“I love to see the LGBTQ community living happily in Budapest” – Interview with Gabriella Contillo
Born in America’s smallest state, Rhode Island; now bringing her big personality to Budapest. Let’s meet Gabriella!
Where are you from?
I am from Providence, RI. Rhode Island is the smallest state in the USA!
What is day to day life for you?
I am a writer, freelance marketer, and event manager; the flow of my days vary day to day – which I love! Although every day is different, every day of my life includes exercise, meditation, reading, laughing, going on mini adventures with my dog, and spending time with loved ones.
What did you know about Hungary before traveling here?
I knew close to nothing about Hungary before traveling here! Learning about and exploring the city has been magical, between the history, architecture, and culture it’s been an enriching experience with every step.
Where else have you traveled before visiting Hungary?
I studied in Madrid, Spain for 3 semesters, I also traveled to France, England, Mexico, Italy, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Morocco, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Portugal, Croatia, Barbados and Puerto Rico.
Have you had any cultural shocks?
I’d say that my biggest cultural shock is how fast and efficient the service in Budapest is compared to other European cities – a positive shock for sure!
What were your first impressions of Budapest?
My first impression of Budapest was that it was stunning. I love architecture, and few cities I’ve visited can compare to Budapest.
Name one place or activity you would recommend a traveler to see or do!
I’d recommend anyone coming to Budapest to experience a relaxing day at a Budapest Thermal Bath. Traveling can be hectic and tough on our bodies, being able to relax and treat our bodies well is an opportunity not to be missed!
What where the first 24 hours in Budapest for you?
We started the day by getting coffee and breakfast at the stunning New York Café. We then made our way to Széchenyi Spa where we experienced the Thermal Beer Baths – it was such a fun, relaxing and unique experience, I highly recommend! Afterwards we went on the Budapest Eye ferris wheel. Then we took a boat to Római-part where we experienced the local terraces and sat by the water watching the sunset. After returning by boat, we went to Pontoon and sat by the Chain Bridge to enjoy the views. Afterwards we went to Szimpla kert, where we relished the atmosphere in the pub’s car before watching a live band perform. It was a great first day.
What are your favorite things in Budapest?
I love visiting the different spas and baths in Budapest. I am a dedicated spa-goer, and in my opinion, Budapest is one of the best and most affordable cities to relax during a spa day.
What do you think of gay life in Budapest? Do you part take in it?
I love to see the LGBTQ community living happily in Budapest. I’ve been to Why Not, and I really just enjoyed the atmosphere and connecting with members of the community.
What kind of hobbies do you have?
I love learning about people; I love to learn and study their stories and lessons learned – I do this through meeting and speaking with people, reading, and watching shows, movies, and documentaries on Netflix. I also love being active in any form: I practice yoga, take cycling classes, lift weights, run long distance, and go on scenic hikes.
What is something that you have learned here that you will take with you?
During my time here, I’ve had some unfortunate family issues back home and not being there to support has made me feel helpless. The relaxing atmosphere and loving people of Budapest have kept me grounded in the fact that when the tides are rough, all we can do is be present where we are and grateful for all the beauty around us.