I know, I know, your initial thought was “it’s too expensive.” But that’s not entirely true. A Euro trip has numerous benefits and it’s affordability just happens to be at the top of the list.
Before I studied abroad, traveling was definitely something I thought was unattainable for me – but boy was I wrong.
With proper planning and a vigilant eye for good deals, one can book a Euro trip for a surprisingly affordable price. I’m blessed with an uncle that works for Delta, so my flights are free besides taxes. Even without this stellar hookup, one can still book a round-trip flight for under $500. Trust me, I’ve done it before. The key to finding these cheap flights is booking ahead of time, I’m talking like months ahead of time. This can significantly reduce airfare. Once you’re in Europe, flights are dramatically cheaper than flights in the U.S. Companies like Ryanair offer cheap flights throughout Europe for under 200 euro. Of course, they’ll be more expensive flights, but relatively speaking, they’re cheap af. Lastly, there are accommodations to sort out. My advice would be to go with a hostel. I stayed at Baxpax Hostel in “downtown” Berlin or better known as Mitte for only 10 euros a day. This was a great deal considering I was in the center of the city and had easy access to everything Berlin has to offer.
2. Life-long memories
The memories I’ve made have a special place in my heart. I’ve met incredible people that have impacted my life in a way I never thought possible. There’s something about taking a night stroll down the Champs Elysees, whilst looking at the Eiffel Tower that will always stick with me.
3. Learning experience
There’s more to traveling than seeing Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, the Berlin Wall, or any of the other iconic European tourist sights. It’s about engulfing oneself into another culture, feeling like a minority (and being OKAY with it), and understanding that there’s more to the world than your own home. I come from a very diverse background and thus have a pretty open mindest about different people, at least I thought I did. In the months before moving to Europe, there was a lot of debate in the media about letting Syrian refugees into America. My initial thought was “of course we should let them in.” But after talking with some people about their fears of ISIS, I became a bit more hesitant about this decision. Now, I couldn’t be more ashamed of this hesitation. I’ve met a handful of Syrian refugees whilst living in Berlin and meeting them has completely changed my perspective on refugees. A friend of mine shared stories of growing up in a war-torn country and just wanting to get a good night of sleep without hearing bombs go off nearby. This absolutely broke my heart. The fact that there are people around the world that just want to live in safety, but are feared because of false media propaganda makes me sick to my stomach. I’m embarrassed to have fallen into this mindset and make it a priority now to challenge myself every day in an attempt to learn as much about others as possible.
“We’re more alike than we are different.”
“Life is about being together, not the same.”
4. Personal growth
I moved to Europe nine months ago and I’m now a completely different person than I was when I arrived. I’ve experienced growth in ways I never would’ve expected. I’m okay with being alone, traveling alone, and only depending on myself. These are qualities I wouldn’t have gained in Minnesota because I was surrounded by friends and family to help me if sh*t hit the fan. But now, I’m 5,000 miles away and only have myself to rely on – and I love that. I’m fiercely independent and have learned to face life’s struggles in an effective and efficient manner.
5. BEAUTIFUL sights
Let’s be real, you’ll never see anything like this in the states.
Parts of Europe remain equivocal, but Europes Western frontiers are clearly defined by its coastline. With that being said, it’s hard to decipher when Europe was established, but one can say it was prefigured by the Roman Empire in the middle ages. The Middle Ages can be referred to as the period of European history encompassing the 5th to 15th centuries, so up until 1520. The point of this mini history lesson is that Europe has been around a lot longer than the U.S. We, (my fellow Americans) received our independence from Great Britain in 1776, so we’ve only been a country for the past 241 years. Meaning, Europe has a lot more architectural influence from the middle ages than the U.S. does. Personally, I absolutely LOVE “old-school,” or middle-aged themed architecture. I’m a firm believer that I was meant to be a princess, so towns with middle-aged themed architecture like Rothenburg ob der Tauber are a dream come true for me.
All in all, I highly suggest my Minnesotans, and other Americans plan a Euro trip! I promise you won’t regret it. 🙂