25 Things to Love About America (That Might Not Make Sense Unless You’ve Lived Overseas)

When living overseas, it’s very easy to quickly begin missing certain things about the good ol’ US of A. It’s not that other countries necessarily “get it wrong,” but rather that it’s different from what Americans are used to. Over time, we adjust to the host nation’s culture, and it becomes our new normal.

But really, we still kind of miss certain things.

I’ll add that there are plenty of things to love about living overseas (and you can read a post about that here).

For now, here are 25 things to love about America that might not make sense unless you’ve lived overseas. Please note that some of these may be specific to only one overseas location and not all of Europe or all countries.

  1. Being able to look straight ahead at a traffic light rather than straight up with your face hovering over the dashboard, your nose almost touching the windshield. Who knew your neck could bend that far?
  2. Paying for gas at the pump rather than walking into the gas station every time. Oh, and having affordable fuel!
  3. Being able to purchase coffee, gas, or liquor without searching for your ration card that you swear you have. Somewhere…
  4. Ice in drinks. Always. But especially when it’s hot outside.
  5. Free refills on drinks. Especially when it’s hot outside.
  6. Ordering a water at a restaurant and not having to pay for it or being specific about what type of water you want (you have to choose between still, sparkling, or tap).
  7. The wonderful invention of the garbage disposal. It’s scraping your food scraps/residue into your Bio (compost) bin, into the trash, or out of the sink drain.
  8. Central Air Conditioning. Every summer we miss it more and more.
  9. Stores and shopping malls remaining open past 8 p.m. and accessible even on Sundays.
  10. Weekly trash and recycling pick-up. In Germany, trash is picked up every two weeks and our recycling is once per month.
  11. Plastic bags readily available without having to buy a reusable one (though we should all try to not use plastic bags).
  12. Large grocery stores where everything is available in one place. Food, household items, and wine all in one stop? Don’t mind if I do.
  13. Businesses remaining open during lunch hours. It makes running errands on a lunch hour much easier.
  14. Free WiFi.
  15. Using a restroom without A.) having to pay for it or B). having to buy something in order to be considered a “patron” to use one.
  16. Light switches inside the room where you need them rather than outside of the room. Why is this not a universal thing?
  17. Locks on the handle of bathroom doors rather than requiring a physical key. Or worrying that a child will lock themselves in the bathroom (American knob locks are easy to pick open. Don’t ask me how I know that).
  18. Wider roads that leave room for two vehicles to pass one another at the same time without fear of side window touching.
  19. Turning right on red.
  20. Accessing TV shows or movie apps like Netflix without purchasing a VPN blocker.
  21. American Amazon’s two-day shipping.
  22. Numerous food delivery options.
  23. Freedom from the metric system. Seriously, I have no idea what 23 degrees Celsius even is without looking it up.
  24. Real closets. I mean, real closets
  25. Being understood everywhere you go. No second language skills required.

Are we missing something? Sound off in the comments and tell us what you missed the most about America!


About Sarah Peachey

Sarah Peachey is a journalist from southern Pennsylvania currently living in Europe. Previous adventures sent her to the Mid-Atlantic, Deep South and Southwest. She lives with her husband, three children, and one very spoiled Dachshund. She began a career in journalism with The Fort Polk Guardian, an Army installation newspaper, winning three state awards for her work. She has consulted for MilitaryOneClick (now known as MilSpouseFest) and contributed to Homefront United Network. She helped launch the site #MilitaryVotesMatter, providing up-to-date information important to service members, veterans, and their families in the 2016 election. She is currently the blog editor for Army Wife Network and writes as an experience contributor. When not writing for military spouse support sites, she writes about parenting, travel, books and politics on her website "Keep It Peachey." She has a passion for politics and fiery debate. She considers herself a bookworm, pianist, wine enthusiast and crossword addict.

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