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Hi! My name is Sarah and I am the face behind Glimpse Creations. I am an award winning jewelry designer and lifestyle blogger who recently spent 5 years living in Paris France. Here I will share my adventures in Paris, Fashion, Crafting and Food!

Live Like a European in North America

After living abroad for almost 5 years, coming back to Canada is both a relief and a little frustrating.  I am suddenly aware of the consumerism attitude that North Americans are so well known for.  I feel like everyone drives a huge car, eats tons of food, and watches too much television.  I never realized the difference in culture until I left and lived overseas.  Now that I am back in Canada, for now, I am trying to find ways to continue the European lifestyle that I grew to love while I was living in France.  Here is my list of ways to live like a European in North America!…

1.  Downsize your car.  Do you really need to drive that huge SUV?  Trade in your gas guzzler for a smaller more compact car.  You will be happy with your gas bill and you can also feel good about doing something for the environment!  Extra bonus points if you ride your bike instead of driving.

Riding a Bike in Germany

Riding a Bike in Germany

2.  Visit your local farmer’s market.  The French love their markets and tend to do most of their grocery shopping there.  Find a local market near your home, and stock up on fresh local produce, cheese and other specialties that the sellers may offer.

French Market

French Market

3.  Always have fresh flowers in your home.  While you are shopping at your local market each week, remember to pick up a bunch of fresh flowers and place in a vase on your kitchen table to brighten up your home!

4.  Turn off the television.  Listen to music, read a book or sit quietly and talk with your family.  As North American’s we tend to park ourselves in front of the t.v. each night after dinner and loose out on valuable family time.  Take this opportunity to talk to each other, or even play a board game.  You will be surprised how you will come to look forward to this quiet time in the evening, and you won’t miss the t.v. at all!

5.  Eat smaller portions.  Overeating is a being a huge problem in North America, and we are all guilty of piling up our plates with way more than we should have in one meal.  Downsize your plate, so you cannot physically fit a big amount on the plate.  You will not feel stuffed after eating, and your waistline will thank you in the long run.

6.  Go for a walk.  Do you drive to your grocery store that is only 5 mins away?  We are all guilty of doing it, but why not start walking instead.  If you only need to pick up a few things, grab your canvas shopping bag and head out the door.  It is a great way to work some exercise time into your day, and enjoy the fresh outdoor air.  If you don’t need anything at the shops, just walk around your neighborhood.  Doesn’t matter where you walk, just get outside and get going!

7.  Treat yourself to fancy desserts from a local bakery.  Stop buying those bland grocery store pastries and visit a local bakery to get a special dessert once a week.  They are a bit expensive, but definitely worth the splurge.

French Pastries

French Pastries

8.  Dress up!  Ditch those yoga pants and Ugg boots that are only acceptable if it is snowing out and you are on your way to the gym.  People in Europe always seem very well styled and put together no matter what time of the day, or where they are going.  In Paris, it is highly acceptable to get dressed up to go for a walk in the park.  You will be surprised at how much more confidant and put together you feel if you look your best at all times.

Overall, if you want to live more like a European, slow down, take time to enjoy life and enjoy a nice long stroll through a park on a nice sunny day!

Follow these easy steps and you can live a much longer, healthier and happier life, just like the Europeans!  What other steps would you add to the list?  Let me know in the comment section below!







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5 Comments on “Live Like a European in North America”

  1. tvkapherr March 29, 2014 at 3:42 am #

    I guess it depends what part of Canada your in. I live in Quebec now and find the European life style is quite strong here. Good article! 🙂

  2. Rachel April 2, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    I really wasnt aware that this kind of lifestyle was such a Europeen way of living, to me it was just good living. Having never been to the USA or Canada I suppose I don’t have a real view on your lifestyle or your objectivity. I have however travelled to many African countries and almost every Europeen country. I think making the most of life is living simple and making the most of the Real world.Eating real live food and local produce these are things that in France we have never let go of !
    Lovely article, great photos.

  3. Renate Flynn August 16, 2014 at 6:36 am #

    I would add, that in the USA especially, we are incredibly frenetic in our lifestyle. We hustle and bustle and fret and are so driven. until the day, of course, that we have a heart attack or stroke. Slowing down over meals, finding a favorite cafe and spending hours there would do we Americans great good.

  4. Susan May 15, 2017 at 9:28 pm #

    I agree with this especially being from Saskatchewan! It’s always cold and most people/friends live in cookie cutter areas where you need to drive at least ten minute or so to get to a big box grocery store/restaurant etc.
    There are no cafes, markets etc. It’s very frustrating to just live day in and day out watching everyone drive around in their SUVs wearing sweatpants eating fast food in their cars at lunch.


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