used tissues began to form a nest around me.

I have downed at least four liters of orange juice in the last three days, have taken medications, eaten ice cream, drank tea, eaten soup, and tried to keep hydrated to beat this cold. No dice. My roommate is also sick and we are now referring to our room as the “sick ward” where we sit on our respective beds in quarantine. But colds come and go with the changing seasons; it is the unexpected illnesses that can really get you down.

Homesickness. For the first time since I arrived in Budapest approximately three months ago, I have been struck with a sudden desire to be with my family as soon as possible, to be back in Michigan and at K, and to see my dog. I’m not really sure what prompted it, because up until now I considered myself an anomaly for not feeling homesick at all. I think writing Christmas cards this past weekend really did me in when thinking about how I will be away from my family during my favorite time of year. Instead, I will be living out of a suitcase as I travel from Budapest to London to Aberdeen to Denmark, back to Budapest, and then to Rome for Christmas and France through New Years. I will be essentially homeless for a month.

On top of that, many of the friends that we have made here in Budapest will be leaving in the next week or so to go back to their own schools for next semester. The Kalamazoo College kids stay in Budapest until early February to complete individual research projects. I cannot believe that we only have two more months left and I am sure that they will fly by and that’s what’s keeping me from missing my family too much. The thought that they want me to be here and that I will get to spend a solid two months with them upon my return to the states will keep me company as I travel in December and finish strong in January. Plus, I definitely do not want to leave Budapest yet!