The differences between living in Europe vs. North America.

As you may have read in my previous post, I recently moved back to North America from Europe. After spending over 3 years in Hungary, I had obviously adapted to the European lifestyle. There are many things that are similar yet so different, at the same time. Of course, I experienced reverse culture shock and had to re-adapt to the “typical American” lifestyle. (Although I can’t complain because I do like it and I grew up living that way).

Here are the major differences I noticed, between living in Europe vs. North America.

Credit is everything!

In North America, having credit is so important. You want a house? Credit Check. You want a car? Credit Check. You want a to rent an apartment? Credit Check. Everything revolves around your credit score. While living in Europe, signing a lease was just about having the deposit in hand. I also never had a credit card during the 3 years I lived there. There is a lot of stress that revolves around building and maintaining good credit. Sometimes it gets really stressful. But I guess that is just something we all have to get used to in Canada and the US.

A car is a must!

I have been driving since the age of 16. Most of my friends in Europe, never sat behind a wheel, because it is just unnecessary. Although most major North American cities have pretty good public transportation, it is not always ideal. Especially if you live in the suburbs. Going to a local grocery store would take me over 30 minutes to walk home, whereas in Europe it would only take me about 10 minutes. So while you can survive without a car in a big city, it is not necessarily ideal.


In Europe, there are so many countries close by. It’s pretty crazy to think that you can take a 1 hour plane ride and be in a different country, where they speak a different language or even use a different currency — so cool! Whereas in the North America, you can drive for hours and still be speaking the same language and using the same currency! We are also planning a trip to California very soon and it’s crazy to think that it takes nearly as much time flying from Montreal to Los Angeles than flying from Montreal to London. We are not even crossing the ocean, just flying over 1 other country — North America is so huge!


Some may find this overwhelming, however I love having options! North America is definitely the land of variety! I just love going into a shop and being able to chose between several different brands. I also really enjoy reading reviews and seeing which is the best option for me at that given time.

What are some differences you’ve noticed between the 2 continents?

Thanks for reading!

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