As a young adult just learning to travel, I was excited to visit Europe. After my first trip to Germany, my excitement had escalated to the next level. I was tired of being an American in Europe. I wanted to experience European culture, food, people and smell the roses. If I could just make it to one European city, then I would have made my way through Europe like a conquering hero.
For the most part, I was able to handle my travel anxiety, and enjoyed my time in Europe. There were times where my fears of being overbooked or missing a flight, which are frequent in the USA, did occur. My biggest worry during my euro trip was having a conversation with a random person in a foreign country. In order to avoid having this happen, I made it a point to only make phone calls to local businesses. This not only kept me from missing my connection with a local business owner, but also saved me on expenses because I wasn’t paying for long distance call rates.
When I first arrived in Europe, I didn’t think too much about my language skills. I made it a point to learn as much as possible, using resources such as the internet, local libraries and friends. I spent a lot of time researching local festivals and historical sites, both American and European, that I was interested in. In addition to my in-depth knowledge, I was also mindful of my body language and accent.
My experience in Germany ended up being rather enlightening. My traveling experience in Europe lasted for a little over a month, but gave me so much insight into both German culture and life in general. During my first trip, I realized how much Americans miss home while exploring the continent. In many ways, the European countries are America without the freedom, comfort and pampering Americans have come to love. This realization motivated me to plan another europe trip, which I did for the next five years.
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