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April 14, 2013
By Chris Roth

Many of you have asked, upon hearing that I had sold my stores, “Now what are you going to do?” While the answer to that question was trying to explode out of me with excitement, I wanted to wait until my project had fully taken shape before I shared the details. So, I have created this blog to keep my friends and family updated on my adventure of a lifetime.

It has been a dream of mine for quite some time to explore faraway places, be immersed in the culture and share what I learn.

Having lived and worked in Hungary many years ago, I discovered that a world existed outside of my Dallas, Texas bubble. I arrived to this Eastern European country at the end of the cold war. Hungary was no longer a Soviet Bloc country and the last of the red stars were being removed from the top of government buildings when I got there. It was history in the making.

My time in Hungary changed my life. Of course, I was home sick much of the time. But I will never forget how moved and touched I was by the relationships I made with the Hungarian people and other expatriots. When we think of how different a foreign land is we assume the people are just as different. As it turns out, we are not. We are the same. We raise our families, go to work and plan for our futures all the same way. Yes, our attitudes and opinions may be different but isn't that the case in American towns and communities as well?

I couldn't wait to share my experiences with everyone back home. While my friends and family loved my stories, the entire concept of Eastern Europe baffled them. Most didn't know where Hungary was or even the continent. This is where it all began for me, fueling my passion for travel writing.

So the adventure begins in Zagreb, Croatia. I leave May 12, 2013 for a 33 hour flight (only 10 hours of it are actually in the air) and will stay for 2 weeks. My dear friend, Mark, whom I know from my days in Hungary, has arranged for me to visit schools in Bjelovar, Koprivnica and Zagreb. I will be a one man show, taking all of the video and stills myself, while interviewing students, teachers and families. I will post daily to the blog but the final production will be made when I get back home.

For now, I thought it would be interesting to post stories of my time in Hungary. A lot has changed since I was there, including the formation of the Euro and the European Community and hairstyles, yikes!! But I am sure you will find it quite entertaining.

So stay tuned...I will have my posts on Hungary up in a few days.

Soviet Bloc Eastern Europe

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