Confessions from an American Expat Living in Germany: 12 Things I Miss About the U.S.A.


A lot of people ask me what I miss about the U.S. and while I occasionally miss something here or there, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what I miss. I spend much more time focused on what I enjoy about my new life in Germany (see this post for the things I love in Germany). In any case, I thought it might be a good idea for me to make a list. I can add all of these things to my to- do list the next time I visit the U.S. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here it goes:

  1. Target: ย Yes, the big-box store. I know it sounds silly, but the prices are decent and the products are diverse. I mean, what’s not to love about a place where you can pick up yoga pants, Laneige skin care products, wine, and some new home decor?
  2. Air Conditioning: The summer months are tough. We live on the 4th floor in an apartment with very little circulation so I’ve had more than a few very hot and sleepless nights.
  3. Nail Salons: Where I come from, I’m used to big nail salons where you can just walk right in at your convenience and get a mani and/or pedi quickly and cheaply. Here? Not so much. There’s normally only one or two people working so appointments are necessary and it’s much more time-consuming and expensive.
  4. TV: I have Amazon Prime (U.S. and German) and iTunes, but paying for full seasons of American TV shows is pricey! I normally pay $3 per episode or $15-$25 per season. But it sure beats the alternative, which is CNN International or the BBC which repeat the same news on an endless cycle.
  5. Grocery Delivery: Okay, you may have read this title and just think I’m a lazy girl. I am a bit lazy, but grocery delivery really is the best. In Chicago, I was a loyal Instacart customer. If you don’t have a car and you need lots of things, it definitely beats walking with very heavy bags. Especially in the snow.
  6. Mexican Food: Chicago is known to have some of the best Mexican and Mexican-American cuisine so I suppose I was spoiled before, but OMG I miss it! I’ve tried several Mexican restaurants in here in Stuttgart and most of them have been pretty bad. There is one good one, El Mero Mexicano, but unfortunately it’s a bit out of the way for us. Instead, we now make our own Mexican food. When there is a will, there is a way.
  7. Cheddar Cheese: Germans are crazy about Gouda, Emmentaler (Swiss cheese), Muenster, and a whole host of other fancy cheeses, but it’s still tough to track down cheddar. I have come across a Kerrygold cheddar and buy it whenever I see it because I don’t know when I’ll come across it again. Big thanks to the Irish!
  8. Free Water at Restaurants: As crazy as Germans are about recycling, I find it odd that you’re basically forced to purchase a glass bottle of water at a restaurant. The water here is certainly drinkable so I’m not sure why water from the tap isn’t an option.
  9. Taxis / Uber: Sure, Stuttgart isn’t as big as Chicago and has excellent public transportation, but sometimes you just want to hail a taxi cab or call an Uber. Or, better yet, order lunch/dinner with UberEats.
  10. Elevators: We live on the 4th floor with no elevator. Need I say more? ๐Ÿ™‚
  11. Dryers: When I moved here, we had only a washing machine and had to hang all of our clothes to dry so our second bedroom became the “drying room.” After much nagging on my part, we purchased a machine that washes and dries, but it takes FOUR or FIVE hours to complete one load!
  12. American Junk Food: Cheetos, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Twinkies, Tostitos Salsa con Queso, French Onion Dip, Cheez-its, and the list goes on and on and on. I don’t eat any of these things on the regular, but it would be nice to have the option. ๐Ÿ™‚

Are you an American expat living abroad? I’d love to hear what you miss about the United States, and also what you love about your new homeland!

21 thoughts on “Confessions from an American Expat Living in Germany: 12 Things I Miss About the U.S.A.

  1. That’s funny, I’m a European in the US, and I can appreciate why you are missing these things as I enjoy them a lot! Especially the dryer! At first I thought it was crazy to use it all the time because I never did growing up, but I don’t question it anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I clicked your post, the first item that popped to me was ‘Target’! I miss Target!!! Immensely! I’m a US expat living in Doha, Qatar, and when we go back in the summer, that’s my first stop!
    I have written a post on my blog about getting back after vacations (expat version), if you fancy a read!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. YEAH, I MISS TARGET AND MEXICAN FOOD PROBABLY MOSTLY! Isn’t it a shame that there are no good Mexican restaurants anywhere that don’t leave you broke? This is Europe-wide. At home we have perfected our beer battered fish tacos and luckily can order chipotle chilis on line so, DYI for the win. It’s amazing how nostalgia can be so inspiring ๐Ÿ™‚ Saludos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww…thanks so much! I’m a big fan of your blog so it means a lot! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have heard rumors of Rewe delivery, but have yet to try it. How nice that they delivered your missing item on the same day! Someone just recommended for grocery delivery, but I also haven’t tried it but do know they deliver via DHL for free on orders of โ‚ฌ40 or more. Now that winter is coming, I’m sure I’ll try both of these options!!


  4. I ran into your blog while looking for expat Thanksgiving in or near Hannover. I too am from Chicago and have been here four and a half years. Target is on the top of my list as well. Dr Pepper, RC Cola and quality peanut butter are definitely on the list… But the thing I miss the most. The one thing I must do within an hour of landing at O’Hare is find a hole in the wall with a Vienna Beef sign and order a beef, dipped with no peppers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Iโ€™ve lived in England for nearly 4 years, and the most unexpected thing I miss is kraft mac and cheese! There is just nothing even remotely comparable to fill my orange powder cheese needs!

    Liked by 1 person

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