I was a picky eater as a kid but eventually, I realized how much I was missing. I now make it a point to try new foods. Trying new foods whenever I have the opportunity is now one of my favorite parts of life! Experiencing new foods is a way to experience culture. It is not just experiencing food, but also new dining experiences.

Americans often go to restaurants simply to chat, eat quickly, and get on with the day. Many places see eating at a restaurant as an activity to enjoy rather than a task. A waiter in Europe will not come up to you every few minutes checking on you, they will be walking through and you should call out to them. It took some getting used to but I actually love this style of dining! I did not know any of the people on my study-abroad trip before so meals were where I got to know people. Being able to sit in a restaurant for hours without being rushed gave me some of my favorite memories. 

My grandfather says that if you spend too much on a meal, you will not be able to enjoy the way it tastes. While I do not believe that buying overly expensive meals should become a habit, occasionally splurging on a delicious meal with friends is a memorable treat.

Most of us had not used all of our cash in the Czech Koruna when we were about to switch over to the Euro in Germany. The night before we left for Germany, we went to an extremely nice restaurant. We had wine, starters, entrees, and desserts. When we got the bill, my mouth fell to the floor. Then I realized, "I won't be 19 in Prague with new friends eating local Czech fish and fancy wine ever again." And believe it or not, I enjoyed the way everything tasted despite the price! 

We have so many regular days to go to the gym and make money back when we are in our reality back in the United States but we only have limited days abroad to experience the foods and drinks of the world. So pay a little extra for fine dining or spend extra time to find the perfect hole in the wall with friends during your time abroad!