A Few Things I Missed While Abroad

This week I have been busy getting caught up. With over 700 e-mails to conquer, 2000+ images to edit, and a giveaway to award, you can imagine I am having a busy week. (We won't mention jet lag.)

Here is a list of a few things I missed most from home:

1. ICE!!! Perhaps I should have started this with … You know you are a southerner when … all of your drinks must have ice! Ok, so totally not true. I would have been happy with just plain COLD drinks, but no!! Just like northern US citizens, our European counterparts would have nothing to do with cold drinks! The soda, sparkling water, and even juice often felt like it was lacking something, and no drink tastes good at room temperature when you are craving an ice cold drink.

2. Southern Hospitality. I don't mean to be rude or condescending when I say that Northerners and Europeans frequently just don't have it. They aren't from the southern United States, so why should they? I certainly don't hold it against them, but I did miss the little things … like everyone holding the door open for everyone else, and, when sitting down to eat, waiting until everyone had been served before beginning the meal. Other manners, like how to properly eat spaghetti were lost on myself and Justin, so I'm certain in many cases, some that we didn't even know about, we were being rude without even realizing it. Nevertheless, despite my inability to be polite in a foreign country, I still missed the kindness and consideration afforded to others found within my own culture at home. It is something I take for granted daily.

3. Shops being open. If you have ever tried to go shopping in Italy, France, or Germany around lunchtime, during the evening, or during a weekend, you know exactly what I am talking about. How do these people ever find time to shop? They must get it all done during their month long vacations. ;)

4. Not having to pay for water or the toilet. AND having mens and womens restrooms. Having a shared restroom isn't so bad unless you are trying to get away from the group for a breather. Paying for the bathroom makes me not want to go at all though! It would probably do wonders for New York City bathrooms to have shared, pay bathrooms!

5. Aquafina. We had every other water option available to us, but we didn't have my favorite. And actually, I began to develop a taste for sparkling water brands and which I preferred as we spent more and more time in Europe. The tap water never once grew on me though. I tried to like it, but I just didn't.

It was good to know that there were things I missed from my own country even if the number was far less than I ever expected. I'm grateful to have the return of these things (minus the catching up), but there are definitely things I miss from abroad. If you've ever been abroad, what things did you miss the most from home? If you haven't, what things do you think you would miss the most?

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