Years ago I worked with a woman who when asked her nationality (I can't remember the situation) described herself as European. I would never have felt comfortable saying that and the trip to Bruges brought this feeling home,
I loved Bruges and the Flemish people were great, but travelling through France then Belgium , I became aware of how un-European I felt. I'm not anti-EU, one of those people who is obsessed about preserving the pound and I can see the benefits of all clubbing together. But since we on our little island here, I don't think we will ever feel as much part of Europe as people who grow up on its mainland. No matter how many tunnels under the water we have, we aren't living as close to each other as the rest of Europe are and our collective lack of language ability adds to this feeling of separation.
I wonder if the residents of Hawaii feel the same about being part of the United States of America? That they are apart of it, but not as much as someone in, say, Kansas?