- Anyone who’s lived in another country knows what it’s like to miss products that are only available in your home country.
- I’m American, and two years ago I moved to the United Kingdom to live with my British partner.
- Here are some of the American products I miss the most while living in the UK.
Anyone who’s lived in another country knows what it’s like to miss products that are only available in your home country.
That’s what I’m experiencing now. I’m American, and two years ago I moved to the United Kingdom to live with my British partner full time.
I’d spent plenty of time in England before I moved there, so I was familiar with the country’s culture, its landscape, and even its grocery stores. The first few times around, there was nothing from the States I missed too much, especially because I knew I’d soon be going back to my New York City apartment and anything I wanted would soon be readily available again.
However, now that I’ve lived in England for two years, there are some American products that I get seriously nostalgic for — snacks, toiletries, even medicine you can only get in America. Sure, I could have friends and family still in the US send some over, but it’s not quite the same as before.
Here are some of the American products I miss the most while living in the UK.
Bounce fabric softener sheets
America is pretty big on tumble dryers, and while they do exist here, they’re much less popular than they are stateside. Instead, the UK tends to opt for washer/dryer combos that utilize steam to (somewhat inefficiently) dry your clothes, or they use clothes horses to hang out damp goods and wait — sometimes even for days — for items to dry naturally.
It’s a bit of a pain, to be honest. Back in New York, I used to throw in a couple of sheets of Bounce fabric softener into the dryer with my wet clothes and voila! Thirty minutes or so later, they’d be dry and static-free. Not so much the case over here.
Little Debbie snack cakes
Talk to any American expat living abroad and they’ll likely tell you they miss Little Debbies, even if they didn’t even really eat them while living in the US. Perhaps it’s purely a nostalgic thing, but the absence of those little delicious snack cakes — Swiss Rolls, Nutty Bars, Oatmeal Cream Pies, and Zebra Cakes, in particular — makes me probably a little sadder than it should.
Julio Cortez/Getty Images
Aleve, the brand name for the pain reliever naproxen sodium, is readily available over the counter in pretty much every American pharmacy. It’s saved my bacon on multiple occasions, like when I had to wait several days for a root canal and when I threw my back out.
However, in the UK, it’s only available by prescription. While I don’t often take painkillers and save them for emergency purposes only, this is why whenever I go back to the States for a visit, I always stock up just in case.
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