Unsurprisingly, the various cultures I encountered on my trip to Europe were all very different from the United States. This post will probably be an ongoing edit of the things I’ve noticed.
By traveling Europe, I actually learned more about American culture and what defines our lifestyles and our mindsets. It’s hard to recognize anything distinct when it’s all you’ve ever known, but exploring elsewhere has really opened my eyes.
In Europe, overall there is a slower pace of life. This was a common stereotype that I’d known, and being in Italy, the epitome of this idea, only ____ it for me. It goes beyond taking hours to eat dinner; it’s about appreciating the little things. For us, our entire culture is built on what’s next. Improving our lives, our jobs, improving technology, improving our salary or position. Everything is moving up, up, up which is why we have been one of the leading innovators in the past couple hundred years.
However, in Europe, I found far more people who were content with their job or their life. They didn’t need anything big or bold. There seemed to be much more respect for someone who chose to be say, a bartender, for their profession. Those choices of simplicity were normal and respected. Perhaps someone just wanted to live in a small flat in a city and run a coffee shop and nothing more. I think we could learn something from this mindset as a country.