You don’t have to move to Europe to live la dolce vita. Just adopt these principles.
- TIP: Skip a shower once in a while; the average American uses about 90 gallons of water per day, compared to 53 for the average European.
- Step 1: Redefine your self-worth to be more about personal happiness and less about material goods. Part of living a European lifestyle is putting more stock in pleasurable experiences than in visible signs of social status.
- Step 2: Slow down. Living a European lifestyle is all about enjoying life more. Use your newfound leisure time to spend more time with your loved ones.
- Step 3: Reduce your carbon footprint by living in a smaller home, driving a smaller car, and buying fewer goods. The average American generates about 45,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, twice as much as the average European.
- Step 4: Walk more. Driving isn’t a big part of the European lifestyle: western Europeans drive about 70 percent as many miles per capita as Americans.
- Step 5: Work less. The average American works 9 weeks longer per year than their western European counterpart. Take more vacation time, too -- Western Europeans receive nearly 2 months a year in paid leave, more than double what the typical American worker enjoys.
- TIP: Take an early retirement: In France, only half of people over 50 are working.
- Step 6: Change your eating habits: have your main meal at midday and a light dinner in the late evening; eat more meals at home; and consume fewer processed foods. Make good conversation -- not television -- the focal point of mealtime.