By Sion Firew |

Dear Sion from five weeks ago, 

Hey, its future you. I am now coming to the end of Baylor in Budapest, and it has been a very challenging but beautiful experience. You’re about to embark on this new journey with new people, and even though it may seem scary, I’m here to give you some advice. 

First things first, you should know the process of getting onto the plane is going to be exhausting, filled with delays and gate changes. And it doesn’t end there, the actual flight will be much more stressful. Lesson 1: Remember to breathe and rely on God when you get scared.  

When you get to Prague, you’re going to feel tired and gross, but it is going to be such an eye-opening experience. It’s okay to be sad and miss Mommy and Boppy, but don’t stay sad for long because Prague deserves all your attention. The city, the people and the inviting aura of Prague is still one of my favorite parts of this trip. Lesson 2: You have to bounce back quickly.  

I’m not going to lie; it took me a minute to get warmed up to Budapest. It isn’t as beautiful or inviting as Prague, but trust me, it’s special in a different way. It’s a busy city, so the people are not super nice, and it looks a little dirty sometimes, but there are so many hidden treasures in the city. Look for the vintage shops, ice cream stands and Thai food, and you’ll feel a lot better. Lesson 3: Open your heart to the city and you’ll grow to love it. 

One of the most challenging parts of living here for five weeks has not only been the lack of diversity, but also the stares and the whispers accompanying me when I walk into a new space. At some point, I decided people can stare all they want, but I would not let them change how I view myself. Even though none of your peers can truly understand what you’re going through, don’t be afraid to talk about this with people, and refer to Lesson 1 often. Lesson 4: You are beautiful. Black is beautiful. Being different is beautiful. 

This letter is getting a little long and you’re probably bored, so I will get into my last piece of advice. God has brought you into this new city, this new country, to help you grow and learn more about yourself and your capabilities. So, it’s very important that you take this opportunity to step into yourself as a woman, an artist, a writer and an explorer. Don’t let a day go by where you don’t learn something new; don’t let a day go by where you don’t challenge yourself. Always try to meet new people and learn their stories. Don’t be afraid to grow closer to the people you’re spending the next five weeks with because they are all so beautiful and unique. Lastly, make sure you get Professor Maxey in every video you take because he’s a star. Lesson 5: Welcome new adventures, people and growth every day. Embrace challenges as a means to learn.  

I think I’ve told you everything I can without spoiling your experience, so keep these lessons in mind, always. I’ve had such an amazing time exploring Prague, Budapest and Transylvania, and I honestly can’t believe this is coming to an end. I’ve loved writing for The Bundle and making so many new friends while also getting inspired by the beauty of these new places. As I say goodbye to Budapest and you say hello to Prague, I hope you get to learn as much as I did, and you don’t take anything too seriously. This has been one of the best times of my life, and you won’t want to leave by the end of it.  

 

With love, 

Sion 

 

P.S. Go to the farmers market every Sunday and buy all the honey you can.