–> It was only a month ago that I was traveling across Europe in a coach bus filled with hung-over 18-35 year-olds from all over the world. I was one of only two Americans on the tour and one of only five in the I’m-closer-to-thirty-than-I-am-to-eighteen category. I was one of two Jewish people, and the only person on the tour who worked in entertainment. I was out of my element and I liked it. I went on the tour for a break from my normal life in Los Angeles. Many of my travel companions were nothing like me, ranging from the gothic-all-black-clad friendly Australian to the gangster-rap-loving twenty-year-old German, and I had the best time getting to know them. My experience was unique and I saw, heard and realized things that were completely new to me. Here are just a few:

Cobblestone Streets of Innsbruck, Austria
Cobblestones make any street look adorable
From one city to the next, every time I stepped onto cobblestone streets I felt like I was transported into a fairytale. I wanted to eat and buy everything from these cute one-of-a-kind stores and then on my way out, skip down the road with some uplifting music playing in the background.

The food at European service stations is way better than American ones

Cappuccino bars, salad bars with fresh grilled veggies and giants balls of mozzarella, paninis and pasta stations. For a foodie on a budget, I found I had some pretty great meals on our stopovers at Europe’s service stations. And don’t get me started on the available chocolate options in their stores. Willy Wonka’s got nothing on these places.
The US temperature scale and system of measurements is unnecessary
If the rest of the world uses Celsius and the metric system, why can’t we? I never had a problem with it until I was traveling on a bus full of Canadians and Australians, through the streets of Europe. The tour bus read 20 degrees Celsius and I didn’t know if that meant to break out the sandals or the boots. The tour guide would tell us a location was 30 meters away and I didn’t know if that meant it was in walking distance or that we’d have to take a cab. “Is that hot?” and “Is that far?” became two of my most common phrases during this trip.
My bed in London – at least this one was made!
They don’t make hotel beds for you in Europe and the beds are tiny
In several of the hotels we stayed in, I came into a room to find a bed resembling those of my college dorm room days with the blanket folded on top of it, assembly required. It wasn’t a big deal, but it seems like if maid service made the effort to come up to the room and fold the blanket, why not finish the job?

Men on Vespas are way sexier than men on motorcycles

A burly biker dude with tattoos covering his bod doesn’t do it for me. You know what does? An Italian in the perfectly tailored Armani suit on a Vespa. And they are plentiful on the streets of Rome.
Better have a Euro if you gotta go!
Peeing isn’t always free in Europe
I did not budget in bathroom costs to my travel expenses but I should have. Just like the Diane Von Furstenberg clutch I pine over, my bladder is adorable but holds barely anything (okay, fine, my bladder probably looks like everyone else’s). Service stations, bars, and even some restaurants had a fee to use the loo – which is what they call the bathroom in London. My Canadian friends refer to it as the “washroom”, which does make more sense than the “bathroom” since I hardly ever take baths in public restrooms. And I really don’t rest there either. Public loos?

Australians have expressions for acts with no proper name for them in the US
For example, during this trip a friend was asked by an Australian girl to do a “sussie.” A what, you may ask? A “sussie” is when someone acts as an intermediary to find out if the person requesting the sussie is liked by the sussed out party. Basically, your best friend in 7thgrade would do a sussie for you when she asks Jon if he likes you because you like him!
Bread and cheese are the main components of a European diet
I don’t know if this is actually correct, but for a tourist in Europe, it was. I found that I was eating croissants for breakfast like they were egg whites – good for you and three was a normal serving – and having bread and cheese in Europe the way I have salads in LA. It’s still a mystery to me how French women don’t get fat.
Pizza in Italy
Crepes in Paris
Fondue in Switzerland

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