10 Things you learn when you live in Europe (and you are not from Europe)

12:35 PM

* You must get used to the fact that within a few hours car ride you can be in a new land where a different language is spoken. We are going on 6 years here and it still amazes me.

* You have to realize that when you talk about your childhood and others from Europe talk about their childhood there can be some really big differences. (Think East Berlin or young democratic Spain). For example, my husband didn't wear a seat belt until he was in his teens. There just weren't any in the backseat! And their cars didn't have air conditioning either! What? He was born in 1980, okay? Not the dark ages!

* You must realize that having wine at lunch is NORMAL. Don't be a snobby American!

* You realize that not everything is at your fingertips like in the States. There is no Target here. No Walmart. No Home Depot. Bummer.....

* You can go years without eating McDonald's. In my opinion: Thank Goodness! But seriously, it just isn't as accessible. Besides, there are much better things to eat. Which takes us to my next point:

* You learn to appreciate food for being more than just a fuel for your body. You learn to taste new things, let it linger in your mouth and realize that respect and appreciation for food goes a long way!

* You learn to live without family nearby. I would love to have my mom nearby sometimes so I can go to the grocery store alone, but then, when she is here, I guess I value it all that much more!

* When you make good friends, you hold on to them! Not knowing a language makes it hard to make friends, so when you find a good friend here, you hold on tight! Even if you move you continue to stay good friends!

* You get to see that everyone else's weddings are so much more fun! I don't know about you but in Wisconsin we rarely look forward to going to a wedding, but in Europe it is always such a fun celebration that you never want to miss out!

* You learnt to enjoy being able to walk to the store instead of having to drive. Of course this really only applies to Spain and to those who live downtown in France, but it applies to me so I will add it in! I end up walking a good 4 miles a day!

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