There are many things you can do in Europe, but these activities are sure to leave you with lasting life skills. After all, Europe gave birth to the Renaissance Man. You might as well make yourself a better person while you’re in the continent.
Greece and Yacht Sailing
While you’re in Greece, learn to maneuver that sail boat. The skills you’ll be learning will be useful for a lifetime. What could be a better than fine-tuning your hand-eye coordination? Greece is also one of the best sites to learn this skill. Read up on Homer and look at the untouched parts of Greece. Maybe while maneuvering that sailboat, you’ll be inspired to write your modern day Iliad. You never know.
For the best sailing experience, why don’t you bring a friend along who knows a thing or two about the history of Greece? Of course, bring him or her along once you have decent sailing skills. For the meantime, it’s best to stick to an instructor who can tell you what to do just in case a freak storm crosses that clear blue Grecian sky.
Visit Freud’s Waiting Room and Put on your Freud Hat
Want to feel like an intellectual? Some people think it can be done by osmosis. You should look up where psycho-analyst Sigmund Freud wrote his papers. Visit that sitting room and feel free to read all of his books. Is this possible? Yes, they actually encourage it. Freud’s sitting room is open to the public although the activity might come at a price.
It doesn’t matter. If you can be a tenth as smart as Freud after that activity, you should be happy.
Stroll through the Athenian Agora
Centuries ago, those brilliant, thinking Athenians used to love taking strolls through the Agora. This is where they shopped and told everyone the news. You can still do the same today, even if it has been two thousand years ago. That is, you can still take the stroll, but you won’t see the market and you won’t be meeting the Ancient Greek.
However, if you take a guided tour and go under Acropolis, you will see the ruins where many of this civilization’s greatest thinkers used to hang out. If you use your imagination, you’ll be in the mood to pontificate, too, in no time.
Cooking in Sicily
Another skill you shouldn’t miss out on is cooking. After all, that brain needs to feed on something before it can form great thoughts. What better way to hone your cooking skills than to do so while you’re in Sicily? Close to the sea and at close proximity with the spices and wines, too, you’ll find every ingredient you’ll ever need to cook great Italian dishes even if you’re not a trained chef.
Located at the Mediterranean Basin, you’ll be enjoying Sicily’s citrus fruits and fresh seafood. Ask one of your local friends how you can make the best Puttanesca or the best Italian dessert, and once you’ve honed the craft, you’ll be very popular among friends when you get back to your homeland.
Just a little trivia: the Sicilian cuisine is a mild blend of Arab, North African and Greek cuisine. That means you’re actually tapping into three ancient civilizations at once when you learn how to cook their food. How great is that?
Dip into the Bodleian Library of Oxford
Another place where great minds have walked is the Oxford University. This is the English speaking world’s oldest university, and it was the university responsible for producing twenty five prime ministers, the world’s best actors, twelve saints, and just far too many men and women of letters. Among them are Oscar Wilde, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Donne, C.S. Lewis and Lewis Carrol.
Just visit the Bodleian Library, flip a few books, and you should be at least a fraction smarter, at least by osmosis. If you’re lost and you want to blend in, call it the Bod or the Bodley when asking for directions. You wouldn’t want to call attention to yourself among all of these possible geniuses.
Apply to a Creative Writing Course in Sardinia
If you’ve already taken creative writing courses in the past, and you’re looking to polish your skills, there’s no better place to do it than in Sardinia. Here, you’ll be marveling at the scenery tapping into your literary genius. The elder societies thought that an individual’s “genius” didn’t come from the individual himself but from a “muse”. In a creative writing class in Sardinia, you’ll understand why. Even the least romantic writer will probably have something passionate to say about the city’s landscape.
Join the Walking Tour in Berlin
Once you’ve had enough of ancient civilizations, go ahead and join the free walking tour through Berlin. It’s certainly one of the most impressive modern cities across the globe. The best part about it is that this walk-through is totally free. They also happen to be very informative and comprehensive.
What if you don’t speak in English? Rest assured that these tours operate in many languages, and whatever is lost in translation will be lost to you because you’ll be enjoying the tour so much, you’ll be teary-eyed by the end of it.
Wine Tasting in France
Another necessary skill for social graces is your taste for wine. If you don’t know the difference between a 2005 merlot and a 2007 white, except for their colors, then your palette needs polishing. When you’re in France, it’s a necessity for you to go on a Wine Tasting Tour. This tour runs through the lands that cultivated the Burgundy and the Bordeux.
It’s not all about improving your palette when you’re joining this tour. You’ll also be educated about wine like a proper lady or gentleman.
Mixing your Own Perfume in Cologne
Now, you won’t just be picking the trendiest perfumes off the mall shelf because you’ll be educated about the fine science of fragrance making. When you’re in Cologne, this is the first thing you should do, because you’ll probably never experience it anywhere else. After this lesson, you’ll be able to know the difference between an eau de toilette and an eau de cologne—something that most people don’t know.
(Intellectual) Pub Crawling in Dublin
Who says you have to talk nonsense every time you have a mug of beer in front of you? In Dublin, when you crawl out of the pub, it’s still an intellectual experience. We can’t exactly pinpoint what it is—whether it’s the legendary pub owner or something in the beer itself—but pubs in Dublin have produced many great writers and many great works of literature.
If that little stint with the muses in Sardinia didn’t actually work out, maybe your literary talents can be tapped when you visit one of these Irish pubs.
Whether writing, cooking, or sailing is your passion, you’ll never run out of smart things to do while you’re in Europe.
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