Traveling Europe and What I Took Away From the Experience as a Whole

Traveling Europe and What I Took Away From the Experience as a Whole

Steven Conner Skeen

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There’s a lot of people that travel the world and afterwards, talk about this huge new respect and understanding they’ve gained of people and of the world. Who knows, I just might be an anomaly, but after spending a couple weeks traveling around Europe, I had a huge new respect for something else entirely.


Don’t get me wrong, Europe was incredible. I saw things that I never thought I’d take the time to see. I got to spend time with family. I got to try some incredible food (and some not so incredible food…). And despite what I’ve always heard about Americans going to Europe, I encountered no one during my time there that wasn’t helpful or who treated me poorly.



Something I did find really interesting during my time there was fact that not once outside of a government building or property did I see the flag of one’s country being displayed.



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Maybe it’s just an American thing or maybe even an Idaho thing, but I can guarantee you that within 5 minutes of leaving my house, I can see numerous American flags. I see them proudly displayed on cars, in front yards, attached to houses, on clothing, almost everywhere I look.


In my weeks of time in Europe, never once did I see someone flying the flag of their country in their yard, on their houses, or on their vehicles. I don’t know, maybe they have regulations that don’t allow people to fly flags. As strict as regulations seem to be for everything in Europe, it honestly wouldn’t surprise me.



Whether my thinking is wrong or not, it seemed to me that the level of patriotism everywhere I went, was non-existent. And this is where my huge new respect and understanding comes in.


It wasn’t the diversity of people I’d met, though that was a great experience. It wasn’t the multitude of languages, cultures, architecture, or anything of the sort that I experienced there.


My huge new respect and understanding, was for the place I call home.


We aren’t without our faults here in the United States, but I don’t care who you are, it’s a damn good place to call home (Idaho specifically is awful though, don’t ever come here…).


When I got home, I had a new respect for all of it. Even driving down the freeway looking around at all the different people, I had this sense of comradery, knowing that I was surrounded by my countrymen and women.



I’d see the American flags on cars, houses, and business storefronts and I’d say to myself, “Hell yeah.”


It was almost like a newfound sense of belonging. Knowing that here I was, surrounded by fellow Americans everywhere I went. In addition to belonging, I had this newfound sense of pride. How could I not? Coming from and living in a country that so many people I’d met overseas admire, some of which who’d also like to call it home, is pretty damn cool.



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Yeah, Europe was great, traveling is fun, and there’s a list of places I’d go see in a heartbeat. To me, the fact remains though – there’s not another place on Earth I’d rather spend most of my time than here in the United States.



So sue me. I love my BBQ. I enjoy having the freedom to tear it up on the shooting range like John Wick. I love the people, the air, the geography, and the possibilities that we all have to cultivate success in our lives.


I love my One Nation, my United States of America.

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