50 Things I learned While Abroad

  1. Never speak French with Fleming
  2. In the French culture, keep your hands on the table at dinner
  3. Belgian Beer, slow and steady. Slow and steady.
  4. French women definitely shave their armpits
  5. I can’t sing Le Marseillaise but its growing on me
  6. Belgium has 5 governments, and none of them seem to be effective
  7. Protests just happen, because they can (beware of angry farmers)
  8. Trains do their own thing, so roll with it
  9. Pretzels really are better in Germany
  10. Don’t go to the French Riviera after massive floods
    1. But if you do, travel with someone you love
    2. Definitely don’t airbnb anything outside of major downtown cities
  11. Every time you travel somewhere look outside and think about it, there’s probably somewhere very similar in the U.S. and that’s probably the reason those people moved there
  12. If you can’t handle being uncomfortable then you’ll never know what its like to be comfortable
  13. European towels are smaller and thinner
  14. You need an Umbrella, a good coat, and some resilient shoes in Brussels
  15. It’s ok to take a break.
  16. Things in Europe aren’t better or worse, they’re just European.
  17. The U.S. isn’t the only country that follows U.S. politics.
  18. I don’t know as many languages as people in Europe do
  19. Levi’s are cheaper in the U.S. by a long shot
  20. Europe needs more Dad jokes
  21. You can buy Frites-sauce in the grocery store
  22. Sweet, not salty for breakfast
  23. Money comes and goes, you don’t. Some things are worth buying.
  24. Traveling alone or with someone or both
  25. Taking the Thallys train is a beautiful thing
  26. Subways are the equivalent of live YouTube, you’re going to end up watching some weird stuff
  27. Europe has supermarkets
  28. I’m never going to be able to describe this experience in its entirety.
  29. Never try to memorize the types of grapes in the Loire Valley
  30. Lyon is the best kept (not so) secret of France
  31. Terrorists will never stop Europe from being Europe
  32. Kebab stands can solve the world’s most difficult issues of diplomacy
  33. Switzerland is really
  34. Skiing Switzerland really is all its cracked up to be
  35. The real Matterhorn is cooler than the Disney one, although it does not have a roller coaster
  36. I don’t like mulled wine; I gave it my best shot (pun intended)
  37. Applying for residency in Brussels is like to dipping your body in peanut butter and walking around town: you can do it… but why?
  38. Inflated grades in the US may be silly but at least they make you smile more than deflated grades in Europe
  39. American politics are funny to watch abroad until you realize that you are returning to those politics
  40. Most meats at a Buchon in Lyon: just eat it and don’t think about.
  41. Don’t put a $20 bill in the Laundromat coin machine (unless you love .50 coins)
  42. You may not be fluent, but you’re in a good spot if you can help an old lady with directions to the bus stop in French.
  43. Spontaneity is great, but have a back up plan
  44. Amsterdam is wild
  45. Hitler is the reason that Alsace wine varieties are so limited and controlled
  46. Hotels and stars: 1-2 shame on you (stay in a hostel), 3 Russian roulette, 4 good times
  47. Space bags are the way of the future
  48. Cornichon = pickle, not a pointed hat *cue confused professor’s face*
  49. People who say carbs are bad for you clearly have not had enough French bread (it’s a lost cause fighting its seductive delicious powers)
  50. The ladies who clean bathrooms all day probably make more money than I will out of college
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