The word globalisation is often used these days and you can be fooled into thinking everywhere is just going to feel the same. My adventures in Australia, Europe and Asia have highlighted to me that this very much is not the case. In this piece I explore some of the differences between Europe and Australia.
When people mention ‘Europe’, it is not always clear which countries they are referring to. There are a range of definitions which overlap each other. Are they referring to Europe the continent, the countries in the EU, the countries which use the Euro or the countries in the Schengen zone. My definition of ‘Europe’ will be the 30 countries where the inter railing pass is valid (Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom).
Australia is sparsely populated. A population less than a 10th of Europe’s, lives on a landmass over 50% the size of Europe. If you adventure outside of the major Australian cities you will come across a level of remoteness that you simply do not experience in Europe, apart from maybe in the Nordac countries. In England, I have visited sea side towns and national parks, such as Devon, Suffolk, Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scaffold Pike. The narrow roads, pollution free air and freely roaming sheep found in these places, made me class them as remote and quiet. After driving through the Nullarbor Plains on the road trip to Perth, I now chuckle when people talk about remote places in England.
While in Europe you can quickly experience lots of countries signature food and drink. In this regard I particularly enjoyed what Germany and Poland delivered (click here for my Krakow vodka article). Plus Europe also has a long list of internationally recognised buildings and structures which include, the Eiffel tower, Buckinghamshire Palace and Leaning Tower of Pisa.
On each continent you will encounter challenges. Eastern Europe is considerably cheaper than Western Europe. If you are backpacking Europe and have started counting the pennies then you can head east to relieve yourself from the financial stress. Sadly no where in Australia will your money go far.
Most of the Australian population live in the bottom right hand side of the country. If you want to explore outside of this quarter, then camping can become the only option rather than the cheap option. As well as a tent you will also have to stock up on food because supermarkets will not necessarily be in easy reach.
While in Europe navigating the large array of languages and currencies can be stressful. Do not be fooled into thinking all of Europe uses the Euro. On my Inter Railing trip I had Euros, Czech koruna, Hungarian forint, Polish zlothy, Romanian leu and Bulgarian lev. Although each European country has its own language, in most European countries English is the second most widely spoken language. So having English as your first language, or at least having some knowledge of the language will be very advantageous when travelling around Europe.