It’s incredible how many people ask me the same two questions (or variations of the same questions) over and over again:
What do you miss about America?
What do you like about New Zealand?
I have really had to think about these two things. They are actually not as simple as you would think. At first it was actually just silly things but now I actually have compiled quite the list of things from both sides that I love about both places that I’ve had the opportunity to miss because I didn’t have it when I lived overseas. I bet I’ll still leave something out but here goes nothing!
Oh, America… what I miss about you.
I miss my family (here they are just a few weeks ago – my dad has learned to send me pictures from his phone). I also miss my cat who Josh and I thought we’d be able to get over to New Zealand way before now.
I also miss my friends like crazy. I haven’t really made any friends in New Zealand yet.
I miss my gym. Gyms in New Zealand are super expensive probably because it’s so beautiful outside and easy to be active outdoors.
I miss how cheap clothes are in America. I tried to buy some clothes for my new job a few weeks ago and all I wanted was a damn Old Navy or a Kohls so I could raid the clearance rack and walk out with a bag full of clothes – not 2 items.
I miss stores being open all the time. Why does the mall close at 5? Nothing is open on Sunday? What the heck? I actually have to PLAN my trips in to town?
Cheap takeout food and cheap food in general. Hey, I’m being honest. Sometimes I just want to get a cheeseburger or a milkshake from the dollar menu. I’m not proud of it but it’s the truth. There’s no such thing as the dollar menu here.
Four seasons. Trees changing color in the fall. I just am not seeing four distinct seasons here – although I don’t think I’ll really miss not having to shovel snow.
Central heating. Sure, maybe it’s something I don’t really NEED and maybe it’s also because my father ran a central heating business all my life but sometimes a space heater or a fire just doesn’t cut it when I’m REALLY COLD. I’m sure I’ll get used to it but I still don’t have fire building skills yet so it’s a good thing Josh does or I’d freeze to death.
Free Wifi in tons of places. The only place that has free WiFi is McDonalds which to me is kind of weird because they don’t in America.
Having fast internet – and not having a cap on my internet each month.
Oh, New Zealand… what I love about you.
New Zealand is beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous.
There is no pollution that I’ve ever seen here.
People care more about the environment. They recycle. They walk places and use public transport or carpool or hitch.
The food is healthier.
It costs more to purchase takeout food. Yes, I said I missed this from America but it’s also something that I like about New Zealand because it forces me to eat healthier and Josh and I love to cook. I think that overall it is a good thing.
There is no high fructose corn syrup and food, overall, is less processed.
People are generally in less of a hurry and are nicer and more genuine.
There is a more awesome variety of ethnic foods here that wouldn’t be found in America and such foods can be bought in supermarkets.
There are way less people.
Public healthcare. Sure, every system its flaws but I think it’s awesome after not having very good luck with America’s healthcare system.
People are “forced” to recycle because you have to pay to get your garbage picked up but you don’t have to pay for recycling so the less you need to pay to get picked up, the better.
I love that these is less traffic even though I have had to get used to driving on the other side of the road. I also like that people have less road rage – or none at all, really.
Small mom and pop shops around town that aren’t driven out by huge businesses yet. They’re getting rarer and rarer in America these days. All the coffee shops driven out by Starbucks. No more bookshops because there are Barnes and Nobles. The list goes on. Here, there are plenty of little shops all over the place of all different kinds! I love it!
I like hanging up my laundry.
I can actually see the stars.
I love all the awesome birds, especially wekas.