Just last week, I had the pleasure of taking two twelve-hour bus trips. To all the German and Dutch students, whose parents live only a few hours by car or train, you are either very lucky, or missing out in life’s great bus adventures! After all, a train can’t get lost—it’s on rails, right?
I spontaneously decided to visit my parents in Austria, and my journey was nothing short of unexpected. I sat next to Gandalf the Grey, who filled me in with his infinite wisdom. Who knew Gandalf was originally Sicilian? Traveling with the flu is also definitely not recommendable. My inability to sleep because of constant coughing and wheezing was only worsened by the toddler on the bus, which screamed away every last bit of warmth I had left in my heart. Thankfully, the Saharan temperatures in the bus made up for it.
Unfortunately no amount of July-like weather, shopping sprees, boating excursions, barbecues and home-cooked food could make me feel better, so I ended up losing my voice completely and sat through a nightmarish twelve-hour trip back. Stupidly, the bus drivers (who happened to be Hungarian) got lost in Belgium, to which my mom casually replied to my text message by saying “Typical Hungarian…just like Attila [the Hun] got lost with his men, too.”
At one point I was wondering whether I had even made the right choice in putting myself through this, but all my doubts and annoyances vanished in a few moments, just like the bowl of oatmeal with berries that my mom made me for breakfast. There really is no place like home.
Despite getting sick, my holiday was well-spent, at least for my mind if not my body. Perhaps only the doctor can prescribe medication to help heal your body, but it is up to ourselves to decide when our soul needs a sick leave. And sometimes the only treatment is found in a bowl of mom’s steaming hot noodle soup.