Living abroad is the best, but there’s no shame in missing a little bit of home, too. It can be hard to adjust, especially when it comes to what might seem like the little things in life. Common luxuries in America can be pretty hard to find in other countries. Here are 10 things all Americans will miss while overseas.

1. Dishwashers:

If rolling up those sleeves and scrubbing the sauce off of your plate was not included in your Italian pizza fantasy life, you are in for the realest surprise of your spoiled little American life.


Photo via Flickr/Mary Porter

2. Dryers:

Hang drying your clothes:

  • 1-3 days to dry (depending if it’s humid out or not).
  • Infinite wrinkles and roughness.
  • Potentially smelling awful (again, depending if it’s humid our or not).
  • Saggy butt jeans.

Machine drying your clothes:

  • 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Smooth, soft, warm and ready to go.
  • No weird damp muggy cloth smell.
  • Nice and shapely tightened up jeans.



Photo via Flickr/Hege

3. Automatic cars:

It’s like non-Americans want to struggle, they want the pain and the anxiety. Or perhaps they just don’t want us to drive in their country…? Hmmm.


Photo via Flickr/Premium Transport

4. Ziploc bags:

There are far too many delicious oms and noms abroad to devour all in one day, but how can you properly preserve them with tasty freshness if all you have is some old school saran wrap? This dilemma may lead to bloating, as you will inevitably resolve to eat everything now.


Photo via Flickr/David Laferriere

5. Ice:

Prepare for room temperature. Room temperature will dictate your life, even though it will not cool you down on a balmy summer day. Not even a little.

ice water

Photo via Flickr/Angelica Labay

6. Iced coffee / Coffee to-go / Coffee that is bigger than your face:

It’s difficult to understand what is so difficult to understand about wanting coffee also when it’s hot out / also when you are late / also all day long. This depends on where you are traveling, because some places have adopted Starbucks, but for example, in Paris it’s like +5 euros for a grande (rude). So unless you’ve married a wealthy foreigner, me thinks not.

ice coffee

Photo via Flickr/micha richter

7. Wearing pajamas and/or sweats to the grocery store:

People will stare. Apparently Americans are the only one which find it appropriate to shop immediately after pretending to go to the gym.


Photo via Flickr/Michiel2005

8. Free public restrooms:

Restroom entrance fee ÷ hours left until you get home = math no one wants to do right now.

living abroad tips

Photo via Flickr/sharna11

9. Imperial / Standard system of measurement:

Feel free to ask locals for directions or how far something is if you want to afterwards have absolutely no idea where it is.

measuring tape

Photo via Flickr/James Jordan

10. Nana:

End of the day, Skype can only get you so far :-/

living abroad tips

Photo via Flickr/Carol Browne

What do you miss most when living abroad?

American by chance, but Roman by choice, Sarah is currently feeding her adventurous soul with expatriatism and pizza. Her finest moments are always on the wrong bus with a backpack and an upside down map, waiting to see what the world’s got for her next, so long as she can blog about it. She likes writing more than talking, dolphins more than humans, old movies more than new, and Rome more than anything else.



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