I've been living abroad off and on since 2010; however, this is the first year that I've spent a full year without visiting the US at all. Let's just say that there are certainly some things that I've forgotten about the US while living abroad. There are also some things in the US that I'm completely excited to take advantage of while here.
Transportation. It's been a year since I've driven a car. We don't have a care in Vilnius and pretty much everything is within walking distance. I've learned that I don't really like driving and would much prefer to be able to walk everywhere or take public transportation. The area of Connecticut that both J and I are from lacks public transportation and you cannot easily walk from either of our parents' houses to anywhere.
Breakfast and Brunch. Pancakes, french toast, fried eggs, toast, bagels, brewed coffee - oh how I've missed you! I'm going to visit as many breakfast places as possible while home so that I can get my fill of breakfast (especially french toast!). Yum.
Cafes. Where are all of the cafes at? I love working at cafes, but there are so few in this area of Connecticut. Any suggestions?
One-stop shopping. Though I try to do most of my shopping at smaller businesses rather than chains, I really enjoy the ease of being able to pick up several different items in one trip. Let's pretend I need to by aspirin, shampoo, fresh fruit, and spaghetti. In Vilnius, to pick up all of those items I need to visit three difference stores and a farmers' market. In the US I can easily go to only one store, or one store and a farmers' market. Saves on driving and on gas. Perfect.
It's Expensive. Holy moly, guys. I've forgotten how expensive the US can be. This is probably because Lithuania is cheap and I'm used to being about to go out for a huge dinner for 25 Euro. I'm also not used to relying on a car to go everywhere, and though gas is currently cheaper than it has been previously, it certainly adds up. So does car maintenance, eating out, and car insurance. Wow, my wallet is unhappy.
You can follow along with my visit in Connecticut on Instagram!
What have you noticed when you re-visit your home country?