After Europe

A month is a fair amount of time for reflection, right? Now that the dust has cleared and the obvious take-aways from our trip have made themselves known, I wanted to share them. Without further adieu, here are the Euro-lessons learned that I’m now trying to fit into my daily, American life (in between planning an inter-state move, of course):

  • Big, full, and heavy purses are overrated. Carrying everything I need in my pockets? Not rated enough.
  • In European restaurants, your check doesn’t come until you ask for it. You can take as long as you want to eat, and then stay for as long as you want after. They don’t even bat an eye. By the end of the trip, we were really into this custom. We were even ordering cappuccinos after dinner, something we’ve done maybe two times ever before in the USA . It was great, and it gave us time to enjoy and be grateful for the fact that we had a pleasant meal in front of us in beautiful place.
  • There’s no place like…one with coffee. It’s amazing the difference that one familiar comfort brings.
  • In Berlin, they do this thing where they’ll serve you beer mixed with something, like a flavored syrup or a soda. I tried Pilsner & Cola, as well as Pilsner & Sprite (7-up? Not sure.) Either way, I’m pretty sure that it revolutionized the way I drink beer. Before, I really didn’t. Now, I’ll consider it. As much as we Americans like our beer and our soda, I’m truly shocked that we don’t combine them like the geniuses in Berlin do. Sometimes it’s nice to get a fresh take on the familiar.
  • Picky eating is a waste of time.
  • And finally, one that’s hitting a little close to home right now (ha! Pun! Wait…you guys haven’t gotten there yet…) Picking a favorite city is nearly impossible. We were so lucky that all of the places we went had such personality, and were so different from one another. How can one compare a huge, gritty, creative city to a tiny, scenic, remote and charming village? Or, a small, resort town on the coast and a historic, artistic, digestive mega town? Impossible. We tried to appreciate the differences and recognize the gifts of each place.

Final thoughts (did Jerry Springer copyright that? Hope not…): If anything, living out of a backpack and a shoulder bag for 2.5 weeks gave me an appreciation for simplification, and the freedom to enjoy details. I’m hoping that, during our move, we can take a cue from our minimalist traveling and get rid of the unnecessary. But that’s a post for another day…

And finally, to celebrate this final post of Euro-reflections, I’m including one more batch of photos. Enjoy!

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