Things Europeans Do Better Than Americans
A list of things we don’t have in America that we SHOULD @realDonaldTrump:
There are farmers’ markets and fresh food EVERYWHERE, which is huge for produce and meat. But even at restaurants, I didn’t hate myself after eating a huge bowl of pasta covered in cheese. At grocery stores, many of the pre-packaged snacks were organic. Honestly I don’t know anything about food, but overall I could tell my body felt better.
There are so many delicious cheese options that I got overwhelmed at the grocery store and had to go home and create a Google spreadsheet of all the cheeses I wanted to try. This is not a joke and not to be taken lightly...
Paying for plastic bags at the grocery
At first it’s kind of annoying, but it realllly makes you think twice about buying a plastic bag when you know you already have a million at home. Yay the planet!!!
I had mostly positive experiences at hostels, particularly in Amsterdam. Sleeping in a room full of strangers, some of whom snore, is not everyone’s cup of tea, but for a solo traveler, these budget beds are a savior. If I wanted to solo travel in the US, I’d have to stay at hotels and Airbnbs, which are not budget friendly, and can be super lonely.
No top sheet on the beds
I HATE top sheets. I always end up kicking it to the bottom of the bed throughout the night and it gets all crinkled and balled up around my feets UGH wow that kills me. Just give me the sheet that no one can fold and a duvet and I will tuck myself in perfectly snuggly.
The overall shopping experience
Everything is chic IDK how they do it...even H&M just feels posh. Like, anyone could go into any store and buy anything on the rack and they would immediately be stylish.
THERE ARE SCHOOLS ALL THROUGHOUT EUROPE WHERE NON-EU CITIZENS CAN GO TO GRAD SCHOOL FOR LESS THAN €4000 PER YEAR. I spent that on, like one undergrad class alone. And if you have an EU passport, Master’s programs are free (or costs very little).
Public transportation & budget airlines
Getting from one place to another is straightforward in cities like Paris and London. There’s no need to have a car when it takes ￡4 on the Tube to get from Shoreditch to Mayfair for a night out.
Also, it’s sooooo easy to get between cities on a budget. Just look at a the difference in cost for a 2.5 hour flight in the US versus Europe:
Brussels → Lisbon: €35
Philadelphia → Chicago: $230 (~€260)
Literally 7x more expensive stateside!
We have an advantage on the East Coast as it’s pretty easy to drive from New York to Philly to Baltimore to DC, but on the West Coast it’s way more difficult to travel between cities inexpensively. Outside the coasts, it’s all just a big Western plain. I just want to take a $40 flight to Chicago for the weekend please!!!!!!!!
Pro tip: do everything in your Earthly power to pack in a carry-on while traveling internationally. Often, the cost to check a bag was more expensive than the flight.
Lots of public parks
Yes, New York has Central Park, but there’s something lovely about having little grassy areas spread throughout the city for people to lounge, picnic, or just enjoy the view.
General “Joie De Vivre”
Particularly in Paris, at all hours of the day, you can find people enjoying coffee with friends at a cafe. Throughout the day, you’ll see men carrying bouquets of tulips and bags of pastries for their family...taking time to appreciate the little things. At night, teens and twenty-somethings flock to the Seine with large groups of friends to catch up and split a bottle of wine. It’s clear that Europeans value time with loved ones and spending time outside and you can literally feel people taking things slowly to enjoy life around them.