After spending nine months traveling the world, there are many things that you begin to appreciate about your homeland. It took me going to the other side of the world to learn to not take the little things for granted. I hope this blog serves as a reminder of just how blessed we are here in the United States.


1. You can flush toilet paper.

In some Central and South American countries, you can't flush toilet paper because their plumbing is not strong enough to handle it.


2. Utensils.

In most Asian countries you use your hands to eat almost everything—try eating ice cream without a spoon! Luckily at restaurants, most of the locals felt bad for us and would find us utensils anyways.


3. Automatic washing machines and dryers.

Ever heard of hand washing or sun dried? I have used everything from my hands, a washing board and a semi automatic machine while overseas.


4. Air conditioners and heaters.

I think this deserves an Amen! Not once have I had air conditioning or heat while living abroad. You mean a fire or a fan?


5. Having a car(s).

While internationally, there are people that have cars, the majority don't. I spent many days walking countless miles or catching a ride on the public transportation to get where I needed to go. The ability to take ourselves anywhere we want on our own time is something we often overlook.


6. Freedom of religion.

The ability to choose what you believe in and not have a government ruling over it: I think that speaks for itself.


7. Accessibility to fruits and vegetables.

Many times while I was gone we experienced lack of nutrition. We could rarely find good fruits or vegetables in excess while abroad. One day they may be in the store, then the next day impossible to find. Not to mention they are often times very expensive to the locals.


8. Unlimited water usage.

Talk about bucket showers, half flushing the toilets and dirty sink water. Not to mention free water from the tap any time we are thirsty!


9. Stoves, ovens, microwaves, etc.

Make a few trips in the African desert to collect firewood to cook with and you'll appreciate those.


10. Having the world at your fingertips.

In America we have the accessibility to things, people and information all over the world in an instant. Want to hang out with your friend in another town? Text them. You forgot what the name of that movie is? Google it. Some people abroad are not even as fortunate to know what is going on around them in their own town or even to have the abilities to find out.


While there are so many more things I could put on this list and none of these are necessities, they are things to be thankful for. We often times forget what we have until we don't have it any more. Every breath and every step is something in and of itself to be thankful for and many of these things go beyond even that!