I have a feeling I know how a lot of Americans would answer this question…
But that’s just my guess…
Let’s see what AskReddit users had to say about things Europeans have that are luxuries.
Get started now!
“Where I live in Spain the standard price for a glass of wine in a cafe or everyday (non fancy, equivalent of a diner) restaurant is 80c-€1.
In a restaurant I’ll usually order a half litre for about €4 (That’s 2/3 bottle of wine). (Soda or water are more expensive. A soda is usually €1.20-1.60)
And yeah a coffee and a croissant for 3 euros is about right here.”
“At least here in Italy, you are encouraged to take vacation for a simple reason: it’s super duper illegal not to take them. And if you do not take them, you employer may face serious consequences.
Vacation requests may only be denied for important organizational reasons (you might need X people trained to do something specific at any time, e.g. in hospitals) and if an alternative vacation plan is proposed by the employer.”
A good balance.
“It’s not only the vacation, it’s a concept of time.
I live in Germany and there is a HUGE public discussion about work/life balance. But compared to the US our concept of work/life balance seems to be like being paid without having to work. The concept of time is starting to have big impacts on the qualitiy of life in Germany.
For example, since the corona pandemic, most non time critical jobs that could have been done at home moved to remote work. At the place where I work (software development) it basically doesn’t matter if we work 8 hours a day/5 days a week as long as project deadlines are being achived. That led to the change to “Vertrauensarbeitszeit” which loosely translated means “We trust that you do you job and don’t care when” lol.
There are some rules, for example: I have to be reachable by phone from 10 AM to 3 PM, which isn’t a big deal since my mobile phone and plan are provided by my employer. But thats pretty much it, as long as work gets done in the time the project is scheduled, nobody cares what a do with my time.
Granted some places are not like that, but still, way more personal time, be it vacation, free time during the day or weekendsor beeing able to work from home without commuting because there is no micromanaging because of aforementioned “Vertrauensarbeitszeit” than the US.”
All of it.
Life work balance.
Great train service.”
“Paid parental leave.
I had used all of my leave with my first kid so when I had another kid a year and a half later, I was back on my feet teaching in under 6 weeks.
Dogs get better treatment than working mothers.”
“Cities designed for walking, and public transit designed to make travel between major cities/countries without a car incredibly seamless.
I don’t really drive much, and hate having to get around by car especially while travelling. Being able to walk/bike to most important destinations is great, being able to travel by train to another city or country without spending the entire ride thinking I should have just rented a car and driven or dealt with the huge delays of airport security instead is even better.
I spent a month in Switzerland for work a few years ago, and its more than that though… the roads are designed to make biking as seamless and unobtrusive as possible in a way that would never even really be explored here.
I’d never consider biking in the city while I was in Boston, because I don’t want to be in the middle of traffic weaving between cars and pedestrians, and I think most people feel the same and that’s why bike lanes are fairly underutilized… but it was very different over there in a way that is hard to express unless you have experienced walking around/biking around an American suburb, even a City… vs a European one.
Lots of people I’ve talked to put it up to “People just bike more in Europe”, but no they don’t understand… People bike and walk more in Europe because their cities are just built differently in ways that are hard to express…”
“Bread that doesn’t have the sugar content of cake.
And to be honest all the unprocessed food.”
“Schools that teach other languages effectively. That would be so nice.
Kind of annoying that we don’t teach Spanish from an early age along side English.”
“Ironically, most Americans have no idea of the benefits and work-life balance that Europeans have.
So that, that is my answer as an American who has lived in Europe and painfully knows now how great certain aspects of it are.”
“Not having to use a car for every single time that you leave your house…
For a lot of people, you have to go drive somewhere to take a walk…
This place can be a hell and it is numbing.”
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