As most of you probably know by now, I’ve spent soooo much of my life moving around. Of my 24 years, I’ve spent 9.5 living in the USA (non-consecutively, AKA a lot of moving back and forth), and the rest living all over Europe. I’ve been lucky to call Skopje, Vienna, and Brussels “home”, as well as to have spent an incredible semester in London while I was at university.
As for the USA, I’ve lived in New York City, right outside of Washington DC, a small village in upstate New York (basically Canada), and two cities in Wisconsin! I’m so grateful for all of the places I’ve visited, but even more grateful for the places I’ve gotten to call “home”. Having said this, here are some of my favorite things about living in Europe versus living in the USA.
- Where else can you walk around and be surrounded by beautiful architecture that has been standing there for thousands of years? Every country in Europe has its own architectural style, and I’ve loved taking in the views of so many different buildings. There’s something so magical about being surrounded by such grandiose history.
- Independent coffee shops. If you’ve met me before, or even if you’ve been reading this vlog for a while, you must be aware of how much I love coffee. Coffee is the ultimate form of art and delicacy, and I refuse to believe otherwise. I’ve noticed that Americans view coffee more as a way to energize on the go, than a sweet indulgence to sit and enjoy. Europe does coffee so freaking well, and it’s the thing I miss most about living there. I miss grabbing a friend and having a chat over a steaming hot flat white, or perhaps a cappuccino. Don’t forget the square of dark chocolate on the side – the perfect companion!
- TRAINS. Oh, how I love trains. You can take a train from town to town, or from one side of Europe to the other, and that’s incredible. The calmness, the views, I love everything about train rides. It’s so easy to take this form of transportation for granted, but the USA absolutely SUCKS when it comes to trains. They’re expensive, they barely take you anywhere, and it feels like nobody is investing in them.
- Friendly strangers. The amount of friends I have made in Europe by staying at a hostel, or starting some random conversation at a pub or coffee shop is unreal. People in the US aren’t as keen on talking to strangers, and I can’t really pinpoint why. It almost feels unsafe to do so, which is not a nice feeling.
- Big open roads. The road infrastructure in America is heavenly. Big open roads, highways wider than you can imagine. Not only is this more practical, but it minimizes the constant stop-and-go motion that you have to make in any European city. Less stopping, less damage to your car – longer car life. Yes, please!
- Plus size options. The USA has a larger plus size clothing market, and you could easily pinpoint that on the American diet. Regardless, I am so happy that I’m able to go to the mall and find a pair of jeans that don’t dig uncomfortably into my belly. The non-plus size selection is also vastly larger and more affordable than anything you would find in Europe!
- University FEELS easier. I got my degree in the USA, and while I can’t say that my curriculum was so much easier than it would have been in Europe, I can congratulate the US on the support that it gives its students. Not once in university did I have to chase a professor down, as they were all readily available to help me out with anything I needed. There are so many regulations in place in the US which gave me more time to study, rather than having to fight for my rights (which a lot of my European friends still have to do).
- Technology. Cameras, computers, and cell phones are all newer and more affordable than anywhere in Europe. If you have a way of getting your electronics in the USA, I urge you to do so because often it can save you hundreds of dollars (or euros, or pounds)!
Where are you from? Have you visited any places in Europe or the US? Which one is more to your liking? I’d love to know!