Going to Europe? Visit this place first

With so many countries, so many languages spoken, so many diverse cultures, and an endless amount of different ethnic foods, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which countries to visit on your first trip to Europe.  Let me offer you a suggestion:  United Kingdom, aka England.  Now, why would I choose this as the first place to visit in Europe?  There are a few reasons, the first one is obvious:

The Language

They speak English as you already know.  Yes, the accent is different and some words are different, but if you’re from an English speaking country, you should not have any difficulty communicating with the natives.  Now for lots of people, this is huge when traveling overseas for the first time.  Let’s say you are visiting Europe for the first time and you’re from the USA.  You will be jumping from 5 to 12 time zones depending from where you are coming and depending on where you’re going.  If you haven’t done that before, it’s a major shock to the system.  You may feel dizzy from the long flight, you may be disoriented, you will most certainly be tired, or you may feel a little nauseous.  Having any combination of these symptoms is called “jet-lag.”  It can be temporarily debilitating, and mix that with being around people who don’t speak English?  Been there, done that, and quite frankly, it sucks!  At least if you can knock out the language barrier, you will feel much better.

The Food

Don’t get me wrong, I love trying different countries’ dishes and recipes, even if they may seem unusual, but I wasn’t always like this.  It took me traveling out of the USA a couple of times before I became excited about trying out new dishes.  In England, the food is not very unusual, in fact their dishes are not too different from what they have in USA.  Fish and Chips (french fries) is a fairly common dish, but that’s easily found here in the USA too.  An English big breakfast is similar to an American big breakfast with eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns etc etc. although they do have some additional side dishes that we do not have here, such as blood cake.  Just as in the USA, the Brits like to eat ethnic foods outside their own country, so you will see lots of Asian restaurants, Italian restaurants, middle eastern restaurants and more.

Modern Lifestyle

One challenge with traveling overseas to some countries is the lack of a modern lifestyle, that’s not at all a problem in England.  Everyone there has cell phones, even your own cell phone may work there if you are on the GSM network (T-mobile or AT&T), but I recommend an international plan if you’ll be using your phone a lot, otherwise you’ll pay about $2 per minute.  Wifi exists at most hotels and restaurants, people dress in a similar fashion as they do in the USA.  You never have to worry about standing out as an American when traveling to England, unless you speak very loudly a lot, which I highly discourage.  You’re own cell phone may work there if you are on the GSM network (T-mobile or AT&T), but I recommend an international plan if you’ll be using your phone a lot, otherwise you’ll pay about $2 per minute.

No Insane Health Risks

Before visiting some countries around the world, you have to get additional vaccines, because there is a high chance of catching a disease.  You do not need to worry that in England, or anywhere in Europe for that matter.  You may want to bring normal painkillers such as ibuprofen, you may also want to bring tums to ward off heartburn, and some pepto bismuth just in case you get traveler’s diarrhea or an upset stomach.  Other than that, you will likely be just as healthy during your stay in England as you would be at home in the USA.

On top of all these reasons?  Just like most European countries, England is stocked full of rich history, culture, and a large number of historical sights to visit and sight see.  Also, the country is beautiful, and very green due to the amount of moisture they receive.

There are many more reasons to make England your first stop in Europe, but these are the most key reasons.  Where ever you decide to visit first, I hope you have a great trip to Europe and that you create many good memories for yourself.

Do Not Travel to England without your outlet converters!

8 thoughts on “Going to Europe? Visit this place first

  1. Jamiro Hazel

    I am, very interested in travelling and i can tell you from experience England is really a breath taking country to visit. There are so many beautiful sites to see and if it is your first time travelling to Europe, it is really and truly a great place to start! If your native language is English then there will be no language barrier and as you rightfully said in your post, there are no major health risk so no vaccines are really needed when travelling over there. Great post, best of luck !  

    • Josh Fulkerson

      Thanks for commenting!  I wish we could have spend more time in England, but we will be going back.  The language barrier is non-existent and that takes half of the stress away from an international vacation.  

  2. Hanna

    Hi!  Thanks for sharing this article.  

    I haven`t been to England but that is one place we`re planning to visit in the near future. 

    One of the reason, is to visit its rich historical landmarks, and try all those different foods – which i heard were so delicious.

    This post will be very helpful for me!

    • Josh Fulkerson

      I love trying different foods, sometimes I enjoy that experience more than sightseeing!  Fish and chips are a must when visiting, but also be sure to have an English Breakfast with black pudding and egg.  

  3. Melissa

    I absolutely love visiting the UK! And now I want to visit again after reading your post 😊 

    I have truly awesome memories of my trips to the UK, setting out on foot with my Oyster card in hand and a map and wondering where I was going to end up that day! Taking a ferry down the Themes, and taking the red double decker on a sight seeing tour of London was awesome. I got to love Pret and when I got home wished someone would start up a Pret chain here! And Hyde Park at Christmas time, well, what a delight. Ice skating to Christmas carols in the dark (at 4.30pm!) was almost dreamlike.

    Another experience that I loved was taking the train to Edinburgh. The views out the window were so breathtaking. 

    So many wonderful memories!! I cannot wait to go again.

    • admin

      Thanks for the comment!  We were only able to be there for 4 days and then we set off for Paris.  Originally we were going to stay in UK for 2 weeks and a train to Edinburgh was on our list of things to do, but since we decided to add Paris and Barcelona to our itinerary, we stuck to all sights in London.  We will be going back for sure though and I will make sure a train ride through the countryside to Edinburgh is included.  That sounds fascinating!  

  4. jeremy

    I have never gotten a chance to travel outside the USA unfortunately. It’s ironic I came across this article as, while I’m from the USA, my grandmother was born and raised for the first part of her life in England. So naturally, one of these days I will need to travel to England and discover the country my grandmother came from. It’d be one of the better first international countries for me to visit too since, like you said, there are many similarities. Thanks for sharing!

    • Josh Fulkerson

      Thanks for commenting, I hope you take the opportunity to go there someday.  We visited multiple countries in Europe on this trip and I wish we could have spent more time in England.  We will be going back!  

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