How experience and information made my 3rd trip to Europe feel so different.

Adam Albrecht
3 min readJul 19, 2023

My family and I just returned from a 2-week trip to Europe. We saw London. And we saw France. But according to my travel journal, we did not see your underpants. After Paris, we visited Bern, Switzerland and Munich. We also road 6 trains on our travels across the continent, which we felt well prepared for thanks to Thomas The Tank Engine.

A Very Different Experience.

Despite the fact that I had been to all of the places I visited in Europe before, this time felt very different. Mostly because I am different.

The first 2 times I visited Europe, when I was 15 and 38, I felt like I was trying to understand the local rules and customs. It was exciting and fascinating. But I remember feeling tentative and bumbling much of the time. Particularly in countries where English is not the native language. (You know, like not England.)

This time I felt very different.

Older, wiser, and perhaps more worldly, on this trip I felt confident that I was doing the right things, or at least the right things as far as I knew. What’s more, I recognized the things I didn’t know, and I wasn’t embarrassed or self-conscious about them.

Access To My Information Station

Another reason that this visit to Europe felt very different was that it was the first time I visited Europe with full access to my mobile phone. It was a great reminder that instant access to information has a profound impact on your experience, your ability to navigate new or foreign places, and your situational confidence.

Access to Google Maps ensured that we were never lost or directionless. We could check hours of operation, and reviews at any time. We could easily translate words we didn’t know. (Which is especially useful when ordering food so you can distinguish between raw beef and biscuits.) And we could quickly calculate currency conversions.

Lasting Impact

A trip like this always has a significant impact on your life. Which is why we undertake such adventures. The significant time and money invested in such a trip provide some of the greatest returns you will ever enjoy.

I returned with more amazing experiences, lessons, and insights than I can wrap my head around. (Although truth be told, I’m not very good at wrapping my head.) I am certain that the various non-physical souvenirs of my trip will provide inspiration for the rest of my life. Which means that I will also be writing about them for some time. Because the experiences of your life inspire your creative thinking.

Key Takeaway

Travel provides incredibly valuable experiences. Those experiences enhance both your knowledge and your thinking. You discover new places, new geography, new customs and new foods. You learn about different languages, different histories and different perspectives. But most importantly, travel teaches you new lessons about yourself. It teaches you what you like and what you don’t like. It reminds you of how much there still is to know. It helps you understand what makes your mind sparkle. And after seeing new places on the planet it is impossible to ever see the world the same way again.

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+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

Originally published at on July 19, 2023.



Adam Albrecht

I am a growth-minded entrepreneur and author of the book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? I share what I'm learning on my journey. And I try to make it funny.