Sunday, January 6, 2013

Things I Miss About Europe

Six months ago, when we moved back to the United States, after being in Europe for three and a half years, I thought, "Well, I don't miss it yet, so we'll see how I feel about missing Europe in six months."  Well, the six month mark is almost here (in three days) and I can say I feel a bit differently now then I did when we first got back.  Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to be back in the States. I love being so close to my friends and family and there are lots of things that I really do prefer about living in the US. However, there are a few things I also miss about living in Europe.

1. The travel opportunities. Honestly, this is what I miss the most. I miss planning our next adventure, researching the heck out of where we were going to go, getting food and hotel recommendations and just enjoying a new place.  There's nothing like saying, "Hey let's go to Slovenia for the weekend. Or hey, let's go to Spain over the next four day." I can't do that here. And yes, there are TONS of places I still want to see in the United States, but I really miss the ease of traveling to another country, whenever I want.  I'm a bit of a green-eyed monster when I see status updates/Instagram pics of friends' adventures.

2. The food.  Fillet of horse covered in a balsamic reduction, packets of pasta with pear inside covered with a cream sauce, warm, perfectly cooked risotto with fresh mushrooms, creamy pesto, deliciously cured meats with a bread basket and glass of white wine at my favorite vineyard. Ugh! The thought tortures me. I am grateful that I'm finally back in the land of delicious Tex-Mex though. Big plus for the US on that front.

3. The milk. Ok, that might sound weird, but Italy has the best, most convenient raw milk stands that cost next to nothing. The milk is so creamy, fattening and good. It makes my mouth water just thinking of it. Raw milk here is so expensive that I haven't even considered buying any.

4. The experiences. Carnevale in Venice, watching British Parliament in session, seeing a play at the Globe theater, watching opera in a Roman coliseum, eating Laduree macarons while strolling the Champs Elysees, watching flamenco in Seville. I could go on and on. There was a lot that I did get to experience, but there are so many other places and experiences that are on my list, that I'm a bit sad I haven't got to mark them off yet.

5. My friends. Granted two of them are in the States and one of them is temporarily in the States while her husband is deployed. So..all of my good friends from Italy are in the States. Minus my Italian friends, of course.  I was lucky to meet some of the girls that I did and hopefully we'll be friends from now on.

6. The purses. Oh how I miss Nicoli! That's where I got my purses while we were there and they were beautiful. Real leather in beautiful colors and well-made for a good price.  I stocked up before we left, I think I have about six purses, but I sure do miss going to the factory and picking out my next purchase.

Let me also say there's a lot I don't miss about living in Italy. I don't miss our apartment, I have a nice, big house with a yard here in Oklahoma and I love that. I don't miss outrageous gas prices, our post (although I do miss the library) and I don't miss our neighbors, who for the most part weren't very friendly to us.

Sean and I have actually discussed in the future, if we have the money that is, that we'd like to have a second home somewhere in Europe and then would split our time between a home in the US and a home in Europe. My ideal locations would be somewhere in Slovenia, somewhere near Salzburg, Austria or somewhere in France, maybe even somewhere in Spain near Seville.