Last updated: May 21, 2014

5 Things I Learned From My First Trip To Europe



Originally at ROK.

Unplugging from the matrices of society and beginning your own journey down the red pill opens the doors to many new things.  How to understand women, the bullshit of the workforce, finances, and the freedom you get from traveling the world are some of the many opportunities whose doors are swung wide open when you awaken from the coma society puts you into at a young age.

Travel was one of the few things I had done very little of in my short lifespan.  I was determined to remedy that, as I wrote this in a post earlier this year here at Return Of Kings.  I booked a trip to Europe last December, for a total of 20 days.  I burned through nearly all of my vacation time that I had saved up at work.  I knew that if I didn’t take this opportunity soon, I would regret it.  So, I took the plunge.

After now traveling through Wroclaw, London, Barcelona, Rome, Prague, and then New York City on the way back to California; I can confidently say that my eyes have been opened.  Never in my wildest dreams had I ever planned to leave the Sunshine State, but now in no situation whatsoevercan I see myself living in California permanently for the rest of my adult life.  I do not know where my next calling is (New York is at the top of the list, admittedly), but I can say this with the utmost confidence – travel changes a man.  It will open your mind.

With that being said, here are five things that really stood out to me that I discovered about myself, American culture, and more while abroad.


The Creative Juices Will Never Flow Faster

Once I was relieved of my usual cubicle duties, my mind was freed.  It is difficult to explain how exactly these floodgates open up so drastically, but I was amazed at how much deeper my thoughts were once I had stepped away from work for a few days.  I would say it took about three days of freedom, as well as a fair amount of drinking, admittedly, and all of a sudden ideas began coming.

I had book ideas, business ventures, blog posts, and potential product concepts all coming to me at a speed I never realized my brain was capable of producing.  Today, my first day back at work, do you know how many new, exciting ideas came to me from a creative aspect?


A man’s life was not meant to be lived in an 8×8 prison cell with dull grey fabric walls.  Even a woman’s kitchen has more space.

America Is Spreading, And Fast

As stated, I visited five countries/cities:

  1. Wroclaw, Poland
  2. London, UK
  3. Barcelona, Spain
  4. Rome, Italy,
  5. Prague, Czech Republic

I suspected that Poland and the Czech Republic would be the biggest culture shock to me.  I suspected London, Barcelona, and Rome to be relatively Westernized.  However, even in “poor” countries like Poland (one girls reaction as I nearly ripped apart a 10 PLN bill was priceless), the American way of life is spreading fast.  Smartphones are common.  McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken are everywhere, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a coffee shop more popular than thatgarbage chain Starbucks.

However, despite the fact that American culture is spreading rapidly, you do have a bit of an “American God” factor at play in these countries.  My California driver’s license was the biggest and easiest value demonstrator I’ve encountered in any situation.  I played the hell out of that thing – even introducing myself as “California Kyle” and seeing how far I could take it.

If you have game in America, I can definitely say you could do well overseas.  If you suck with girls here, I doubt you’d be better off in any country.


Solo Travel Can Get Lonely

I had by far the most fun in Poland, when I had a great wingman with me (Lucky Lothario), and in New York City with my girlfriend.  Traveling solo can get lonely, especially during the day.  While I met other tourists every day, and made friends at night, the amount of energy it took to get myself into a social mood constantly was draining.  By the end of the trip, I had almost nothing left in the tank to go out and meet people.  I nearly fell asleep in a bar in Prague at about 9:30pm on one of my final nights.

With that being said, if I had company the entire trip, I would not have gotten as much enjoyment out of it.  I also think living in a foreign country would be vastly different, when you establish routines and make new friends.  However, doing the “tourist” thing constantly solo is not something I would personally recommend.


I Knew I Was Making A Mistake By Seeing So Many Places

Everyone told me; I didn’t listen.

Five countries in the amount of time I had is simply way too much.  It is hard to account for travel time for airlines and public transit to city centers, in many cases what was supposed to be three days in a city turned into two due to being delayed.  I knew going in that I was really going to be pushing the limit, and I learned my lesson.

I wanted to see Poland because I’d heard so many good things.  I needed to see London with the possibility of moving there for work.  I had heard Barcelona’s nightlife was legendary (quite the contrary, I found it to be a bit of a disgusting shit hole).  I have always loved Roman history, so I wanted to sight-see there.  I’d heard Prague was a gorgeous city with a lot of gorgeous girls (truth).

Overall, I did everything I wanted, and needed, to do.  I will try not to have regrets about my logistical choices.  But, if I were to do it again, I’d spend a minimum of a week in a city if I truly wanted to immerse myself as a local and get the most out of a trip.

Post-Vacation Hangover Is Real

This trip was amazing in so many ways.  Truthfully, I looked forward to coming home when I was at the tail end of my time in Europe.  Now that I’m back in California, and back at work – I can’t wait to go back.

Cars, fancy apartments, and other materialistic items are cool, and I’d never deny that I enjoy all of those things.  The problem is, to buy all of those things, most (not all) will need this shitty thing called a corporate job.  A corporate job which allows you a vacation for, on average, two weeks a year.  Two weeks a year in which you can unplug before you return to your life as a legal slave, working for peanuts to make your bosses millions.

Fuck them.  There are ways around the system, and I’ll find them and abuse them until my last breathe.  I have too many places I want to see, and not enough time on this planet to see them.  The materialistic items pale in comparison to the experiences and memories of this trip that will stick with me for years to come. When I’m lying on my deathbed, it won’t be my 401k bringing me happiness; it will be my memories of the world; and the people and cultures within it.

This was not my final good-bye to Europe.  I’m just getting started.


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Leave a Reply

  1. Sounds like a great trip. I enjoyed it so much when I traveled there that I moved to Europe for a year last year. It’s a totally different experience when you live there.

      1. Lived in Antwerp, Belgium then Amsterdam because… Amsterdam because I like the culture and Belgium totally randomly.

  2. I think your creativity happened because you were walking all the time+ seeing new things for the first time + drinking.
    Try taking a walk every day and see if your creative floodgates open again.

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