Last week Emily of Don’t Call Me Gringa wrote about the overwhelming choices expat women face. No, not choices about where to live, which cave to explore or which new food item to devour, but rather the overwhelming selections that welcome us back home.
Maybe it is a gradual thing, like expat’s Stockholm, but I think we get used to the choices, or in many cases, lack of choices in our adopted countries, so much so that we don’t even realize what we are missing.
I was interested to see how Emily compared the choices available in California and Santiago and was a bit surprised to see that apparently, even Calabria has more choices than Chile. That being said … we don’t have many.
The last three times I visited the US, I wandered through Walmart in wonder at the sheer number of choices of breakfast cereal, cappuccino flavors and tampons.
I marveled at the medicine options, the diversity of coffee machines, the variety of storage bins.
And I must admit … I longed for them.
A couple of months ago, my husband and I purchased a new mattress. Without any prior research, we went to the store, selected a new mattress, paid and arranged delivery-all in less than 30 minutes. While that may seem enticing to some people, I felt cheated. I missed the shopping and selection experience. I missed having the debate over the choices. I missed sitting on different mattresses and picturing them in our home.
We had three choices-cheap, average, high quality.
I’ve mentioned how I miss Ziploc bags, affordable peanut butter and properly-sized clothing and have been crucified by would-be expats for wanting Velveeta cheese for my quesadillas, but the truth of the matter is, everything in life is a trade off.
As expat women and men, we choose to live in another country. We choose to experience new cultures, new traditions, and new, and unequivocally foreign, ways of life. It is our choice.
And I am happy here.
But will someone in America-please!-try that new Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Extra cereal and let me know what they think. I am coveting it from afar.
What other sacrifices do you think expats make in order to fulfill their dream of living abroad?
* This post is written on behalf of AffordableCallingCards.net. Click here to read similiar posts written by other expats in the ACC expat community.