If you’re a regular visitor to this site, then it’s probably safe to assume that you’re a fan of Europe. Most likely you enjoy the mix of cultures, you probably appreciate the way of life, and maybe you’re partial to the food as well. While Europe is a great continent and a great interest to have though, it’s also not a cheap one. Flying out to the continent repeatedly is costly in itself, and then on top of that you’ll need to find a hotel to sleep in, food to eat and some means of getting around.
If you can’t go to Europe though don’t worry, because there are plenty of ways you can bring Europe to you. Here we will look at how you can immerse yourself in European culture and feel like you’re almost there. If you can’t get enough of Europe, then this article will help you to get some more!
The first way to bring Europe to you, is to literally bring pieces of it back with you when you go travelling. Next time you go on holiday to Europe, make sure to find a souvenir or two, and then put those around your rooms and you can find that you’re reminded of the places you’ve been and the things you’ve seen in Europe.
Likewise though, they don’t just have to be souvenirs. You can buy plenty of things that will remind you of your chosen European country for instance on eBay or just at a local furniture store (why not add a Turkish rug to your living room?). Then there are things like photographs of Europe which we all have, and which will allow you to gaze at the Swiss Alps or at Bournemouth’s beaches while you eat your morning cereal…
Food and Drink
Decorating your home to look like it belongs in a European country though will only satisfy your need to Europify on one level though. Sure, your home will look like Europe, but your other senses will remind you that you’re firmly in your own country.
The solution then is to add some smells and tastes from Europe – cook yourself up something Italian or French for dinner and you can pretend you’re dining out in Rome or Paris. Likewise a sip of a particular wine or cocktail might be able to whisk you away to Southern France or Spain, and if you combine them in an evening it can be a great way to recreate the feeling of travelling in Europe.
One of the reasons that this can work so well, is that we strongly associate smells with our memories (the brain areas are closely linked). Thus choosing foods that you have strong memories of eating is the most effective way to really ‘teleport’ yourself back to that time and that country.
Speaking of associating things with memories, music can also be closely linked to our memories of times and places and almost any time we go on holiday we end up finding a ‘theme’ tune for that trip. Even if the music doesn’t have any particular memories attached though, it can still be a great way to set a scene and to help you imagine being in Europe. Some nice Spanish melodies for instance can almost make you feel the sun on your face…
The problem with all these tips is that you’ll only be able to benefit from them when you’re sitting at home and have the spare time necessary to prepare food and listen to music – you can bring Europe to you, but only occasionally and at some expense.
Phones on the other hand are designed to be carried with us everywhere, and are almost a ‘part’ of who we are. It’s no coincidence that their names make them sound almost like mechanical avatars: the ‘iPhone’ for instance or the ‘Android’. Kitting your phone out to help bring Europe to you then is a great way to have a constant reminder on your person, so why not change your background photo to one you took on holiday? Or change your ringtone to a local piece of music? You can even enjoy apps and websites with a European flavour – how about exploring your favourite hotspot through Google maps? Or reading the paper from England?
While you can’t bring the computer with you wherever you go, it can likewise be kitted out to remind you of Europe. You could use it to learn a European language for instance (check out the Rosetta stone software), or you could enjoy some more high definition images on Google. Again you can also change your wallpaper and customise your computer in other ways to remind you of Europe whenever you use it.
To really keep Europe with you once you get home though, you should try to ‘live’ European. That could mean dressing European (perhaps taking fashion tips from Rome), trying to speak European occasionally, or even just maintaining the European way of life. Keep Europe with you in your memories and in what you do, and you will never be that far from the continent you love.