SOME TRUTHS ABOUT TRAVELING ABROAD
I did a term (3months) at Oxford and traveled a little bit, but not a ton
- •The American idealization/fetishization of Europe and European travel is unfounded.I think we are all just really, really want to feel nostalgia for something that we don't have. Look at how chain/corporate restaurants try and manufacture nostalgia with antiques and faux art and stuff. Going to Europe and looking at this stuff seems to be attempting to fill a void. We want to see history because we don't have a ton of it.
- •"But doesn't everyone want to see history?"Yeah, but I think it's different for us. Or maybe it's the same. The roman aqueducts are incredible to look at, but they weren't built to be photographed.
- •Travel is just an excuse for upper-middle/upper class people to spend more money than they normally would and see cool stuff and drink alcohol and pretend that this equates to becoming cultured.Or, in my case, take out a shit ton of student loans to pay for an overpriced study abroad program and drink beer and eat food that is not substantially better than anything in the US. No amount of travel can change the fact that when you travel, you are a tourist, and that other, poorer people are enabling your leisure.
- •Food is only marginally better.I didn't go to Italy but have friends that support this claim.
- •Traveling through Europe as a 20-something in 2015 is really just forcing an experience on yourself and seeking self-actualization by taking pictures and posting them on social media
- •England is essentially America with less cultural diversity and small, nitpicky-ass rules that everyone followsOkay, some of these were really cool. I had to wear a robe to dinner and every night they said this Latin prayer. But a lot of it was kind of annoying. Plus, they have a fucking monarch. Like, what the fuck? The people never won. THEY HAVE A MOTHERFUCKING ROYAL HIERARCHY, in 2015 as an industrialized nation. Explain that to me.
- •English people are very friendly and accommodatingLoved everyone I met. People are super nice.
- •There is nothing more American than telling everyone about how much better other counties are than America.At least for this generation. I loved Oxford. It was this incredible mix of pastoral beauty and gorgeous stonework. I rented a bike and rode around an loved it. It's incredible, some of the stuff. But I got really tired really quickly when people in my program just started shaming America anytime there was an opportunity to do so.
- •Travel if you can. If you can't, don't let anybody make you feel like less of a person because you stayed home.