20 Things You Miss About America While Traveling Abroad

An Iced Venti Non-Fat Vanilla Latte, please!

After being in Spain for over five months, I have been exposed to hundreds of new things and discovered plenty of new interests I didn’t even know I had. That being said, there are certain Americanisms that simply cannot be matched. While I love the Spanish cafesito, there is nothing quiet like a massive, fully flavored latte. Good luck finding iced coffee in Europe, or attempting to order it without being greeted by disapproving glares.

Coming home for Christmas break was wonderful in so many ways, but a huge one was being able to indulge in all of the things I’ve been missing for the past five months. Here are the top 20 best things about returning home after an extended trip –

  1. Being surrounded by your native language (and not unknowingly ordering mystery meat at restaurants).
  2. Large everything – coffee, meals, buildings, even people. Being a tall girl in Europe is not exactly common.
  3. Not having to use Skype. Talk about a love/hate relationship.
  4. Peanut butter, peanut butter, peanut butter.
  5. Being able to drink from the tap water without fear.
  6. A good, old-fashioned sub sandwich.
  7. Actually being able to sing along with songs on the radio, rather than belting out a string of unintelligible sounds.
  8. Doing Pilates in a public space without facing curious glares.
  9. Snuggies.
  10. New York City. No matter where you travel, there is nowhere like the Big Apple.
  11. Waiting for bated breath as they draw the Powerball numbers.
  12. American Netflix.
  13. The ridiculous obsession with the Holiday season – lights, carols, tremendous trees.
  14. Being able to watch football games in a bar or on TV, rather than suffering through an internet live stream - reasons why I will forever hate the word 'buffering.'
  15. American magazines and newspapers.
  16. Actually having business hours, all with some semblance of logic and cohesion. Yes, Spain, that is a dig at you.
  17. Friendliness and courtesy, even if it’s fake.
  18. Not having to hassle your waiter to bring you the check.
  19. Garbage disposals. Never again will I take these for granted.
  20. Innovative combinations that only the American mind could engine. S’more Poptarts, marshmallows and sweet potatoes, ranch potato chips.

Yes, I realize that many of these have to do with food, but hey – write what you know. There’s nothing quite like coming home, and I certainly felt a renewed sense of nationalism coming home again. I think the lesson here is this – you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. So, when in Spain, do as the Spaniards do. When in America, go for the extra large. 

- Abby Rasweiler