Catalyst Strategic Consultants

How does your business need to grow?

1000 no 100 no 10! reasons to be in Europe …

Why go? It surprises me when I encounter those who haven’t gone or are cool to returning.

It’s another world, but proximate to ours. Safe, reliable, not so jarring. Similar enough to navigate and operate without intervening resources [you need drivers, translators and tour guides in India, South America, Far East] Europe – no.

So Why?

1. It shakes you up. Enough to delight, not enough to discombobulate.
They have different answers to making life work. Some of them are smarter than ours. The result is we get over ourselves a bit and our home made conviction that we’ve got it down and do everything best. We don’t.

2. Language gaps make the brain work.
In the battle of world languages, we won. English is everywhere. But it still says C on the hot water tap. And you still get to wrestle with Spanish/ Italian/ French to get around and order dinner. It is fun and you surprise yourself as shards of high school French emerge or you just start to get it. And gradually you begin to appreciate that other languages can express in ways we can’t.

3. We can see the future of our surroundings and society. These places have been around a lot longer. So, it doesn’t take too much of a lateral leap to think of how the groundwork we’re laying now will look and work in a couple of hundred years. And of course if you’re a history fan, well, this is where it is…

4. It really is a break. Although it is a straight shot, it’s still a long way over there. And time wise you’re completely out of synch. So you really are away and – you can’t get back. Sure there is wifi and cell phones. But why? Take a complete time out and let your base be truly refreshed. It’s difficult to rubber band back here from there and not a good idea anyway.

5. It’s affordable.
Well, maybe not everywhere, or all the time. But there are many sectors of many countries. Generally, south is cheaper. And country is less than city. And the heart of summer is asking for trouble. Some places are always in demand. That doesn’t mean you should miss those. Just keep it down so it’s not a constant diet. Organized tours can aggregate suppliers and give you a lower cost in these areas. The whole Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door is an excellent way to come at it so you use the Continental way to travel vs. transposing ours.

6. It’s rich. Everything has dimension. Scent, shape, shadow, light, air, sound are unusual to our eyes ears and nose. And tongue – but see food etc. below.

7. Unexpectedly different and delightful people. It never fails. You go for the sights and you meet – people. And they do come from a different start but still share some of the same sources. Contrary to stories of snobbishness, I am continually overwhelmed with how interested and considerate Europeans are and how interested and interesting they are.

8. The food and the drink. Well, for those who’ve been, they know. Every bite, every sip seems to have taste dimension that is shockingly better than what we eat and drink here. I don’t know – no, I do know. They have higher standards and insist on the best. We in the western plains live on trucked in, chemically ripened [and altered] fare. I’m sure they have industrial scale produce but it is just dramatically more tasty. And no GMO. Which means that, although I can’t touch wheat here, I can eat spaghetti and bread there with no impact other than a big smile and an expanded waistline.

9. Getting lost is romantic. Off in the back roads of Spain or Germany and hunting around for a destination, you will find and see fascinating distractions that are just great fun. When you share that with your partner, it livens up everything and give you new stories and adventures. It’s strange enough that you can’t just solve it all with Google, but can inject some mystery and novelty into our ordered lives.

10. You’ll create memories that have a very long shelf life. The foreignness gives experiences here an extra shot of piquance. In these great cities or in the marvelous and sublime countryside, there are encounters with the great monuments and quiet experiences of transcendent beauty that just get seared in – they are so impactful.
And that’s a big reason to make the effort and get there. It will be ‘way more meaningful, if you’re the right person to go, than anything you can do over here.

11. OK, I can’t resist. You will round out your education. So much of what happened there created the frameworks we live in today. That was the reason for studying history, philosophy, and the arts. So much of the basis of our society was built there. Meeting it firsthand just makes sense of many of the contexts we live in.


Doug Bouey
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

What’s Our Business?

Bringing out the best in you, your company and your people.

Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


Past Posts