Things I Forgot I Missed From The USA

You know, after being in Spain 21 months, you just get used to your surroundings.  Eventually, what you used to have in your everyday life fades ever so slightly and sometimes you just forget about things and some things you will remember forever.  It often takes some sort of trigger to bring the thoughts and emotions out of the old files and into the forefront.

Family Time Utah June 2014 I really Missed From The USA

Earlier this month, I had a quick last-minute trip to Utah, USA.  Within a couple of days of hearing the sad news of my aunt passing, I was on my long 24 hour journey to the west side of the USA.  With a total of 2 flights I landed in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I just had one more flight to Las Vegas, Nevada and a 2 hour car ride to go and I would be in Saint George, Utah with my family.  From the moment I stepped off of the plane, I began to notice things.  Things that I had forgotten about and now seeing them, I realized I missed.

What’s The First Thing I Noticed I Missed From The USA?

Right out off of the plane in Salt Lake City, it was strange to be around so many people “just my size”.  I mean really, it was a Goldilocks moment for sure.  I don’t remember the last time I just felt like I fit in.  There were tall people, blonde people (I used to be) and heavy people.  It was also a very strange sensation to hear English everywhere.  But I have to say there were a few items that really had me smiling.  These are things that I had way back in the memory storage files of my mind.

Too Much Info

I was on my to visit the restroom and the water fountain, with cold water, caught my eye.  I was compelled to fill up my water bottle in the special spout, to do that very thing.  Oh how I miss cold fresh water at the ready.  Whooohoooo!

Then I step into the restroom and entered the stall.  I  looked in and it was all clean and  when I looked up on the wall, I actually giggled with excitement.  It was toilet seat covers!

Missed from USA (1) Seat covers missed from USA

Wow, what a real treat.  After my little tinkle time, I exit the stall to find a container with soap and hot water to boot.  Oh but that isn’t all, oh no.  This brief moment of decadent restroom reminiscing wasn’t over yet.  You see, they actually had paper towels and a blow dryer to dry my hands!

Paper towels Missed from USA

I kid you not, I washed and dried my hands two times and it felt so good.  Don’t get me wrong, Spain isn’t in the dark ages, but these things aren’t readily available everywhere you go.  You do need to come prepared and carry tissue around, just in case the public restroom is out of toilet paper.  I will also admit, I have become very accustomed to clapping my hands dry, followed with a final wipe on my clothes.

I know what you are thinking, I am thinking it too.  They won’t have all of this in SE Asia, so don’t get used to it Heidi!  In fact, it will be far more rustic than Spain, and I am well aware of that.  Oh, but I sure was enjoying the moment.  I didn’t even rush to my gate.

The Best Moments I Missed From The USA

The week was full of these special moments and I am certain my sister Karen was over my “Oh my goodness.  Oh, I missed this!” moments, after the 100th time.  She and I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a couple of things for the family dinner and I just stopped when I entered the store.  Everything was gigantic, monster size and in your face.

While this was overwhelming and exciting, it was a clear sign that we were in America. The land of super size, excess and big people.  Hmmmm, I wonder if it all goes together?  As we walked through the store I spotted Hostess cupcakes, Dr. Pepper and many other yummy, bad for you processed foods.  Oh it was good, bad, and sad all at the same time.  I did show quite a bit of restraint and I didn’t purchase anything, this trip.

The Food!

When we arrived back to my sister Karen’s house.  She had San Francisco salami and sourdough bread and dill pickles waiting for me.  I didn’t even remember I missed sourdough bread and salami.  In fact, she texted me while I was in Salt Lake on my layover and asked what I wanted from the store.  These items never would have entered my mind and I couldn’t really think of anything to tell her.  I am so glad she knows me better than I do, because oh man was it good!  I had a salami sandwich every single day I was there.

Another must have for me was In-N-Out Burger.  We went one day for lunch and it was super yummy!  I had forgotten what it was like to be able to refill your soft drinks too.  Oh the little things were so fun, but again now I know why I am big.  I like the value in cheap food and free refills and ignore the fact that it is all excess food and calories.  It is all about the deal, those places sure have their marketing right for making us want more.

Of course there were many more special moments of “oh, I miss that”, but over all I guess I didn’t really miss it all that much.  I had actually forgotten about many things.  It was nice to indulge a little and get a “fix” only to find, I was fine without it.

One “fix” I did get that I can never get enough of and it is not anything I had forgotten, my families love and attention.  Oh, it brings tears to my eyes and pains in my stomach and heart how much I miss all of them.  It was pure bliss to just hang out and “be” with them. No vacation, no tours, just normal hang out and chill / chit-chat time.  We really did have the best time visiting, catching up and bonding.  We explored the beautiful sites of Southwest Utah and honored my aunt with time in nature, as she loved it so.  Zion National Park and Snow Canyon State Park were two close destinations.  We also sent balloons and notes to her up in the sky.

As I left my family and headed back home to my little family, it was bittersweet.  I don’t know when I will see them all again, as we are going further away to Asia.  Perhaps they will come visit, but for now I am thankful for technology keeping us close.  I am so glad we can video chat, email, text etc. Without that, this would be all the more painful.  We are really looking forward to our time in Asia and I am sure we are in for more culture shock than we know.

Do me a favor, take the time to appreciate those little things every day.

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About Heidi

Heidi has a passion for travel and has been exploring the world with her husband and 2 kids, since August 2012. She's visited more than 50 countries and loves to write about their family adventures, mishaps and costs. She has been an inspiration to others wanting to live their dreams. Her travel tips, planning posts, cost breakdowns, accommodation, and product reviews are also very popular. Her current home base is in Spain. Any post on this site may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, there is no extra cost for you and we may receive a commission.

20 thoughts on “Things I Forgot I Missed From The USA

  1. Toilet seat covers? Really? I think I’ve seen them maybe 3 or 4 times in my whole life. I don’t think it was in the States though, I’m thinking aeroplanes. Not something we have in the UK either.

    • I know a bit crazy. The are in most areas in the US, at least where I lived. There surely aren’t any in Asia. Not even a seat. Ha!

  2. Wherever you are, you’re missing out on something somewhere else.

    I have noticed that when I am in America, I bitch and complain about things I hate about America. When I am away, I talk about all the things I miss. My wife says I always remember the good and forget the bad.

    • Clark, I think we all remember the good and slowly forget the bad (most of the time). I can’t wait for the food in Asia though. Just a few more weeks.

  3. It’s amazing what you miss from home, isn’t it? I used to miss fish n chips (which I almost never have now I am back home) & real milk (you know pasteurised not uht)! Stupid things, little things… These days I miss walking into Padilla and knowing where everything is instead of hunting down massive long aisles to find one kind of cereal!

    • The grass is always green somewhere else, right Sammi? Ha! I am certain we will miss things from Spain, which we may not even be aware of yet. My guess is, we will miss freshly baked bread from the bakery every day. I don’t think Asia i a big bread place. It was so great to have some of the missed things back in the states. I certainly don’t miss any of the food enough to end our travels though. 🙂

  4. Love St George, what a great area! And you made it to Zion National Park! 🙂 Lovely. Funny the things we miss. When I lived in Ireland, I missed being able to buy a LARGE bag of tortilla chips. Because I needed them. LOL

  5. I kind of know what you mean about the small things! I’ve been in Germany a couple times, each for 3 months, and two of my favorite things coming back to the US were free and clean toilets and free water. Those really become very important! I also took advantage of eating some fast food guilt-free but realized it was just wrong! I’ve never really been into it, and I think I just wanted it because it was American and part of home. Anyway, enjoy your travels!

  6. I really missed wide parking spots when I lived in Australia. And shopping for groceries past 5pm!

    • Oh Michael, I do miss the parking spots and wide streets too. We can grocery shop until 9:30 pm, but it would be nice to be open on Sundays! Thanks for the comment.

  7. You bet Ryan. Thanks for stopping by. Yes family and food are what trigger those emotions and memories. Wonderful!

    When are you heading back to NJ? Have fun when you do.

  8. I smile constantly of our family get together. I just loved giving you hugs and didn’t want to let go of you. I’m so grateful Judy, sandy lou and Steven took the time from their busy schedules to be with us…I adore them so much and the highlight was welcoming chynna and jeff into our family officially! Love and miss you all so much and can’t wait to go to SEA to be with you all and with sandi lou.

  9. Oh man Chuck, I sure could go for Rubios and oh! Chipotle too? yum. We are looking forward to SEA. Of course i miss a clothes dryer a little too, but not so much.

  10. I am with you on the bathrooms. And drinking fountains! It was crazy to me that even most airports don’t have fountains.

    I think the biggest delight for me in being back is quick-serve food that’s NOT McDonald’s. Chipotle, Rubio’s, etc. It’s nice to be able to eat in 30 minutes or less.

    You should be ok on the food variety in SE Asia. We had WAY more variety in Chiang Mai than in Almunecar.

  11. Thanks, Heidi. This posting brought back memories of a lovely trip. We all had such a special time together in Utah. Hope we don’t have to wait so long to see you again, but thank goodness for the Internet and being able to follow along on your adventures. Looking forward to reading about your future travels. Love to you Alan, Lars & Anya!!

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