Today’s Topic: 10 lessons from traveling around Europe
We just returned from four months of traveling around Europe. These are the top 10 things I learnt.
1. Your family gets closer
You’re forced to be together every day so you learn how to work with each other better.
2. You need to be flexible
I can be a bit of a diva and I like nice hotels but when you’re traveling for months you need to be flexible unless you have a boatload of money. Our bed in Montenegro wasn’t that comfortable but the trade-off is that we got to see Montenegro.
3. 100 steps is another trade-off but it leads to the Duomo
We had to climb a lot of steps in Europe. Sometimes I was carrying a stroller and/or grocery bags. Sometimes I’d had a couple of glasses of wine. But getting to the top usually made it worth it. For instance in Florence, Italy we were able to see the Duomo from our deck.
4. Your communication skills are forced to improve
When you’re in a new location where you don’t know anybody and you don’t speak the language, you have to learn to communicate in a different way. So a smile really goes a long way. You learn to choose words that are expressive and colorful enough that so you can make somebody laugh in a language that is not their first language.
5. Diet is more important than exercise
I think I probably worked out in 10 times in four months. Usually I work out six days a week but I don’t see any difference in my body. What I did do is commit to fasting for 16 hours a day and eating a more ketogenic diet, where 75% of my macros came from fat, 20% came from protein, and the other 5% came from carbs. This wasn’t easy to do in Italy, but it was doable. I also had cheat days so I wasn’t eating like that the whole time.
6. Nothing breaks, because we have the internet and friends
A lot of people feel if they were to take an extended period of time off, that something bad could happen. We had a friend check our mailbox every week and we were able to sort any issues out via FaceTime, Skype or Zoom.
7. You don’t need a lot of clothes
We overpacked for the four months that we were away, and it was such a pain in the ass because we were trying to get on planes, trains and automobiles with way too much luggage. You do not need that much stuff. You can wear your clothes over and over again. We used laundromats or washed our clothes in the Airbnbs that had laundry facilities. So I would tell you to look at what you want to pack and realize that, even in your luggage, the 80/20 principle applies. 20% of your luggage is going to be the stuff that you’re going to wear almost every day.
8. Food is really important for the soul
When you’re in a place like Greece and France or Italy, the food is so good. It’s like good sex. It is amazing at how you light up when you’re eating something that is prepared so differently – without pesticides, non-GMO, nothing processed and made with so much love. One of the things I want to bring back to the U.S. is that same sort of love for the creation of the food and making it incredible because it does make a difference. I think we’re meant to have wonderful food.
9. You’ll be forced to grow when you find yourself pissed off, frustrated and/or tired
You’re going to miss the train, you’re not going to understand where to go to get on the train, your luggage is not going to make its connection. I can give you 1,000 frustrating scenarios that happened when we were in Europe, none of which were not worth taking the trip.
10. Be grateful
Be so grateful that you get to experience something like this.