5 Things I Learned In Europe - Guest Post By Micaiah Saldana


October 21, 2016


    Europe, you guys. Nothing can go wrong with this guest post - it's about Europe! (I may or may not wish to go to Europe *shrugs*)

   Yeah, anyways. My friend Micaiah Saldana from Ramblings Of A Writing has agreed to come over and write an awesome guest post for me (*cough* Europe *cough*), and so y'all can enjoy her company until I come back with another NaNoWriMo post *nods*.


A couple years ago, my family had the amazing privilege of living in Belgium (we moved back to the U.S. this year). Europe was AMAZING. The travel, the people, the rich history, the food… I loved all of it.

Living overseas was, overall, a great experience. It was sad to come back to the States after my grand adventure, but I took with me some lessons that I would like to share with you. 

1. It’s Okay To Be Different

As an American in Europe, I stood out. Europeans could tell how different I was just by the way I dressed, the car my family drove (a Honda Odyssey is quite an oddity amongst the midget cars of Europe), and the language I spoke.

It wasn’t always fun being the odd one out, the one who was clueless to the languages being spoken around her and who everyone could pinpoint as an American. I mean, don’t we all want to fit in at one point or another?

But guess what?

It’s okay to be different; God made each and every one of us to be different. No two people are the same. Different is great; it’s okay not to fit in and be like everyone around us. We should each be our own beautiful selves, the people God made us to be.

2. Slow Down


Americans live in a super-speed world, full of things that make us as busy as bees.

Do this; do that. There’s still something on my to-do list. Ah, I need to go here, schedule this, work on that…

It’s quite the opposite in Europe.

In Europe, there is a noticeably slower pace of life, especially in the Belgian countryside where my family lived. You could feel it in the air. For example, in restaurants, service tended to be slower but no one minded-why the rush? Even then, customers would tend to linger after they had paid their bill. Rarely were people rushing from place to place.

I think we all need to slow down and stop being so busy, busy, busy. If you’re always running around like a madwoman, you’ll miss the little things in life God has blessed us with.

3. It’s Okay Take A Break

I can remember a time when my dad and I drove to our local boulangerie (bakery) to pick up some breakfast. We arrived, visions of pain au chocolat and our favorite raisin bread dancing in our heads…

They were closed.

A little sign on the door stated that the boulangerie would be closed for nearly a month (we found this out because we contacted my French-speaking mother. Neither of us knows much French, though we think we do.).

Our American mindsets kicked in. Why would they be closed this long? They need to get back to work! We are hungry. How could anyone take a break this long?

I’ve learned that it’s okay to take a break; in fact, taking a break is part of slowing down. Sometimes, we need breaks so we won’t go insane. Right now, I’m taking a break from novel writing, and it has given me the time to prep for the editing process and attempt to build my writing platform.

I would like to note that while it’s okay to take breaks and slow down, we shouldn’t be lazy or neglectful of our responsibilities. Many times, we just need to learn to manage our time or stop doing wasteful things that eat up our time.

4. There Are Stories All Around Us

Europe is chock full of stories practically begging to be told. There are castles down the street, an art museum around the corner, ruins in the countryside, and all the people in big cities like Prague… One can’t help but wonder about the stories behind these people, places, and things. Some stories are already well known. Others hide in the shadows or have just never been told.

There are untold stories everywhere we go-we just have to find them.

It’s the same in America as in the fairytale land of knights and nobles and architectural wonders. There’s a story down the street, a tale around the corner. It could be at your local grocery store or under the willow tree in your front yard.

I dare you to go and look.


5. A Little sugar Never Hurt Anyone

Ah, European food. Every country has its specialties. Pastries in France. Chimney cakes in the Czech Republic. Chocolates and waffles in Belgium… Not to mention Turkish Delight in London (oh yeah, Narnia fans. I understand why Edmund wanted some more).

I love baking, and I love desserts. So of course I have the wackiest most random life lesson ever: a little sugar never hurt anyone. It makes life sweeter (no pun intended). =)

So there you have it. Be who God made you to be, your own beautiful self, no matter what. Slow down and take a break if you must. Look around for the stories surrounding you.

And remember, a little sugar never hurt anyone. =)

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   *claps* Thank you so much for that wonderful post, Micaiah! I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did - feel free to chat with her in the comments, and check out her blog to read her other lovely posts :).

~ Savannah Grace 

   Do you want to go to Europe? I know that I do!    

27 comments :

  1. What a fun post! And it is so cool that you got to live in Belgium!!! I'd LOVE to visit Europe someday. Along with a bunch of other places. ;) It is true, Americans need to learn to slow down and enjoy "the little things God has blessed us with". :D

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    1. Thank you, Morgan! =) It was really cool-and super fun. What other places would you like to visit? Yes, that's something that I notice Americans need to do in our crazy lives. =D

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    2. My top three at the moment would have to be Italy, France, and New Zealand. Are there any other places you would like to visit? :)

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  2. First comment! =p
    This was a great post, Micaiah! Seriously...you did SUCH a good job!
    AND YES SOMEONE TAKE ME TO EUROPE ASAP. It's sooo beautiful there, and you were definitely lucky to actually live there, Micaiah!
    Again, wonderful post! =)
    -Ariel

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    1. Hehe, whoopsie, I didn't notice Morgan commented before me. Second comment! =D
      -Ariel

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    2. Thank you so much, Ariel!
      It is absolutely gorgeous there, with such a variety of climates and scenery. For example, Italy was HOT and the Czech Republic was FREEZING. And then Belgium was green and Spain was dry. I hope you get the chance to visit one day!
      Thanks again! =)

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  3. I WANT TO TRAVEL SO BADLY, AND EUROPE IS DEFINITELY HIGH ON MY LIST. These are all very good points. *nods*

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    1. Thank, Lauren! Oh, Europe is lovely, you should definitely go if you get the chance!

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  4. Love this, Micaiah!!!! I SOOO want to got to Europe!!!

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  5. Ooh, that's so neat that you lived in Europe! I'm probably going this May! *excitement* We're planning on going to Germany, France, and Switzerland. I AM JUST SO PUMPED. Photographer and writer's dream. :')

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    1. - okay, I just have to pop in and say HOW COOL. You're going to EUROPE! *is very much excited for you*

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    2. Oh my goodness, that is SO exciting! *is very happy for you* France and Germany are AMAZING. I'm sure you're going to love it! I could ramble about the food (what is it with me and food?) and how pretty it is... But I'll just say that it's amazing. Again. =)

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    3. Yes, I know, I AM SO EXCITED.

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  6. Such a beautiful post! and YES DEFINITELY! Europe is the goal!

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    1. Thank you! =) I'll have to agree with you there.

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  7. I WANT TO GO TO THE U.K AND IRELAND AND ITALY.

    By the way I just followed our blog & it's so cute!!! That header pic is fantastic ;)
    Here's my blog, Mic's Room (http://lovelypinkduckshome.blogspot.com/)
    -Mic

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    1. Those are all fun places (not just because people in Ireland and the UK speak English, which is awesome after living in a French speaking country forever)!

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    2. Thanks so much for the follow, Michaila - I'll have to go check out your blog, too! :D

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  8. This is amazing! O.O I really want to go to Europe someday. *dreamy sigh*

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  9. This is so cool! I'd love to visit Europe someday:)

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    1. Thanks, Grace! =) It is pretty cool. I hope you get there one day!

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  10. EUROOOOOPE!!!! Oh how I dream of visiting there. That is the coolest thing ever you got to LIVE there for a while. :O

    That's very interesting to hear it had a much slower pace in Belgium. We do tend to rush, rush, rush here in the U.S. I think we could all remember to stop and enjoy the blessings God has given us.

    You're making me so hungry hearing about all the foods there. *drools*

    Basically, I MUST GO TO EUROPE SOMEDAY. Thank you so much for sharing with us, Micaiah! This was awesome!!!

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    1. Thank you, Christine! It was really cool. I hope you get to go one day!

      Yes, I agree. I think that the slow pace was felt all over Europe, and we loved it.

      Haha, that's one of the things I miss the most. The food. We had Italian neighbors who owned a pizzeria, and we would get pizza once a week. SO good.

      You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it! =)

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  11. This post was great, Micaiah! I loved hearing more about your time in Europe. Slowing down. . . Americans are kinda' bad at that. My sister said the same thing about Sicily.

    I totally wanna go to Europe, Savannah! England, anywhere else with castles, Sicily, Scotland, Ireland, Iceland (is that Europe??)--pretty much everywhere in Europe. I guess I'll just start with China. ;)

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