Today was the day that Theresa May triggered Article 50 and gave notice we were leaving the EU. To be frank, I can’t be bothered going into all the reasons I thought, and still think, we should have stayed. It’s too late, I don’t have the energy to argue with anyone, and we’re going to have to make the best of it now.
As a little tribute today though, here’s a list of things I love(d) about the EU or the various countries in it. (Or, ‘A list of things that are going to be more expensive/difficult now and for what?!’ Ahem. Only outburst, I swear.)
- Taking part in the Erasmus programme was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
- Salamanca, where I did my exchange, is one of the most beautiful cities in the whole word. I had some of my best nights out at the Irish Rover (of course there was an Irish pub) and you would meet people of different nationalities every time. On the academic side, there were some standout lecturers whose classes were among the most interesting I attended over five years of uni!
- This programme has since been replaced by Erasmus+, but allowed me to teach in France. The confidence I gained during this experience was invaluable.
- Paris is also one of the best cities in the world – so much so that I couldn’t resist going back to work there again. Notre-Dame, Rive Gauche, éclairs with chocolate cream inside, climbing the Eiffel Tower, practically living on the Métro, Carrefour, chocolate with smarties from Leader Price, fresh baguettes, cheap wine, dinner parties with friends, trying to find a job and flat and sort out taxes… it was the most wonderful and difficult time of my life.
- The ability to up and move to 27 countries on a whim.
- The fact that our thirteen-strong team at work includes nine women from abroad, six from countries in the EU, because we need mad skillz that not all Brits are interested in.
- All the languages.
- French brie. No offence, Somerset; it’s just not the same.
- Chorizo. (Well, at least I might no longer be able to afford a heart attack.)
- Belgian chocolate. (This list has become very centred around food. Like me.)
- Basically all of Italy’s food. (With a soft spot for Bologna.)
- The Dragon Khan in PortAventura, the best rollercoaster I’ve ever been on.
- San Miguel market in Madrid.
- Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille, and the view from the top of the hill.
- Drinking in Dublin.
- The ruins of Rome.
And now this has made me realise I’ve only visited eight of the countries! At least there’s still time to check off a few more before we possibly have to think about visas. Good thing too, because on my list of places I’d love to visit are:
- Budapest. This city looks absolutely stunning, and I’ve wanted to visit for years now. The Danube is lined by some of the most beautiful buildings in the world, and I’d love to see them in real life.
- Salzburg. I want to do the Sound of Music tour.
- Venice, Florence, Verona (all of Italy, really).
- Copenhagen, then the train to Stockholm.
- Prague, Vienna, Kraków, Berlin, Santorini, Athens…