3 Things We Should Appreciate More

appreciating lifeI’ve been living in the States again for a little more than a week now after 2+ years abroad.

I’ve found myself both amazed and shocked at the people around me who have become accustomed to living here in America. I’m sure in no time I’ll get used to things here too, but until then, I’m enjoying the perspective that a little bit of culture shock brings.

Here are a few things I’m feeling particularly thankful for that might seem normal to you.

1. Lots of Choices at the Grocery

I really missed being able to purchase nice, organic chicken and a slew of other products that are widely available in the States and unavailable in the Caribbean where I was living. For the last few years, the choices where I lived were dismal, and once I brought local chicken home only to find it was rotten. It wasn’t all bad in Grenada, and they had amazing local fruit, but I’m really enjoying the choices here.

Also, food is incredibly inexpensive in the States compared to the Caribbean where most things have to be imported. I was so astonished at how cheap the deli meat is in the States. We’re so lucky to have so many options and have them be affordable too!

2. Safe Roads to Drive On and Safe Cars to Drive In

In the Caribbean the roads were constantly crazy. If we weren’t avoiding potholes, we were dodging goats and chickens. I know there are hazards here in the States too but for the most part the motorways are very developed. I would often pass friends on the way to work in Grenada who had flat tires, and everyone’s cars were completely falling apart. There’s also a lot of people on motorcycles without helmets zooming in and out of traffic. Again, I know we have these things in the States, but the roads here look nothing like they do in the Caribbean.

My husband and I kept pointing out nice car after nice car during our first few days back in America. People think they have to turn their cars in as soon as they reach 100k miles, but everyone in the Caribbean just drove their cars until they were 25+ years old. I think we learned a lot of important lessons about what we can live with, and I think we’re going to hang on to my 177k+ mile car just a bit longer.

3. Low Interest Rates

There are not that many banks in Grenada, and it’s not uncommon to have a car loan that’s 10% or more. I never got one of course but many others had no other choice because they made the decision to live on the island for a while and they had very limited finnacing options. Even though people complain about interest rates, etc. in the States, we’re fortunate because we do have the ability to borrow money at decent rates (provided our credit is okay.) It’s not something we think about often, but for those who need it and won’t abuse it, it’s nice to have the option.

What are you appreciating more these days?