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Americans traveling overseas get a firsthand look at other cultures, often immersing themselves into their way of life, and having the opportunity to return to the States with insightful takeaways that they can incorporate into their lives in America. For those of us who do not have the resources, whether time or money- to engage in the European experience, we have a 5 step guide for you which will explain how you can begin implementing some of these European ideals starting today.
Gallup Polls showing that the average American workweek is 47 hours long, which is a far cry from the European workweek, which ranges between 30-40. This is the result of friendlier labor laws that Europeans have championed, as well as a culture that doesn’t encourage excessive consumption, which would keep people working in order to continue consuming.
Reduce your driving
Europeans are less dependent on their cars because public transportation is much more readily available. Americans are already riddled with a horrible work-life balance to start with. Add to that the hour-long daily commute back and forth to work, and we can see how important it is to adopt a more European lifestyle, which would involve possibly moving closer to work, at least to a location where public transport is more readily available.
Actually, Enjoy your Lunch
Now that we have discussed the strenuous work schedule that Americans have, being unable to enjoy lunch tends to also come with the territory. Many of us are so busy that we eat lunch at our work areas, preventing many from even getting adequate nutrition. On the other hand, Europeans view lunch as an important daily event and do their best to try and enjoy their meal while they are out enjoying the pleasant midday weather.
Do Not Splurge on Property
Americans have a tendency to overestimate the amount of housing space they need to live comfortably. This may be the end result of a “bigger is better” mentality when it comes to purchasing real estate in the US, but bigger for the sake of bigger leads to unused real estate that needs to be maintained, as well as taking on a larger mortgage which may lead to added budget constraints down the road.
Downsize and Declutter
Although it may not be obvious at first, chances are you do not need 75% of the stuff in your home. For example, it is excessive to have a TV in every room in the house, add to that the number of unused electronic devices and other senseless impulse purchases. The primary way to adopt a more European lifestyle is to begin embracing minimalism. This will have to start with decluttering your entire home and reassessing your material needs. When you realize that you need less real estate to house fewer unnecessary things, you will consider downsizing, which will allow you to keep more money in your wallet, which will hopefully allow you to work less.