I have a confession to make. I’ve been to more European countries than States. That kinda makes me feel like a bad American but I think it’s a proximity thing. You know, like when you live near something cool, the chances of going are often smaller than if you’re visiting a place for the first time. For instance, I’d never been to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral until last year when my boyfriend urged me to take him there. And it’s 40 minutes away from my house in Orlando.
Here’s some reasons why traveling in Europe is the best:
1. Proximity to other countries
This year alone we’ve traveled to Italy, France, Germany, Austria (3 times), and Croatia. France was 16 hours by car and Croatia was 10, so, ok, not that close. However, these are all different countries! It’s worth the drive if you get to eat their yummy food.
2. Old cities
Sometimes people see pictures of where I live and their reaction is funny. “Oh, you live in a city?” Yeah and it’s 750 years old. There’s a church here, still standing, from the 13th century. The only thing that old in America? dirt.
3. Public Transport/Cheap Air Fare
Typically it works like this. Fly to the airport, take a train or a bus to the center, get off the bus and onto a tram which takes you directly to where you’re going. Don’t get me wrong, America is spread out and gas is cheap, so I understand why we don’t have good public transport. At least they’re trying in Florida with the light rail system. That’s progress!
About air fare, this February we flew roundtrip to Bologna with RyanAir for 200 zl, that’s a little more $50. That’s peanuts for air travel. Having cheap airlines like WizzAir and RyanAir is a freaking godsend.
Pendolino, Polish high speed train / On the way to the Dortmund Weihnachtsmarkt
4. The chance to practice a foreign language, but knowing you can speak English anywhere
People always look down on Americans for not speaking other languages but I think the reason is we just don’t have the pressure to do so. Living in Europe, you are exposed to other languages all the time. When you travel, you feel like an ethnocentric jerk if you don’t speak at least a few words of the local lingo, which for me is super motivating.
I love visiting random castles, like Moszna Castle, the one at the beginning of the post. For Americans, only in fairy tales. For us, a short drive away!
So if you’re on the fence about visiting Europe, take a flight across the pond. I’m always delighted to show friends around Poland!