I was fortunate to grow up in one of the best continents on earth, Europe. I myself am from Scotland, one of four British Isles, on the continent of Europe, making me a European. But why do i have this love and passion for Europe that draws me to new countries every year?
I feel blessed to have been brought up in Europe, where cheap flight tickets and cheap coach tickets peek, where architecture stands out, where we have some of the worlds finest cuisine and so many other great opportunities. I currently live in a Europe with open borders, allowing me to travel to most of Europe with ease, without visas and without stress. I am often asked by friends and family, “why do you prefer travelling in Europe so much?”, and this is what i will explain here.
A huge characteristic of mine, is that i am very diverse and open minded and i believe that growing up in Europe and visiting an enormous amount of countries within Europe, has really helped contribute to that. As i am sure many of you out there will know, Europe is the home to at least 44 countries including the famous: France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, but Europe is the home to many countries which i consider to be hidden gems, such as Poland, Slovakia, Albania and Greece. Having this amount of countries in one area of the world means that there are hundreds of languages to be heard and lots of exposure to different people. Of course, this may be the case around the world, but Europe has this sense of collectivism and many countries within Europe, think of each other as a team. In my head, this makes it very easy to learn about new ideas, gain a better insight into other cultures and help see each other as people. Too often, we look at the world around us and consider each other, us and them. I find personally, that in Europe, we see everyone as a team player and see those around us as neighbours. However, it would make me less open minded if i only kept myself towards Europe and while i always adore exploring the world, i always have this sense of home back in Europe. Of course every country in Europe has its own identity but overall, we share ideas, characteristics and most importantly, borders.
I have grown up in Europe my whole life, and with that, i have been able to travel at an extremely affordable rate. Some of my cheapest flights within Europe have been as little as £8. This speaks volumes. I love the idea of being to travel at such cheap prices that now makes travel a reality for anyone who wants it. I am not from a well off family and as someone who works to travel, i can assure you that i am far from well off. However, the reality of Europe is that i can travel on an extreme budget and see new countries, meet new people and make unforgettable memories. I think that if i were not from Europe or living here currently, i wouldn’t be able to experience the same up bringing that i have been very lucky to have had. This is another aspect of the collectivist approach that i enjoy thoroughly. A few months ago, i found a Ryanair flight which cost £20 return from Edinburgh to Luxembourg. Eventually, due to saddening circumstances, i was not able to make the flight and even though i was unable to get my money back, i didn’t mind as much because of how little i had actually spent. Sure, if i spent a lot of money, i would be disheartened, but in many cases, i can afford to be more flexible.
As well as this sense of community and easy travel, i have a fascination with European history. Whether it’s how the Nazi Party rose to power in Germany or the split between The Czech of Slovakia and The Czech Republic. It is hard to argue that Europe is not interesting when it comes to history and its formation. In fact, one of my favourite things to do when visiting a new location, is to learn about its past, how the country came to be, its leaders and how what has happened in the past, has come to impact the country nowadays. I do this regardless of which continent i am on and regardless of where i am in the world, but Europe, especially, stands out to me.
Now here is the part i am sure, will be the most controversial… politics. I am a lover of politics and am definitely not afraid to share my opinions in a respectful and polite manor. As many of you will be aware, the United Kingdom is going through a mess right now called, ‘Brexit’. Brexit means that the United Kingdom, will be leaving the European Union this year. I recommend that you do your own research before coming to an overall conclusion on this matter but in my opinion, this is a huge back step for Britain. I am not going to lie, i do feel embarrassed at times when travelling in Europe and people bring up the topic of Brexit but i always make it clear that i do not agree with this movement. I believe in a united, stronger Europe which allows the UK to provide support to fellow EU countries, all while receiving support from other EU countries. When we are united, we are strong, powerful and move forward quickly and for the better. This again comes back to the aspect of community and being a team which i love.
I feel unbelievably proud to be European. Yes, i see myself as a global citizen but Europe is the continent that sparked my love for collectivism and travel, this idea of being neighbours and friends. I eat late, i enjoy socialising, i am a keen traveller and i have Europe to thank. To me, Europe is more than a continent. It is the people, the individual ideas and cultures, the food, the politics, the cheap travel, the open borders and in many cases, enjoyable weather. I have so many things to be thankful for.
If you are European, you are lucky. We live in a Europe that is home to free education and we have some of the most intelligent people in the world. So in conclusion, the reason i love to travel within Europe so much is because travel is cheap, i love the way of life, i enjoy being able to experience many countries and cultures easily and the fact that there are so many different cultures to enjoy that makes travelling in Europe, as a European, one of the best experiences in the world.