Nishant Baxi: Traveling to Europe: What Every American Should Know
The Joys of Traveling to Europe
Europe: the dream destination for millions of Americans each year. Whether you first dreamt of the castles (and there are so many) as a child, or whether your interest is in the history and beauty of the countries, you cannot help but be enchanted by the glory and the diversity of Europe's countries.
Today, what we think of as Europe is a group of countries that are either members of the European Union (EU) or those that are not. There are 27 EU countries, but this number doesn't include well-known European countries that you might still want to visit such as the United Kingdom or Norway. We'll discuss the EU and what impact it might have on your travels later in this report.
From the warmth of Greece to the coldest parts of Norway, the landscape can change dramatically in just a few moments. As you travel through the different landscapes, you may pass everything from majestic, snow-capped mountains down to the brilliant white sand beaches of Spain, Italy, and Greece. No matter what kind of vacation you are looking for, you can find it in Europe.
There are other reasons to see the continent, though. The rich cultural heritage and traditions of the countries have been charming Americans for centuries. It's rather incredible to realize that what we often consider 'old' in our country is modern in comparison to what you will see in Europe. Plus, so many of the traditions that you will see today have been happening in Europe for centuries in the same way. With the combination of architecture and events, you will find it easy to imagine yourself back in time to an era where some of your ancestors may have been living and working.
That ancestry may be another reason for your visit to Europe. You may want to track down some long-lost relatives that perhaps remained in Europe while your great-grandparents made the voyage and took the risk to immigrate to the United States. Even if you haven't already located these distant cousins, you might know the town that your family comes from. If you visit the town and start asking questions, you'll be amazed at how much you can learn about your family from the locals.
No matter what your reasons are for visiting, you will never regret the experience. Especially if you take the time to learn about the places you will be visiting before you go. It's an unfortunate fact that Americans have a reputation for being somewhat abrasive or rude when they visit European countries because they expect things to be the same as they are at home. If you can leave those expectations at home, you'll be able to see the way things operate in Europe as a natural result of their culture and their priorities. This attitude will also give you the best chance of being able to move past the label of tourist and experience more of the 'real' country.