Three Reasons to Travel to Europe.
Being a dual citizen of the United States, and France, I elected to spend three years abroad for college, to explore Europe. Having been here almost two years now, I can say with absolute certainty, that if you are given the chance to travel to Europe, you should take it, and not think twice.
Europe is much, much older than the United States. There are buildings in Europe that date long before the Declaration of Independence was signed, let alone an idea. With that being said, my first reason as to why you should travel to Europe, is the history associated with this continent. More specifically, architectural history. Europe as a whole is flushed with centuries of incredible architecture, with history unique to each country. For example, Greece, one of the very first countries to form, boasts such a rich history that dates long before the discovery of America. You can visit many historical sites that include the world famous Acropolis of Athens, the Parthenon, and many more. Another fantastic sample is Italy, specifically Rome, a city filled with historic areas like the Vatican, the Colosseum, etc.
The United States, is referred to as living in a giant “melting pot”, yet we really don’t get the vibe that we are experiencing a lot of different cultures, aside from the “American culture” that we are all used too. That is why my second reason is culture. With all of the countries available to visit in Europe, there are hundreds of different cultures to learn from. In Germany, during the whole month of October, you can experience “Octoberfest” a month long celebration of German Lager (beer), in France, dive into year long, country wide gastronomical and wine fairs. Each country in Europe has its own interesting culture, and events specific.
My final reason as to why you should travel abroad is as simple as this: IT’S NOT AMERICA. We are all so used to our cliché American lives of going to school, playing sports, going to Starbucks, Chipotle, eating fast food, and watching football on the weekends, etcetera, etcetera. There is nothing wrong with this lifestyle, but as Americans we can quickly forget due to isolationism that there is a whole other world out there. We should challenge ourselves to go out and discover it. Traveling to Europe, or anywhere for that matter will expose you to people, places, food, tradition, ethnicity, and way of life that is not like ours back home, it will shock you.
I would like to conclude this article with a call to action. If you are a college student, or recent graduate, or even a high schooler with free time during the summer, I strongly suggest you consider a trip to Europe, if you are able to. You are probably thinking “I’m crazy, and that it’s too expensive” but there are many ways to travel. School trips, exchange programs, internship opportunities, etc. But if your family ever asks you where you would like to vacation, pick a European country as your next destination, and you will not regret it.