Moving to a new place isn’t just exciting but also challenging. You need to prepare yourself to literally reboot your life and start right from scratch to settle in. Be it finding the right house, doing it up, meeting the neighbors, familiarising yourself with the locality and more, the list just keeps going on. But for those who do dare to make the move, it is a rich experience to learn new cultures!
We’re here to share some of the most common American habits that usually get lost when moving to Europe.
1. From eating fast foods to eating lean salads
Americans, quite literally, survive on fast foods. With their demanding lifestyles and a fast pace that most need to keep up with, it’s kind of obvious! But once you move to Europe, you’re going to have to get used to getting more options for lean salads and breads, than fast foods like burgers and french fries. One thing’s for sure, you’ll become a lot healthier!
2. From travelling in groups to travelling alone
Europe is vast and when we say vast, we actually mean how much you can really travel if you move there. But the fact is, no matter how easy it is to travel between cities here - the local being the high point of trips for many, you’ll be doing it all alone. You’ll need to either find someone who has the ‘same schedules’ as you or simply get used to travelling solo!
3. From speaking in English to wanting to learn more languages
Continuing on the point above, you are definitely going to have trouble travelling throughout Europe armed with just English. While it is impossible for one to learn way too many languages as per the area you’re based in, it is always a wise idea to learn the basics for a conversation with the locals. Although you’ll still keep struggling to make small conversations with the locals and have really superficial, disinterested talks most of the time.
4. From aggressive career moves to settling down
If you’re the typical American who wants to quickly progress in their jobs and is really competitive, you’re going to be disappointed. There are very few people who have the same thirst for competitiveness. With the European economy not changing much over the years, this really doesn’t come across as a surprise. Also, the salaries here are a lot lower than you would have ever expected. The pace of everything is a lot more relaxed here.
5. From luxurious lifestyles to being functional
The US in a way, promotes a luxurious lifestyle. Owning large LCD TVs and having swanky cars is absolutely normal in the US. But when you’re in Europe, you’re bound to experience the ‘down to earth’ living. Most things in Europe are way more expensive so you end up making do with functional things. You’ll even end up with smaller homes, with no guest rooms here!
6. From casual behaviour to minding etiquettes
Here’s a fact - you’re more likely to get away with casual behaviour and remarks in the US, than Europe. In Europe, you’re bound to run into at least one uncomfortable situation every now and then. The locals are pretty vocal about what’s expected and what shouldn’t be done, so expect someone to walk up to you and tick you off on something you didn’t expect would grab anyone’s attention! Hand gestures are something we totally suggest you read over before moving to Europe.
7. From personal cars to local transportation
Like we said, your lifestyle is more likely to go from luxurious to functional. So if you’ve been used to hailing personal cabs or driving your own car, you’ll end up travelling more in the local European transport. Hence, it is important to get familiar with how transport and local passes work if you don’t want to get fined heavily. But one thing’s for sure, the transport in Europe is really well planned!
8. From indoors to outdoors
Image Source: Jack Alexander
You’ll be surprised by the fact that most Europeans are into outdoor activities. There’ll be hundreds either walking or cycling to a destination despite the public transport being so easily available. And with more time in hand, it comes across as no surprise. So from looking at indoor activities to do in your spare time, you might just find yourself biking around the city.
The thought of moving from a fast paced lifestyle to what you’d like to call ‘laid back’, can be really overwhelming. While you wouldn’t be able to understand the work culture in Europe all too quickly, making a trip to the place beforehand will give you a peek into what you need to be geared up for.
So if you’ve been procrastinating over a Europe trip, now would be a good time to get your visas and passports in place!