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Actor Lolly Adefope on Balmy Summer Nights in Budapest

cntraveler.com
 2021-05-17

Cover picture for the articleWhen I was younger and went on holiday with my family, I'd be almost agoraphobic. I would just want to be on my Game Boy and not speak to anyone. I was a city girl, perhaps subconsciously aware that I was ‘traveling while Black,’ which made me anxious about exploring a new place. When I first started traveling for work, I was the same—and I would think, I'm in a great hotel: Why not just stay in and enjoy it? And I'd justify the decision to myself. Then, in the summer of 2017, I was in Budapest filming my first movie, The Spy Who Dumped Me, and it was like a reckoning. There were these little windy streets and bars everywhere, and it was balmy and vibrant, even at 3 a.m.—everyone was just out having a good time. I tweeted from my hotel, asking how to watch Love Island, and then strangely, two friends happened to be there at the same time and messaged me to come out. We met up for drinks at this bar called Mazel Tov, which has a garden with lots of fairy lights and plants. They were in Budapest because some actor friends had rented a mansion called the Writer's Villa, and they invited me to stop by. It was gorgeous, like made-up levels of luxury. I remember thinking, Even if I had millions and came to this place, I would be wowed. There was loads of Champagne and wine and so much food. And then everyone started jumping into the pool, and I thought, I'm not scared, and I jumped in as well. We stayed up all night. Now when I travel, I'm more adventurous. If I find myself creeping back into that ‘not going to leave the hotel’ vibe, I take baby steps, like having a nice dinner on my own or getting my nails done. I'm hyperaware that I'm traveling as a Black woman, but I try to remind myself that there's a lot to be gained by stepping out of my comfort zone. As told to Meredith Carey.

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