Reflections on Living in Europe
I was lucky to have had a childhood in Europe, which happens to be possibly the coolest continent on earth ( although that is arguable). Despite having moved back to the States when I was 19, my desire to continue spending much of my life in the EU has never faded, even when we moved to Asia 4 years ago; we managed to still spend 6 months in Tuscany and 4 months in Scotland. What is it exactly that keeps people wanting to come back to Europe and discover more and more of its unique historic towns and cultures? Or is it simply the food is fantastic?
One of the things that makes traveling in Europe so desirable is the proximity of each country to one another. Friends have described North America as being isolated from other countries in comparison to say how a Brit can hop on an hour flight and be in a different country. Fellow Brits can ( and do) vacation often in say Brighton or Bournesmouth, but many also book an Easyjet flight and visit the South of France ( my home!!) or perhaps investigate family European river cruises. It’s almost too easy to travel within the EU, which is what makes it such a desirable place for those who are seeking to see the world, whether by backpack or luxury cruise. Thanks to having such terrific trains, as a teenager I was able to take impromptu trips from my home in Antibes to Venice, Avignon, Florence, and other places. My favorite trip was with classmates over Easter vacation. We had all planned on staying in the dorms in Sophia Antipolis, a semi remote town near Antibes, but we soon realized it would be much better to all go to Venice during Carnival. Despite having a meager budget we found accommodation last minute, booked our train tickets and headed to the bus for Nice to board the train. The next morning we awoke to the most majestic place on earth ( nothing beats Venice) and had the time of our lives, one that we will never forget.
Europe is also relatively close to North Africa. On a class field trip our school went to Egypt. We took a short flight to Marseille and a direct flight to Cairo, where we boarded a boat and took a cruise down the Nile. That too was sheer magic, all of the glorious open air markets and bazaars as well as the ruins we visited. One friend of mine flew over from the States and stayed with our family in Antibes. He saw that flights to Morocco were insanely cheap and without evening telling his family, he booked a ticket and boarded the plane a few hours later. He never stops talking about his trip both in France and Africa and looks at it as a once in a lifetime experience.
I’ve lived in Asia now for roughly 4 years, and absolutely love it here. But deep in my heart I am always plotting moving back to Europe and traveling throughout the continent. I can’t explain specifically what it is that I love about it, but I imagine it’s a combination of the lifestyle, architecture, and food. It’s a place that all should venture to at least once in their lifetime, ideally more!