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  • Abigail Byrd

5 things I have learned living OUTCAN

Updated: May 9

train on tracks next to river. Text reads 5 things i have learned living outcan

Experiencing life OUTCAN, particularly in Europe, reveals striking differences that set it apart from the everyday Canadian lifestyle. 

A notable distinction arises when visiting pharmacies in Europe. While Canadians often have access to American pharmacies, it becomes evident that medications such as Advil and other everyday items found at Shoppers Drug Mart are not readily available; instead, many resorts to places like Chièvres, an American base equipped with a commissary and a PX that resembles a split Walmart. 

Another observation is the appreciation for air-conditioned environments. In Europe, encountering an air-conditioned room is an oddity. As a result, it is highly recommended to acquire large fans to keep one's living space cool. Europeans tend to believe in adapting to natural temperatures, which is reasonable. However, the majority find it challenging to fall asleep in warm conditions. 

Public transportation operates differently as well. Europe boasts an extensive network of trains, buses, and subways, like Canada. However, public transport is more advanced and widely embraced, surpassing private vehicle usage. This preference stems from the limited availability of ample parking space for trucks and larger vehicles in many areas. 

The concept of work-life balance diverges significantly in Europe. Europeans relish their time and often conclude their workday promptly at 4 p.m. Once their tasks are accomplished, they prioritize going home. This contrasts with the Canadian work ethic, emphasizing the importance of taking time for oneself or spending quality moments with loved ones. 

The disparities between everyday life in Europe and Canada become evident upon experiencing life beyond Canadian borders. The absence of familiar faces, differences in medication availability, the need for alternative cooling solutions, reliance on public transportation, and the contrasting work-life balance all contribute to the unique and distinct European lifestyle. 

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