Did you know that it takes 6 and a half hours to fly from the East coast to the West coast of America? Did you know that you can fit the whole of the UK into the state of Texas 3 times? Did you know that it would take 45 hours to drive from Brisbane to Perth?
As a Brit, facts like this blow my mind. I’ve only just learned them recently and they have helped me to get my head around the sheer size of Australia and the USA. I never really appreciated how long it takes for people in these countries to land on foreign soil.
In comparison to these countries, The size of the UK is a drop in the ocean. I absolutely love travelling to exotic and far-flung destinations, but a few of my recent trips (Dublin and Barcelona) have reminded me how amazingly fortunate I am to live in a country that is so close to so many other countries. This is the beauty of Europe, and these are endless reasons why you should feel lucky to live here. Here are 9 of them…
The Epic Travel Opportunities
Living in Europe means that so many other countries are quite literally on your doorstep. Think of how many countries are a 2 hour flight away from where you live? With such short flight times, you can even fly to a new country and back in one weekend (no annual leave required!) This is exactly what I did with my recent trips to Barcelona and Dublin, and I still came home feeling as if I had spent some quality time exploring both cities.
For longer travel stints, you can also make the most of the amazing inter-rail network and hop from country to country by road with ease. In a nutshell, Europe has amazing travel opportunities for both long and short term travel.
Experiencing So Many Diverse Cultures
Whilst countries on the continent lay side by side, the diversity in cultures is fascinating. Each country has a unique culture that is intrinsically woven into their way of lives and it is fascinating to learn how each of them differ. Italy is known for it’s food, France is known for it’s fashion. Without relying on stereotypes, the point I am making is that each country holds it’s own identity and traditions. No two countries are the same.
Realising The History Surrounding You
Our roads, monuments and buildings are beautiful because they are OLD. They have stood the test of time and you can find photos from 100 years ago of people walking down the exact same streets without them looking any different. The more you learn about European history the more you realise how many famous European landmarks, cities and areas were part of huge historical events. Getting to see these things and places with our own eyes is remarkable in itself.
Bargain Fares with Low Cost Airlines
Along with many other Brits, I LOVE a bargain, especially when it is to do with travel. Airlines like Easy Jet and Ryan Air get hounded for their tenuous delays and bad service but lets face it, we’re all going to keep booking with them. Why? Because they are amazingly cheap and provide an affordable gateway into and around Europe. These airlines make Eurpoean travel easy and guilt free.
Hopping on The Eurostar
In my option, the Eurostar is seriously underrated. Did you know that The Eurostar can take you from London to Paris in just 2 hours and 20 minutes? Not only that, but you can also get to many Belgian cities via Eurostar too including Bruges, Antwerp and Brussels. The Eurostar is a great option for people with a fear of flying or families travelling in young groups. Living in London, it’s crazy to think that I could get to Paris quicker than I could drive to my parents house in York.
I have always appreciated that many European cities are seen as romantic destinations, but I’ve never truly realised until recently just HOW romanticised and glamorous that Europe is perceived by people from further afield. To many Americans (for example) Europe is the ultimate travel experience. I suppose an element of this is due to the fact that they are long-haul destinations for them (anywhere far away is bound to be more exciting and exotic) but the Yanks are on to something, Europe really is the most romantic continent on earth.
Being part of the EU gives you the freedom to travel, live, work, study and retire anywhere in the Europe. You can stay in any European country for up to 3 months without any nasty Visas, and if you want to stay longer, you can! It wasn’t until I became close friends with some Australians that I realised how blessed anyone is to be part of this.With the EU also comes the Euro, which makes travelling through Europe amazingly simple with no tedious currency exchanges and rip off rates.
*I first wrote this blog post long before the UK’s EU Referendum, so the EU was 1 of my 8 reasons. The UK’s policies are going to be changing soon, but I personally love the EU and felt quite devestated to hear the news that the UK would be leaving (paragraph added August 2016)
The Beautiful Languages
Europe is home to some of the most beautiful languages in the world. Whilst English is so commonly spoken across the whole of Europe, living so close to so many different languages gives us a real reason to try and learn to speak them (or at least master the basics). I took a French A Level and have recently decided to enrol on a brush-up French Language course as it’s a skill I would hate to loose and know I will always use.
9. The Food (and WINE)
Last but by NO means least come the food. We cannot fail to appreciate the mind-blowingly delicious food on the continent. Creamy goats cheese salads and slow cooked duck that falls off the bone in France. Olive-oil infused foccacia breads and freshly cooked pastas in Italy, succulent bratwurst sausages and cheeses in Germany. Each country has signature dishes that are world-famous, not to mention our amazing wines and of course, champagne!
I think everyone can be guilty of taking the place they live for granted, but writing this post is a result of my own recent realisation about the amazing benefits of living in Europe and being European. Whether you travel once a year for a family holiday or you’re a travel addict looking for regular spontaneous adventures, Europe offers diverse, accessible and spectacular opportunities to travel.
This is why Europe is truly AWESOME and you should feel like one smitten kitten right now if you are reading this and live in Europe.
Want to read more about Europe? Check out these blog posts:
What did you think of my European post? Are you proud to live in Europe and do you feel lucky to live here? Perhaps this post has made you realise the perks. If you enjoyed this post, please leave me a comment in the box below! Thank you x