What are the big differences between North America and Europe according to you ? (1 Viewer)

otch0z

Newbie
Joined
Feb 11, 2017
Messages
82
Current Location
Montreal, Canada
Hey y'all,
To begin, I hope this post is in the right thread ! I just figured out it could be fun to have a discussion about the differences people saw between two continents that might look the same from an external point of view. It's not to decide which one is best, but only because I like to see the tiny cultural differences that one notices traveling.

Coming from Europe and getting to the US, the most shocking thing was size, I think. Everything is bigger in the US : cars, roads, buildings, animals (I mean, grizzlies ? for real ?), STORES (Walmart was some kind of urban legend to me before I got to witness these stores opened 24/24, because you sure need to buy a new toaster at 3am).. And also distances, which is an interesting point : here in France, driving for 2 hours is a pain in the ass. I think it is the equivalent of driving like 4/6 hours in the states.
 
Click here to buy one of our amazing custom bandanas!

Hillbilly Castro

Wanderer
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
Messages
521
Current Location
Westernville, NY
A big difference I notice, as an American who has not traveled to Europe, is that while many Europeans seem to visit the US, most Americans don't seem to leave their state, much less their country.
 

BelleBottoms

Newbie
Joined
Jan 25, 2018
Messages
74
Current Location
Chino Valley, Arizona, USA
As an American who lived in England for several years, I was always trying to analyze this question as well. My "biggest difference theory" boils down to cultural/ social maturity.

Despite running around like spoiled brats demanding that our every desire be fulfilled NOW, Americans are still super-puritain (moraly speaking) and narrow-minded as compared to Europeans. I liken the comparison to 30-somethings in a righteous yuppy helicopter-parenting period of their lives (Americans), to retired folks that have figured out life is better when you lighten up (Europeans). This is a from very broad perspective, using observations of popular culture, not individuals per se. For example, in the 1960's, Brittish bands were singing songs about transvestism on the radio, while Americans were concerned about whites & blacks sharing the same entry door.


I totally agree with you on distances, @otch0z . We went sightseeing most weekends while in GB. After a trip to the coast we popped in to see the neighbors - who were in disbelief hearing that we voluntarily drove for 3 hours - one way - just to check out the beach that day. They thought we were insane.
 
OP
otch0z

otch0z

Newbie
Joined
Feb 11, 2017
Messages
82
Current Location
Montreal, Canada
A big difference I notice, as an American who has not traveled to Europe, is that while many Europeans seem to visit the US, most Americans don't seem to leave their state, much less their country.
I'm not so sure about that... Once again I speak mostly for France but I feel like here, you don't see those people who haven't really moved. They don't really "go out" and rarely interact with strangers, especially if those strangers don't speak french. And I have to say, I don't know a lot of europeans who went to the US ! Most french people go to Québec and bitch about the accent. But the US is not like "THE" destination for frenchies. Australia's way more trendy these days !
 
OP
otch0z

otch0z

Newbie
Joined
Feb 11, 2017
Messages
82
Current Location
Montreal, Canada
As an American who lived in England for several years, I was always trying to analyze this question as well. My "biggest difference theory" boils down to cultural/ social maturity.

Despite running around like spoiled brats demanding that our every desire be fulfilled NOW, Americans are still super-puritain (moraly speaking) and narrow-minded as compared to Europeans. I liken the comparison to 30-somethings in a righteous yuppy helicopter-parenting period of their lives (Americans), to retired folks that have figured out life is better when you lighten up (Europeans). This is a from very broad perspective, using observations of popular culture, not individuals per se. For example, in the 1960's, Brittish bands were singing songs about transvestism on the radio, while Americans were concerned about whites & blacks sharing the same entry door.


I totally agree with you on distances, @otch0z . We went sightseeing most weekends while in GB. After a trip to the coast we popped in to see the neighbors - who were in disbelief hearing that we voluntarily drove for 3 hours - one way - just to check out the beach that day. They thought we were insane.
I see what you mean about that cultural/social maturity, but I would say another difference would be the speed for change in both continents. I mean, how much years after "Americans were concerned about whites & blacks sharing the same entry door" did you guys literally had a black president ? We still hadn't had a woman here and don't even think about a non-white person, I think we'll have to wait another 200 years. Also, I feel like general change is faster in north america : you can find work very easily, in a week or so. Here, people won't hire you before the beginning of the month, etc.
 

Tatanka

Rambler
Joined
Dec 24, 2010
Messages
1,096
Age
27
Current Location
Potter County PA
As another who has never been to Europe, I think architecture? Historical buildings aren't as big deal here it seems. Seems some European countries still enjoy their old buildings? America is a lot of suburban prefab sprawl
General consensus for america is if you smell a little-not like soap whatever- aren't fully groomed or manicured etc. you are probably crazy or homeless. obviously not always the case but generally so. I'm sure Europe is like that too in a way, it seems the world populace considers success and "happiness" to be owning shit you don't need or use and having the debt associated with said shit-cars, excessive house.
I don't feel I'm bringing much to the table on this discussion but I tried.
 
Last edited:

roughdraft

ain´t nobody cool
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
885
Age
28
Current Location
traveling
having only spent a couple weeks in cities of Spain the first things that come to mind

police are more chill

see people peeing in public

people walking naked on the beach and noone tripping about it
 

NomadJ

Lurker
Joined
May 17, 2018
Messages
11
Current Location
41 Kingery Ct, Belleville, IL 62226, USA
I don't paint all of Europe with the same brush. Attitudes change in different Nations as you travel about Europe. Hell, cultural differences are noticeable in Northern Germany to Southern Germany. Brittany in the north and Southern France have different. That rule tends to be true in America.

The Midwest has a different flow than the south or the West coast eyt..

Enjoy the journey learning about it.
 

forestwitch

Lurker
Joined
Oct 5, 2017
Messages
8
Current Location
nowhere
ah, one of the things i like to ramble about when i'm drunk!

i feel like one of the major differences is how folks get around. europe doesn't really have as much of a freight hopping culture as the states as it's less convenient (more tracks + railway crossings literally everywhere which makes it harder to tell where trains are going to, plus more towns/less nature making it harder not to be spotted) and more dangerous (more electricity, more long tunnels, faster trains) which means most crusty travelers over here just hitchhike everywhere or sometimes jump passenger trains (going on them without having a ticket).

also from what i've heard, cops seem to be a lot more rough on people sleeping out in the states but i guess this also depends on where you are in the states and where in europe you compare it to. oh and there's sooo much more squatting culture in europe and so many more places that are openly squatted.
 
Last edited:

roughdraft

ain´t nobody cool
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
885
Age
28
Current Location
traveling
the plaza culture in Europe is a great benefit i haven't seen much of in the States

plaza mayor plaza de armas...hardly any places like these in USA
 

Tadaa

Newbie
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
157
Current Location
Tallinn, Estonia
patio culture.. cause the drinking laws are more strict in the us.. that is something i always missed in the us. sitting on a patio, watching people and the city go by.


the greeting culture is the biggest difference in my opinion.

it might all be fake and most people dont give a fuck in the end but the " hello, how are you doing? " " i am doing good, how about yourself? "
i love it.. lifts me up on my shitty days. and on happy days its easier to start small talk (and i crave it when travelling alone)

been living in finland, iceland and estonia the last years where people dont say this. or barely look at eachother on the street.
for example. it took me 1month in MPLS last summer till somebody recognised me on the street, called my name and have a quick chat.
same in miami this winter. 3weeks i was there and i bumped into 3 people one day that recognised me

in estonia and finland people get anxiety if they run into somebody else in the forrest. they dont know if they should greet or walk passed eachother without talking. this gives me anxiety too.. so i keep walking past em haha
in finland only after 2 years i recognised a good friend i knew for 10 years. called her name. she looks anxies at me and by then i am crossing the street already. tells me she has to run for a train after work. saw her 3 months later again.

damn.. why do i always end up in the cold dark depressed places.. haha

can somebody marry me so i get a green card and spend my time riding trains around the us
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
142
Current Location
Frederikshavn, Denmark
Been viewing this thread quite some times since it was posted. Iam quite surprised that noone has metioned much about ít, there's some talk about the social maturity, I liked that comparison, there's just a thing missing from that view point in my eyes.
What I've noticed as the bigger difference is surety. Surety, - that you sence in a oerson when you first meet them, you meet and greet who they are. That's what I've experienced in USA, on the east coast atlest. Ive visited The NE and SE on two differnt occasions, on a template of about 5½ months total.

What I've met in Europe is a very cautious population, who are strangely shy to let you discover the person beneath the exterior, shy but maybe also a cultural shame, or even guilt. Build through the centuries of opression from Christianity in europe, there might be such a distinct inherited feature in people - that they're afraid, or seem afraid to actually stand up for who an what they are.

That's the biggest difference I've met in the Us, compared to different contries in Europe.
 

BalancingBear

Lurker
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
9
Current Location
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Granted, I havent been to Europe (yet), so correct me if I'm wrong, but from photos and conversation I gather that the united states honestly has more wilderness. Europe seems to be much more developed, even if not with the same size of creations in the states. This is one aspect that has honestly stalled my interest in travelling to Europe. I will certainly make it eventually, but I enjoy the raw scenery I find here. I know I will struggle without that in the future.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
49
Current Location
Centro America
@BalancingBear

This is true unfortunerly... there is almost no wilderness left in europe. There is some in the east, and some parts of the alps, if you ignore the huts everywhere. We were very lucky in the U.S. that western civilization started to rediscover a respect for wild nature just as we were poised to destroy mich of it in the west. Alot of of natural treasures were saved in time. Not so across the pond.

However northern scandanavia is one big exception, it’s like europes alaska. Norway is particularly incredible.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
49
Current Location
Centro America
I echo alot of what people have said so far. One thing that stood out too me was the subculture elements are alot stronger and more robust in europe. Alot more slab-esque places, bastions for the misfits weirdo’s or altminders. And they fight alot harder for their right to exist. Here if a squat gets broken up everyone is like “awww ok police officers, it was fun while it lasted.” Over there? No no no, they will cobble togther a group of a few dozen to 1000 people and take that shit. Authorities be damned.
I suspect this illuminates a vein of heightened respect for alternative lifestyles that america lacks. There seemed to me, and this is very subjective, less judgement and disrespect and more tolerence. Odd concidering america is basically multi-cultural. But the differnce is slight.

This isnt true for all of europe though, I found some regions to be ridiculously provincialized and people would wildly overreact to anything outside the norm.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount
$40.00
Goal
$100.00

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $40.00 of $50.00
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $40.00 of $75.00
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully his will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $40.00 of $100.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $40.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.

Latest Status Updates

Lithium21 wrote on Desperado Deluxe's profile.
I ni you 🍫
Tragedy is what you can't undo
Just got off the hi- line . In minneapolis for a hot minute.. Anybody passing through let me buy yall a beer or 12.
Raised in Nowhere, Washington State, USA where the forests, hills, mountains are playgrounds. Work & play in the forests. Retired now.Realizing the finish line's much closer than the starting line. Man-tracker, 50+ yrs. (Multiple disciplines). I also instructed tracking until retirement. Attended "survival" training several times (guv'ment & private), some mandatory. Saw the website & took a peek. It rekindled the wanderlust in me with a bit more of a tempered attitude.
Anyone else having problems with the site loading slowly and acting glitchy?
jamie summers wrote on nastynaty's profile.
too bad about clovis...i rode through recently without stopping in the yard luckily...where did you get pulled off now
?did you end up on a train for dallas?
Update on my luck: wrong train, cops pulled a gun on me, im off the transcon, and i have one day to get to chicago.
Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.
Blessed is the flame that burns
in the secret fastness of the heart.

Blessed is the heart with strength to stop its beating for honor’s sake.
Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.

-Hannah Senesh

Rest in power, Will.
I got my first trespass in over five years of riding, but the bull in clovis was doing that thing were he scans the cars from a ladder and my bike had the back wheel off so i couldnt run. I caught the next train after he let me go.