1. Peanut butter isn't a thing.
Before considering moving abroad, know this: Europeans do not appreciate peanut butter like Americans do (the way peanut butter deserves to be appreciated). It is nearly impossible to find, and if you do find it, it will be in a jar slightly bigger than a golf ball and cost more than your entire grocery list combined. Europe does a lot of things right, but the lack of peanut butter love is a flaw that needs some serious attention.
2. Bathrooms are always a mystery.
Will there be a toilet seat? Will there be toilet paper? Soap? Do you flush with a pedal or a string hanging from the ceiling? Prepare to spend the majority of your time figuring out how to turn on the sink.
3. Nothing is free.
Gone is the luxury of free water in restaurants and public water fountains, free access to bathrooms, and free refills. Ordering water is about as expensive as ordering beer, you will probably pay at least 50 cents to pee, and you will pay for every glass of Coke you ask for.
4. You're going to miss the Melting Pot
There are many things to admire about Europe, but there are also many things you’re going to miss about the States — mainly, convenience and food diversity. Twenty-four hour access to anything your little heart desires is not a thing across the pond. You can’t hop in a car at 2am when you decide you want some Ben and Jerry’s because everything closes at 8pm. You can’t have a margarita with your pizza or sangria with your Chinese. Even more, depending on where you are, food diversity may be pretty rare — you might have to leave Italy if you want something other than Italian.
5. But there will always be a little bit of home everywhere you go.
It’s amazing how many American products are sold around the world. When you’re feeling homesick, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find some Coke and Pringles at your local grocery store. Walking down the street you will hear American music and see American movies advertised in theaters. It isn’t hard to get your American fix when you need it.
6. Instant foods are hard to find.
Cookie dough, brownie mix, and frozen pizza are hard to come by. One-step cooking is a luxury pretty secluded to the States.
7. Food with origins outside of the States is very different from the American version.
For example, Italian food in the States is not Italian food — it’s Italian-American food. Pizza in Italy is very different from pizza in New York. Spaghetti and meatballs isn’t a thing in Italy, nor is pepperoni or chicken parmesan. Italian food is incredible, but it is nothing like it is in the States.
8. They use the 24-hour clock.
Most countries in Europe use the 24-hour clock. Business hours and transportation schedules are almost always written in 24-hour time. Though far more practical, it takes some getting used to making dinner plans for 19:30.