After being here for a month, I have come to realize Luxembourg is an unbelievable place to live, work and study. From the safety to the prosperity to the multitude of nationalities and languages, it does not get much better. There’s rich culture in the caves of the Casemates and great shopping in the City Center (which is cheaper than Paris). While my travels have not led me home yet, I finished my study abroad program on Friday. I (luckily) still have 3 weeks in Europe but wanted to wrap on here with a few things learned during my four weeks in Europe (primarily in Luxembourg but also France and Brussels).
1. Stay in the present
It becomes very easy to look forward to somewhere like Paris and miss somewhere incredible like Strasbourg
2. Be flexible.
Plans change. If you want to grumble about something that’s already happened, it fixes nothing.
3. Bring an umbrella
Or you may just end up with a crappy Paris one from the Reims’ Cathedral souvenir store
4. Sometimes the cheapest adapters the best
All my friends bought ~$30-50 adapters and converters but almost none of the pieces had the necessary 3 prong outlet for laptops. Half the time they would blow out and fail especially with hair equipment. I ordered REI adapters (with 3 prong outlets) for $4 off amazon knowing nothing about them except they were cheapest (probably not my brightest idea) but they worked perfectly. It worked perfectly with a hair straightener, laptop charger, and phone charger.
5. Eat small
If you know me, you’re going to laugh at this one. I love food and eating. But if you eat small like a one scoop ice cream rather than 2, then you can eat often and get a second scoop later. Or a different dessert. Everywhere you pass seems to have the most scrumptious food you’ve ever seen so eating snacks everywhere rather than large meals, allows you to try more.
6. Everyone eats gelato
7. Just accept anything you eat that’s not chocolate/gelato will likely be carbs
I ate pizza, bread, croissants, and pasta. I realized when my mom arrived that I had not eaten chicken more than once while here. I eat chicken once a day at home. I would get strawberries a few times a week at school but that (and strawberry ice cream) was the extent of my vitamins. I would recommend purposely trying to get some nutrients for your body a few times a day but don’t stress about what you’re eating. Walk instead of taking the metro and you should not have any issues. I walked over 10 miles most days so while probably not properly meeting my body’s needs, I did not do irreparable damage.
8. Public transports great to utilize (and way cheaper than taxis)
While walking’s great for eating, one hour walks may not be the most efficient way to get most places. The public travel ways are fantastic and take you within steps to basically any place. The bus/metro maps can be a bit confusing but just double (and triple) check your stop and the line needed. Also always be aware.
9. No matter how many churches you go into, the next one is always just as if not more gorgeous
Whether it was Saint Catherine in Brussels where Van Gogh was once a pastor or the details of the architecture in Notre Dame of Strasbourg, every cathedral was breathtaking in its own way. After visiting so many, unfortunately, churches began to run together. On one of the last church visits of very many, another student exclaimed, “It’s annoying because it’s are just so pretty!”
These adventures have definitely been once in a life time and will not be forgotten. The chance to travel abroad has expanded my world view in an incredible and slightly different way than expected. I see America differently. I believed everything in Europe would be better but upon actually visiting I appreciate little things such as free tap water and larger things such as fast wifi. I will of course miss things in Europe such as the great Metro and Bus system. No matter the specifics learned, I have unquestionably, permanently widened my perspective.
All photos are my own and more are available on my Flickr.