My Weekend in Budapest: 5 Lessons in Entrepreneurship

by Aisha DaCosta on August 6, 2012

Alone in a foreign country, miles away from your family and friends can be very scary. Even if you are located in the middle of Europe with easy access to historic locations most people only dream about visiting. You have it all at your fingers (sort of speak)…Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Budapest, Venice, Croatia, you name it and it is probably less than a two-hour flight away. But, you are alone! No friends to share your adventures with; just you and your camera. What would you do?

Stay in your hotel room or venture out alone?

Let me tell you about my weekend in Budapest and the gleaming lessons about entrepreneurship that were reinforced as I toured the Hungarian city.

I have been in Germany since July 8 on business. One day at breakfast I struck a conversation with the guy at the table across from me. We hit it off and continued to exchange friendly conversation from time to time. One day he told me about his weekend adventures here in Germany and the low airfare (70 euro round-trip/$85) offers through German Wing’s Blind Booking program. He mostly traveled alone since he couldn’t get co-workers to venture out with him. I thought to myself, “Wow, that sounds cool! I want to do that.” I went to work told my friends about it and no one wanted to go. I heard all types of excuses, “I need more predictability in my travel destination; I will wait to see how your trip goes; etc.” Unfortunately, my usual travel buddy was on call this past weekend so I decided to go it alone and try my luck at Blind Booking away.

Lesson #1: Fear of the unknown is never an acceptable excuse not to [fill in the blank]!

Blind Booking as the name implies is much like Russian Roulette for the adventurous traveler. You select the category of destinations you want to explore (Culture, Metropolis Western Europe or Party). Then you select the dates you want to travel on. Fill out traveler information and payment information. Submit. Wait 10 seconds (which feels like an eternity) while the wheels spins (system processing). Then #BAM! The computer reveals your destination and flight itinerary. This weekend I spent 70 Euros ($85) for round-trip airfare to Budapest, Hungary…SWEET!

Lesson #2: A great personality will attract people and opportunities!

I won’t lie and say I wasn’t intimidated about going to Budapest alone, because I was. Until this weekend I had no idea where Budapest was much less the fact it was in Hungary. I did know one thing though…I am good at making new friends. Trust me, this introvert can be quite a people person when the occasion calls for me to turn on the charm. You have to have a great personality to be an entrepreneur. Life and business is all about relationships. We have all heard the old saying; “people do business with people they like.” The introvert must step out their shell if they desire to be successful. On the outskirts of your comfort zone lays success. We live in a world filled with extroverts; most sources say that approximately 60-75% of the population is extroverted. That means most people in the world are attracted to energetic, enthusiastic and sociable personalities.

Lesson #3: Combat fear with due diligence and then go with your gut!

With my airline ticket in hand I set out on a mission to find a place to stay. Like a great researchers, I did a Google search for “best hostels in Budapest” and came across several websites with great reviews for Trendy Budapest B&B Hostel. I wanted a private room and private bathroom. They offered a Honeymoon Suite for 49 Euros. I inquired about a reservation but the room was sold out. The host, Pamir offered to rent me out his apartment for the same price. After a few email exchanges I knew that I made the right choice. When I arrived in Budapest I called Pamir to let him know that I arrived. He called me several times to check if everything was okay with my transportation into the city. He met me at the train station with a hand full of groceries. We walked to his apartment and gave me a briefing on what to do and how to navigate the city. “Aisha, never take a taxi from off the street. Always call and have them come to your location. They have fixed rates when you call. Make sure the taxi rate is set to 6 for the tariff fare. Taxis are very cheap here you will not pay more than 5 Euros for a ride within the city. Don’t change your money at the airport. They will rip you off. Go to the local Exchange locations to change your money.” And the list went on. I had Pamir’s cell number and the taxi number programmed in my phone as I ventured off into Budapest.

 

Lesson #4: Some of your greatest inspiration will come from the entrepreneur next door.

Trendy Budapest B&B is run by two brothers, Pamir and Samir. They both have full-time jobs as engineers for large corporations. They run their business with the help of a part-time receptionist. They don’t consider themselves to be entrepreneurs per se but their desire to provide great service and value for their customers says something different. As I waited for the time to come for my flight out, Samir told me how he felt a little sad when his customers departed. Although he knows they are not family or really his friends but he mentioned feeling a little attached to them. For two young men raised in a house where only the women did the cleaning these brothers do a get job washing linen, ironing, vacuuming, and cleaning their hostel. They take pride in their B&B. Any mother would be proud to have two sons like Samir and Pamir. If you are ever in Budapest, I highly recommend that you stay at the Trendy Budapest B&B!

Lesson #5:  Sometimes you have travel alone to get where you want to be!

My trip to Budapest started with a conversation with a new friend. [Make a habit of making new friends]

He told me about his adventures with Germany Wing’s Blind Booking. [Recognize opportunity]

I took action and booked my trip. [Don’t procrastinate!]

I combated my fear of traveling alone by researching tourist attractions and places to stay. [Overcome fear with education]

I was open and friendly and met new people. Above all else I had fun! [You can be your best friend or worst enemy]

 

If you enjoyed this post please leave a comment below. I am interested in you thoughts and ideas.

To your success,

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Maritza August 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post; you inspire, motivate, warm my heart, and make me smile! I am blessed to know you and call you friend! 🙂

Reply

Aisha DaCosta August 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Thanks Maritza! I am glad you enjoyed. I am blessed to call you my friend as well. 🙂

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Vernell August 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Read your post and I must say it was intriguing to read. I had no idea you ventured out by yourself but then again I am not surprised that is who you are….there are no limits on what you will accomplish when your heart is in it. I am thrilled you had such a good time and that you made new friends to add to your black address box…(do you still have that or has it out grown itself)….keep the post coming …I love reading them!

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Aisha DaCosta August 6, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Thanks Vernell! The black book is now my cell phone. I keep all the olds just in case I missed a friend from an old phone. 🙂

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Sharon Vornholt August 6, 2012 at 9:06 pm

What a great adventure Aisha. I commend you for stepping so far out of your comfort zone. It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

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Aisha DaCosta August 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Thanks Sharon. I had a great time. Budapest ROCKS!

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Tom August 6, 2012 at 9:15 pm

This reminds me of my trip to Germany in 2004. I did a eight country trip by train, plane and automobile in two weeks and loved every minute of it. This is something everyone must do.

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Aisha DaCosta August 6, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Tom, I definitely agree with you. Traveling Europe is a MUST! Last summer I went to Munich, Venice, Garmisch by car…we got lost coming back from Venice but had a GREAT time!

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Robin J Emdon January 12, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Ahhhh Budapest! Such a beautiful city too! Loving the lessons you learned and how you applied them to get yourself there! Amazing job! Thanks for sharing! ~Robin~

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Aisha DaCosta January 12, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Hi Robin.

Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked it. Budapest is indeed beautiful! 🙂

Reply

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