My husband and I recently took our four year old little girl to Disney World. It was a jam-packed incredibly exciting week filled with activities galore. We had everything perfectly scheduled and even planned for our last day to be spent at the mall to get several of the things we are unable to find here on island (e.g. indestructible dog toys, fancy shampoo, shoes that fit my daughter, etc.). We were so exhausted, though, from the five days prior that we had absolutely no energy to get to the mall, especially as we realized it was the last Saturday before Christmas.
So the shopping idea was scrapped, and here I am today without my nice shampoo and without a new toy for my crazy-chewing-destroys-all-other-toys dog. I spent all day yesterday compiling a shopping list, looking for direct flights to nearby cities (aka any place with a mall), and strategizing how to get all the items back in my luggage and through customs. Now I’m really feeling regret for having not gone shopping when we had the chance.
Oh, island living, how I
hate love you. The convenience of running out to the store to buy the item I need at that exact moment I need it no longer exists for me, so I have to plan and plan, and schedule my shopping around trips either already arranged or newly created exclusive shopping trips (which essentially just means I have to spend money to spend money…lovely). Ree is in Toronto as we speak on a shopping trip.
So here I am angry with myself for not getting it done when we were at Disney and realizing the price tag for trying to get to Miami. The flights alone make me want to cry. I find it entertaining at the end of every trip when the flight attendants on AA say, “Thank you for choosing American Airlines. We know you have a choice in which carrier to use…” I’m always tempted to ask them, “Could you please stop saying that? It’s, actually, not true at all.” And then go off on a crying tangent that they are the only airline that travels to Miami and they are incredibly overpriced!
I have, however, finished my shopping list and, unfortunately, it did make me a little home sick. No. You’re right, more like mall sick. So I wondered if you might take a stroll with me on my sad journey reminiscing about the things we cannot get here (or worse, pay way too much for).
fashion & home
- Lovely accessories that make each outfit unique.
- Fashion trends, which I’d be lucky if I could get to a store in time to try.
- Oh, how I love pretty stationery!
- Seasonal throw pillows, intricate lamps, antique frames…sigh.
- Pretty office supplies, who doesn’t love the Container Store?
- Delicate undies. I might even settle for granny panties if I could get them on island.
- Any size, any fit, any brand of jeans and, I can’t forget t-shirts.
- This is what 8 years of renting will do to you, you dream about painted walls!
- Starbucks, starbucks, starbucks!
- Healthy breakfast on the go.
- Artisanal cheeses.
- Skim milk. Nope, you won’t find that here.
- I once purchased a $20 bag of cherries, which I haven’t seen at the stores since.
- This one’s for my daughter. No teddy grahams, no graham crackers, poor child.
- You’ll almost always find strawberries, but you’ll almost always pay $10 for a small carton.
- For all the Canadians out there, this one is a special shout-out from Ree.
- Sweet lord, there’s no sweet corn!
- Take-out Chinese! Sorry, I meant good take-out Chinese.
- A bagel! Any kind of bagel with any kind of cream cheese. I miss NY!
and just a few more…
- Farmer’s markets, but I’d take unlimited supply too. Lesson learned, never plan a meal around produce. It’s better to create the meal after you’ve discovered there are no more tomatoes on the island.
- I sincerely miss a warm and toasty Champagne Sunday brunch.
- Fresh flowers.
Alright, now that that’s done, I’m all good. Pity party is over. Off to schedule my shopping trip. Next time you’re at Starbucks, would you mind sending me a picture of your coffee? I’ll just live vicariously through you!
Are you an expat? What do you miss most from your home country?