13 Lessons from Getting Lost

by Genevieve

Here is a brief list of things I have learned during my travels thus far:

1. The 6-Day Paris Museum Pass is designed for marathon art connoisseurs. That is, you must be qualified to see and appreciate thousands of priceless works of art at lightening speed. Because its supposedly the best value for your money, 6 museums in 6 days will not be enough. You will feel tempted to go to 8. Or 10. Or even–God help you–12. Every night you will return to your hostel bed a weary shell of a tourist, and develop a slight case of delirium that causes you to believe the ceiling tiles are pointillist masterpieces. You’re better off with the 2-day pass.

2. You cannot be a foodie, a fashionista, and a party animal all at the same time. Unless you are prepared to take on heaps of debt, you’ll have to pick one. Otherwise, in about ten days, you will end up broke and sleeping in the metro station like a well-fed, well-dressed, popular hobo.

3. This one is for Americans only: the metric system. It’s not just a myth. People really do use it over here. And while they may all be able to speak some level of English, they can’t all instantly convert distance and volume into the spectacular CF that is inches-and-feet. Try to familiarize yourself at least a little bit. The same goes for Celsius. If you wake up and say “Today’s going to be a beautiful day in the high 80’s!” people will make lots of jokes about melting to death. It’s funny the first time, but spare us all the redundancy and get a converter app for your phone.

4. Munich is the most expensive city in Germany; Berlin is the cheapest.

5. Make the most out of those ,50 public toilets. Wash your face, change your shirt, maybe ask for the wifi code. It’s up to you to get your money’s worth.

6. My personal list of free wifi by city goes like this: Antwerp > Amsterdam > Dublin > Paris > Munich. Plan accordingly.

7. Always carry a hair tie, some tissues, and a sandwich.

8. Apparently, Dutch people consider Heineken to be their version of Rolling Rock. Strange, I know. Just something to keep in mind if you’re picking up beer for a party.

9. It’s pronounced “weeeeeeeee-feeeeeeee.”

10. If you download a google map while you have Internet, it will still work when you don’t.

11. Google a little something about your current country’s political situation. Maybe it’s all been out of courtesy to me, but people have been very keen to talk about American politics. If they venture into a territory where they’re far better informed than you, pull the ol’ switcheroo. Good luck.

12. Grocery shop. I can’t say it enough. You can get a whole host of delicious carbohydrate confections for under 1€. It’s a no-brainer.

13. Leggings ARE pants.