I’m currently a resident of The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, or as I lovingly call it, Lux. Contrary to popular belief, it’s a country, not a city in Germany. I leave in a week, and I am nowhere near ready to return home. There is an infinitive amount of things I will miss, but here are a few specific reasons.
1. The drinking age/open container laws
The drinking age difference might not be a factor for many people when comparing Europe to the United States. However, if you’re a 20 year old who won’t be 21 until July, it makes a HUGE difference. On a related note, the lack of open container laws is excellent. If you’re about to leave a bar and haven’t finished your drink, that’s ok! Take it for the road and enjoy it! No need to chug.
2. Cheap travel
Ryanair makes you question whether or not you’ll survive your flight, and you occasionally panic that your luggage might just drop out of the bottom of the plane, but you have to admit that its flights are dirt cheap. Want to fly from Brussels to Dublin? Fabulous, it’s 20 euros. It will take you two hours to book your flight and about the same amount of time to check-in online and print your ticket, but it’s worth it.
3. The people you’re traveling with
There is a special connection and understanding between you and the people you travel with. They don’t necessarily have to be your best friends, or maybe they are, I don’t know. But when you’re on day nine of a trip and you have zero clean clothes, you’re struggling to remember if the last time you showered was Tuesday or Wednesday, and you haven’t worn make up or brushed your hair in a week, you bond with these people. They see you at your weirdest and grossest. They are experiencing the same sights you are, and if sometimes you’re too tired to go out and experience the authentic night life of wherever you are, they might be too. One of my best nights recently was spent sitting on the floor of a hostel room, drinking Strongbows and playing “Cheers, Governor!” for three hours.
4. Christmas markets
Ice skating, Ferris wheels, eggnog, cider, mulled wine, churros, feel free to stop me any time. France, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, no matter where you are or what language you’re speaking, Christmas is a universal language. The smell of pine trees, burning wood, and frying food will hit you as you approach Christmas markets anywhere. The only downside is that sometimes it gets really cold, but the outdoors in December isn’t as chilly when you’re holding a mug of hot chocolate in your mitten-clad hands.
All day every day.