About Off the Bohemian Track
Ever wondered what lies underneath the hill or hidden in an abandoned power station? Have you ever wanted to know the secret history and stories that lie in a place, or an artist’s own narrative about what inspires them? I know I do!
From Budapest’s hidden spots to its living arts and culture scene, Off the Bohemian Track is a cabinet of curiosities from all the secrets of the Hungarian capital and around. While Budapest is my home and passion, this blog goes beyond to collections from my travels, profiles, and interesting stories I have found online which I find fascinating and want to share with you. This blog can be thought of as a virtual scrapbook of places, people, stories and adventures.
My Journey On and Off the Bohemian Track
I am a 30-something writer based in Budapest. My father is British and my mother is Hungarian. While I was born and raised in the UK, I have dual nationality and spent a part of my childhood in Budapest, when my mother put me into a local school at 8 years old and I had no other choice but to learn the language. I returned to the UK when I was 11, and ended up studying towards science.
After reading Stephen Hawking’s Brief History of Time, I was hooked on physics, but my passion for science began when my grandfather dusted off an old telescope we set up on the roof of the house he built up in northern Hungary. I went on to study an MPhys in Physics with Satellite Technology at the University of Surrey, where I was sent on a one year internship at a particle accelerator in Darmstadt called GSI. I lived in Frankfurt for a year, and fell in love with the cultural scene, the local cemetery that was next to my house and modernist architecture. During my internship I was offered a PhD position to go into nuclear physics in Madrid, and my life after my degree was more or less set.
Or was it? I moved to Madrid, and did another masters in Nuclear Physics, which sent me around various universities in Spain, and then finished my PhD at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, worked for a couple of months on and off at CERN for experiments relating to my PhD, but half way through I realised the science life was not for me.
All my friends were artists, and in Madrid I hung around writers and opera singers and realised that I was more suited to a bohemian life rather than a rigid scientific one. I battled with my mental health, and writing became an outlet that saved me. I knew before the end of my doctorate I wanted to be a writer, but how? Leaving science to become a writer seemed like career and financial suicide.
So I taught English for 2 years, I moved to Tbilisi, Georgia for a few months to do a journalism internship with Georgia Today and discovered a love for travel, culture and a world off the beaten track. Till that moment, all my writing work comprised of ghostwriting erotica and badly paid copywriting and attempting to become an amateur burlesque dancer.
After Georgia, things changed, and I started to get published in decent places. I got a copy editing certification and started working as an editor. I decided to say goodbye to Spain and moved to Budapest, Hungary to reconnect with my Hungarian roots.
Budapest was a huge change for me. I got a few writing jobs with The Budapest Times and worked for the adventure travel company The Travel Scientists as a blogger and then as the head of marketing, publicity and communications. I was sent to work in India for a few months, where I travelled round South India, working on the road blogging and handling the social media and publicity campaign, which was definitely an adventure of a lifetime!
After moving to Budapest, my writing career took off, and I have had my work published in CNN Travel, BBC Travel, The Guardian, VICE, Slate, GOOD, Huffington Post, Quartz, The Calvert Journal, Paste Magazine, Draft, Perceptive Travel, Atlas Obscura, Viator, among other publications!
Now, I work as a writer in Saatchi & Saatchi Budapest. Not quite the bohemian lifestyle I imagined, but still trying to keep up my dream by writing, living and loving this city, even if it goes on and off the bohemian track.