In the Spotlight: Kinga Bíbor Nagy

Introduction of the Communications Chairperson of the Association.

I was born in Nagyvárad, at the end of the Ceausescu dictatorship in the 80s. I am grateful to fate for my Transylvanian origin, it greatly contributed to my ability to distinguish between important and less important things in life and gave me a good set of values to guide me. In 1991, after the Romanian revolution, we moved to Székesfehérvár with my family, but I always spent my holidays at home (in Nagyvárad and Kolozsvár). In Fehérvár, I attended the eighth-grade high school of the Cistercian order, after which I studied Hotel and Tourism at the University of Veszprém.

I was lucky to spend my last year of university in Finland as a scholarship recipient, where I got to know a completely differently approached, practice-oriented education. That last summer, I spent a month in Spain, which I intended as a kind of preparation and test before my first independent year abroad. The purpose of the trip was to complete the 800 km long Camino de Santiago pilgrimage on foot, which I still consider one of the most defining experiences of my life. This successful year in Finland was later followed by several stays abroad. The irony of life is that although I never enrolled in a master’s program in intercultural communication (it is taught in very few countries), practically my whole life has been about it. My philosophy was that you can get to know a nation and their culture better by living there than during a few days visit.

After graduation, I worked as an au pair in Ireland for half a year, and then my first job in Székesfehérvár was at Fehérvár Travel, a travel agency, which is the country’s best cultural tour operator. I organized tours to many countries, and in retrospect, I was able to go to places that I would never have dreamed of at a young age. This was followed by another round of foreign stays, first I volunteered in Spain (since I vowed after the Camino that I would return later to thank all the good things I received from others along the pilgrimage), then I worked in the hotel industry in Austria for two seasons. From there, it was almost a straight road to France, where I lived and worked in a small town in Provence for two years.

After that, I felt ready to move home and following a 2.5-month detour in Ecuador, I settled back home. Although I passed the tour guide exam ten years earlier, I had not worked in the profession before. I felt that I either start now or I will be too old for it later. That’s how I got into Budapest city tours and to be honest, at the beginning I didn’t know the city much better than my guests. However, I was very interested in the subject, the history, the secrets of the beautiful buildings, and the anecdotes. I just devoured articles and books about it. I felt it was a great honor to be the ambassador of my country and my culture, and the visitors get to know the country, understand our present and our past that has an impact on our everyday life, somewhat through my lens. I did everything in my power to make them feel good in Hungary and leave with a positive impression and memories. For the winter season, when there were fewer tourists, I applied to the Parliament’s visitor center and ended up staying there for 2.5 years. Not necessarily because of the work, but because I was in love with the building and it meant more to me than anything that we had practically free access to the House and could admire the sculptures and decorations of the building at any time.

It was a very intense four years with two jobs. I worked a lot, but I had my goals, I wanted to buy real estate and become as good as possible in my profession. I finally bought a small apartment in 2018 and felt that I had fulfilled the prerequisite for starting a family. Barely two months passed and I met my husband. Of course, at that time I didn’t know that He would be my husband, he was just a friendly tourist. 🙂 Several months of online conversations followed, before he convinced me to visit him in Seattle, and that’s when our relationship started to grow closer. The romantic trips to see each other began, which the Covid put an end to, but despite the impossible circumstances we always found solutions to meet. Finally, I arrived in Seattle in September 2021 with a fiancée visa and two months later we got married near Poulsbo, on the territory of the Suquamish Indian tribe, which was a great honor for me. 

After my arrival, I tried to get involved in the life of the local Hungarian community and soon after I took on the position of communication for the association. I am grateful to the association for its work of inestimable value and cultural rescue, and it fills me with joy that I was able to meet so many good people and get to know so many interesting life stories! Thanks to all the volunteers for their selfless work, forming a small ‘Hungarian tribe’ here, far from our home, on the other side of the world!

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