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Traveling To A Different Country Taught Me More About My Own

America needs to make some valuable changes.

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Traveling To A Different Country Taught Me More About My Own

This past summer I was lucky enough to be able to go overseas to Amsterdam and the countryside of the Netherlands. To say it was an amazing, eye-opening experience is an understatement. I now totally understand wanderlust. Every culture has its own way of doing things, so to be able to go spend time in a different culture makes you question some of the habits of your own. After just spending a week across the "pond" here's what I noticed

Our cars are overused.

The first thing that I noticed from the second I stepped outside the airport was how many bikes there were. Everywhere I looked there was someone on a bike. They even have parking garages scattered throughout the city- not for cars but for bikes. If you do not look where you are going, you are likely to be taken out by a late commuter (as I found out).

The mornings and evenings in Amsterdam do not have a rush hour as we Americans think of it, rather they have bike traffic jams. People there commute from miles away on their bikes. They think us Americans are crazy for driving a car to go somewhere under five miles away. When the Dutch do drive, their cars look different than ours- they are much much smaller. They must think Americans are crazy for driving huge trucks and SUVs when oftentimes there are not more than one or two passengers. I believe that we can learn from how environmentally friendly the culture is in Amsterdam.

Americans are way too wasteful.

The first "you must be from America" comment we got was shortly after we landed. When we got to the hotel and walked into the room, we tried to turn the lights on with no luck. So, we called the front desk who explained to us that to use the lights you must insert your hotel key. This ensured that no electricity was wasted when the room was not occupied. This seemed like such a simple yet effective concept to help prevent wastefulness.

There have been so many times that I have forgotten to switch off the lights before exiting a room, so having something that is fool's proof makes so much sense. Hotel chains across America could save so much energy by implementing this simple feature.

American gas stations really need to step up their game.

I was a skeptical eating my first gas station meal in Europe, but after that, I was a believer. Gas stations in the Netherlands simply do it better. They have amazing hot food options that put some of the cafes across America to shame. First of all, the coffee makes you never want to spend $7 on a Starbucks latte ever again. The entree sections have a wide range of options, not the typical sketchy hotdog and donut options at American gas stations. And do not even get me started on the chocolate and candy sections!

After going to another country, you notice some of your own cultures habits that you never would have thought of before. Traveling to a different country was something that I will never forget, and hopefully something I will be able to do again.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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