I am a TV addict, and I PERSONALLY REALLY enjoy Reality TV. CHRISTINA Ricci
We have been contacted by the popular House Hunter International reality TV show again, but this time we leave the beaches and vineyards of southern France behind for the historically rich and stunningly beautiful metropolitan city of Budapest Hungary.
For those new friends in our life that don’t know, the premise of the show HHI is to follow a family’s search for a new house in another country.
For those who love looking at real estate and find yourself wandering into open houses and not even looking for a new home, then you will love this TV show. By peeking into the lives of others you get to see how other people live in other countries. It is also interesting to see the construction of different houses around the world, their fashion of architecture, and to hear some reasons why they left in the first place.
The cameras take you on an adventure into three different houses and the family picks one at the end of the show. Sometimes they come back for an update like they did with us in France. Along with the family, you must guess which one they chose, and often you find yourself rooting for them or saying No! I would have chosen the other house! It is all in good fun!
Paprika! i love it!
Why House Hunters again?
Simply to promote our new expat life and the fabulous adventure we are about to start. With millions of loyal HHI viewers, I believe by sharing our story might inspire for others to live their dreams too. I hope more people would take the leap of faith, and perhaps not be so afraid to visit and even live in foreign country.
What I find is people are people. Some good, some bad. On the baseline we all have the same ambitions to find happiness, make a living, and raise the children we love. You attract what you are, and you quickly find like minded people. And believe it or not expats are everywhere, from everywhere, living everywhere.
Imagine what would happen if it were mandatory for everyone to live in a foreign country for just one year. How much more excepting and open would we as a people would become. By knowing what it is like to walk in the shoes of a newcomer, we become more understanding to the plight of the migrants in our own countries, and the struggles of learning a new langauge and adapting to a new culture. Great experience for anyone but especially to raise your children in such diversity.
Here’s the recap….
We left the rat race and high real estate prices of Vancouver Canada in 2011 and headed to Europe with little more than a suitcase each. We started our Expat Life in our little apartment ‘The Walnut’ that we bought when Angelina was two years old as an investment and vacation home in our beloved Budapest.
From there we travelled Europe; extensively throughout Hungary, through Austria near Vienna, to the little villages along the Neckar River in Germany, through Italy, France, and Spain. We homeschooled the children over the summer and by late October 2011 we found Capestang, somewhat by chance.
The path seemed to lead us to this little village with amazing light, the kind you read about from painters who visited the region.
Here we quickly found a beautiful little villa, and we eventually fulfilled my dream of owning and operating a Bed & Breakfast. Our story on the BLOG became very popular and from that some amazing opportunities happened; like teaching English to French kids, my role in municipal council, writing for magazines, learning a new langauge, writing a book, singing in choir and then a band… the list goes on and on.
And for the rest of my family; Alfonz went back to school and got his WSET wine accreditation, his langauge proficiency ticket from the Hungarian uni and he opening a successful Historical and Wine tour company.
Our five years were prolific.
The children learning French and found a safe community to grow-up in, with lots of friends, and a good school; they absorbed the French culture with the freedoms of small town life. Everyone knows your name.
Our life and experiences in France were nothing short of amazing! We loved it. The sun! The people! The wine! The quality of life! But…. there is always a but…
Budapest was pulling us home. Our family and friends were asking why France when Hungary is yours by descent… we wanted to bring our businesses to the next level, but it proved very difficult for entrepreneurs in France. So we decided to bring our linguistic sejour business to Hungary, and give Budapest a try.
The experience filming with a production company was so much fun for the whole family, and it put the village of Capestang on the map for tourists from all over the world.
After five years of foie gras and baguettes, fresh croissants and Languedoc wines, we sold it all again and started heading back to our Magyar heritage with the cat in car screaming the entire 1700 kilometres!
Lucky for us this move to Hungary frees up far more family vacation time to travel, and we are already planning a trip back to France to visit. Our first French friends are already booked to come experience Hungary during the winter break. I cannot wait to see them, I miss them terribly.
House Hunters is a perfect way to promote Hungary.
It is not the communist ruled starving country it once was. In fact the comparisons of Paris and Budapest of uncanny. Same Gothic style architecture, cobblestone paths, a river running through it and the diverse food is enough for any foodie.
Both countries fiercely hold on to their traditions, culture, history and language; making them both proud nations to live in and ethnically unique.
What many people don’t know, is that the people of Europe have so much love to give and I enjoy my friends and family in both countries so very much.
Hungary’s dark history is interesting, from the 1550’s Turk invasion, to WWI & WWII, and 1956 revolutions and 65 years of communist rule, but if history isn’t your thing, the parks, the nightlife, the baths and the arts are enough to keep tourists coming in droves.
Tourism has increased 150% in the last year alone!
French and Hungarian students learning English have the same difficulties when learning the language; thick accents, not enough conversation time in class and teachers that are not native speakers. I hope to bring the same level of excellence to the ESL homestay program to Hungary that we reached back in France. I am also looking forward to seeing some of my old students and sharing Hungary with them!
Before Budapest gets expensive, come visit, bring your camera, bring your love of exploration, and I promise Hungary will not disappoint. So romantic and untouched beauty, and did I mention the food!
I hope our story shows fellow North Americans just how much we love Hungary as our ‘Lucky in the Languedoc’ story showed how much we love France.
I think it is important to promote Budapest, not only for ourselves but to change some of the press. Like Frenchmen are not actually rude, I hope to shatter some stereotypes about Hungarians as well.
What kind of house?
Here we search for a much larger, newer house that can house my family of four plus four students at once. A neighbourhood that we can lay some roots down in, close to the French private school and of course make some new friends.
Once settled, we hope to carve out a new expat life, start business as usual and settle in for the long run.
Our next reality TV show adventure will come Spring 2017! Please stay tuned to My Expat Life Hungary!