July 8, 2017 was the day that I officially moved back to America after EIGHT years of living overseas. When the day finally came to pack up my things and say goodbye to Croatia, my home for two years, I had mixed emotions. For more on that topic read my “Onto the Next Adventure” post here.
I was very excited to finally have the chance to live with my husband, after being separated the first three months of our marriage, but I did know it would be an adjustment. Over the last eight years I have lived in four different countries (Albania, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and Croatia) and I have visited almost thirty others. So to go from a lifestyle of constant travel and exploration of new countries to living in a smaller military town in the U.S. was going to be a transition, but here are just a few things I am so happy to have access to once again:
- My family and friends. I grew up in Virginia before moving overseas and left behind my closest friends which was so difficult. And now I am only a few hours away from my second family and both of my brothers.
- Chick-fil-a. My husband actually brought it to the airport when he picked me up and I probably eat here once a week, if not more. (It’s a delicious addiction.)
- Target and Charlotte Russe. My two favorite stores. I was able to order from them online but it just isn’t the same rush of excitement as walking in and grabbing an armful of clothes to try on! Plus, Target has stepped up their home decor sections!
- Grocery store variety. I never knew what I was missing out on before I moved overseas for the first time and had limited choices in the grocery stores. We as Americans can sometimes take these choices for granted, like the dozen different types of cereal or the huge variety of snack foods. I also need to get myself a Costco membership in the future to buy items in bulk!
- Amazon packages showing up when they should. Obviously packages take forever to arrive when you’re in another country so the first time I ordered from Amazon and it actually arrived at my house in two days, I was so excited!
Among those things that I missed the most also came the higher bills and all the adulting that comes with paying them. But this past year has also taught me so much about myself and I am thankful for the friends I have met during my time here and the new cities I have been able to explore in my new home state of North Carolina. I am so grateful and happy to be living stateside with my husband and to be back in the greatest country of all time. I’m looking forward to all the trips I have planned to explore this beautiful country of ours and also can’t wait for the chance to explore other countries in the future!
Cheers to a great first year back, America!