Immerse Yourself and Judge Afterwards (L. McClyman 2019 Euro-Reflection)

For someone who has never have travelled out of the country before, going to Europe was a big change for me. I never would have imagined just how different all those countries were from movies and books compared to how I experienced it through my own perspective. My biggest takeaway from the trip is how you cannot judge a place by someone else’s experience, and that means I had to attempt to immerse myself in different cultures.

To immerse yourself in a culture, you must try as many different things that it has to offer. For example, when we were in England we tried the famous “fish and chips” and before I tried it, I thought it was going to be amazing since it was so popular. As soon as I took my first bite, it didn’t really have a lasting impression on me. Even though I’m sure that the fish and chips we had weren’t top-notch, it’s not worth another go for me. That is why you have to try things for yourself to see if you like it.

In France I thought that Paris was going to be amazing with all the sights to see like the Eiffel Tower and The Louvre. Instead, the Eiffel Tower was still pretty cool to see but once you were done admiring it, the tower got old. The citizens in Paris were also very rude and if you wanted to buy anything from them, you would get a dirty look if you used English as opposed to French. There were many other sites to see in Paris, but all around it wasn’t as spectacular as I thought it was going to be and that’s what might have ruined it for me. I had such a high bar for it and when it fell short, it only made the city look mediocre.

For Scotland I thought for sure it was going to be boring there because no one ever talks about Scotland, so I just assumed the worst: green hills and sheep. However, Scotland was nothing like what I thought it was going to be and was an amazing experience. I would love to go to Edinburgh again because it was so rich in history and at the same time very modern. We also tried many different foods there, including one that is called black pudding.

In conclusion, travel has changed me fundamentally as a person as I am now more open to different cultures and have a better understanding of different groups of people around the world. Every place is different with its own unique features and in order to appreciate that you need to feel what its like to be a part of that culture. Now that I have experienced Europe with my own eyes, I can say that it has so far been the best time of my life.

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