Live an adventurous life of work + travel

8 things I love that you can only find in USA

8 things I love that you can only find in USA

There are so many benefits of living in USA that Americans take for granted.

As an Australian who has recently made the move across the Pacific, I have been exposed to a number of things that make me squeal in delight. The benefits of being a temporary United-Statesian are consistently brought up in conversation when I Skype my family back home.

Of course, every country has its pros and cons, but I have to say the United States really has a lot going for it. Here are a few things I love that you can only find in USA.


Bagels

1. Bagels

Bagels. Perfectly simple, carb-heavy, toasted deliciousness. Honestly, you have no idea how great it is to be able to find bagels everywhere, and for them to cost less than $2.

If I wanted a bagel back in Sydney, I’d first have to search the entire city for a specialty store that sells them, and then I’d probably pay over $7 for it. No joke.

Cold brew coffee

2. Cold brew coffee

How did I not know about cold brew before now! This stuff is liquid gold. It’s no secret that I’m a coffee fanatic, but we all know how unappealing it is to drink a hot beverage in the sweaty summer months. The answer? Coffee brewed in cold water overnight, and served over ice.

It tastes just as good as regular coffee but conveniently cools you down at the same time. I’m a convert, never again will I drink hot coffee in summer.

3. Fast internet

This sounds like something that every first world country should have, but believe me, Australia does not. Our previous government’s effort to install a National Broadband Network for slightly faster internet was thwarted, upsetting just about every Gen Y and Millennial in the country.

Living in USA, where the internet is as fast as it should be in this day and age, is beyond amazing for someone who has been residing in a country way behind the times.

Cheap flights

4. Cheap flights

There’s so much competition between airlines in USA that the cost of flights is actually accessible to the average person. If you book far enough in advance, you can get basically anywhere in the country for under $150. And if you want to go international, it’s only a tad more!

Back in Australia, you’re bound to spend way too much for only a short flight as there are only a precious few airlines to choose from. The one reason I have never seen Uluru is because it’s a minimum $250 flight, one way, from most of the major cities in Australia. Insane, I know.

Milk Duds

5. Superior candy choices

Head to the candy section of any US supermarket and you’re met with so much candy that you’ll have no idea where to start (and probably just end up purchasing one of everything). Milk duds are my fave, and yes, I did devour the remainder of this packet once I’d taken the photo.

6. online ordering

You mean you can order anything online and receive it in 1-2 days? To an Australian, this convenience is incredible. First of all, we would normally drive to a store to buy something, and then cart it home in our excessively oversized car. Here, you don’t even need to lift a finger except to type what you want into the search field and click ‘order’. We’re living in the future.

Mexican food

7. Healthy food

You heard it right. Along with all the disgustingly unhealthy chain stores, there’s a huge movement towards healthy food here that you just don’t see anywhere else.

Getting organic vegetables or preservative free foods in Australia requires you to do a fair amount of research and a long drive across town to the only store that sells such things. Here in USA, there’s literally an entire chain grocery store (Whole Foods) that sells healthy stuff only, and even the local grocery stores have huge sections for vegan, organic, and non-GM foods.

8. CHEAP ONLINE SUBSCRIPTIONS

Netflix, Spotify, everything you think is fairly cheap and can accessible is not so in Australia. Here in USA it costs about 1/3 less, and the selection of music/movies is so much bigger. It’s really no wonder Australians are some of the biggest illegal downloaders, when there’s hardly anything decent we can actually pay for.


You might also like:

Ashlea Wheeler

This post was written by Ashlea, a colourfully clothed and excitable vegetarian who loves photography and exploring the world. Find out more about me.

28 Responses to “8 things I love that you can only find in USA”

  1. Katie MacLeod

    I love the convenience of things here (and I love Whole Foods) but I have to say that as Brit, I’m not the biggest fan of American candy. Plus, I think living in Europe has also spoiled me for cheap flights. But the alternative is you can drive just about anywhere here, I suppose 🙂

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      That is correct, Europe definitely has some great flight specials! I guess I never really think about flying around Europe because every time I’ve travelled around there I’ve taken buses and trains instead 😛

      I think the candy here can be a hit and miss! There are some things I look at and think ‘Why oh why would you combine those two flavours!’ and there are other things (like my beloved milk duds) that I can’t get enough of. I guess the best thing about it is that you have choice, so there’s always going to be something for everyone.

      Reply
  2. Henry

    So what would be the opposite of this? 8 things you can only find in Australia? And I mean good things 😉

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Oh don’t worry, I’m definitely planning on doing a ‘things I love/miss about Australia’ post somewhere down the line! Probably once I finally start craving a visit 😛

      Reply
  3. LisaLDN

    What I miss most about living in the US (all though not healthy) is flavoured vodka – hello, Pinnacle! – and Kraft Mac n Cheese!

    About the sweet choices, I’m not so sure though.. I spent a year in Florida missing Norwegian chocolate, haha 🙂

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Flavoured vodka, that’s an interesting one! All the flavoured vodkas in Australia are so sugary that I’ve been quite turned off the stuff, but when I had some in Russia I was pleasantly surprised at how good they were!

      Reply
  4. Jessica C. (A Wanderlust For Life)

    Wow! It is truly amazing the power of perception! We are American and live in Amsterdam now for a year. I’m so glad you are enjoying the good ol’ USA! I think it makes for an interesting conversation…the perceptions. Especially since the US is so big, diverse, with so many different kinds of places to live.

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Absolutely – I thought this might be an interesting post to read from an American’s perspective as it really all depends on what you’re used to. I can imagine living in Amsterdam would be entirely different from USA too!

      Reply
  5. Rachel

    The interesting thing is that many of these things you can find living in any European city also. We have tons of health stores and vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona, a couple of bagel shops (they’re not standard but you can find them if you want them), cold brew coffee at multiple “fancy” coffee places popping up around the city, MUCH cheaper flights than the US, etc. So although I understand your generalizations and they may be true in Australia, I wouldn’t say they are ONLY found in the USA 🙂

    But what I wouldn’t give for a TARGET here! 🙂

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Well, you could technically say that anything can be found anywhere if you look hard enough 😛 Yes, some of these things can be found in Europe (or even Australia) if you really want to find them, but the point I’m trying to make is that these are all things I’ve found easy to access here, and I haven’t really found them elsewhere 🙂 Why Target?

      Reply
  6. Rose

    That actually sounds pretty great! Who knew healthy foods would be on the list? (I’d go for the American candy anyway 😉 ).

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Yep, I didn’t expect it either! The US has such a bad rep for terribly unhealthy foods, but there’s definitely a push towards healthier options. There’s ‘healthy’ chains popping up everywhere, and everyone seems to want to buy organic!

      Reply
  7. Jen

    It’s so interesting to read this, after living in Australia I can understand a few of them – like the fast Internet and online ordering. Man that was a shocker when we arrived in Sydney. But cheap flights are so abundant in Australia! You guys actually have budget airlines. That’s coming from Canada though where we actually have none – zero, zilch and a return 1 hr flight from TO to Mtl is at least $300+. But oh how I will miss good bagels… that is another thing I loved, especially here in Montreal. SO good!!!!

    Reply
  8. Andrea Leblang

    I love this post! I’m from the US and hated living there my whole life (the grass is always greener syndrome!). I recently left this past May for a round-the-world trip, and I finally appreciate so many things from home. You nailed it!

    Reply
  9. Lindsay @ Frugal Frolicker

    I feel like the resounding theme is that in the US, we just have more OPTIONS. I mean, try shopping for cereal – it’s absurdly overwhelming!

    I actually don’t miss most of this stuff while I’m in Australia, except for fast wifi of course! I’ve always had hot coffee year round, even in the heat of summer, so I don’t miss cold brew persay… but I’m so surprised that it’s not really a thing in Australia. It’s like liquid crack!

    I hope you’re taking advantage of amazon.com while you’re stateside! I WOULD say I miss online shopping, but turns out I spend like 98% less on frivolous shopping without it, so it’s probably good that I don’t have it here. 😛

    Reply
  10. Ilse Benita

    It’s interesting getting an Australians view point on this! I have to disagree with the flights though! I find it incredibly that flights are so cheap here! I currently live in Adelaide and flights to Sydney and Melb are SO cheap if you know when to book with the budget airlines. A similar flight back home would cost me $500 but I’m getting them for around $100 here. I miss bagels so much! I just found a shop here in Adl that do them okay enough but they’re so expensive! I find the internet isn’t slow here either, a lot faster than in New Zealand! I can’t wait for my boyfriend to visit me in America when I go back, it’ll be so much fun to hear what he has to say about my homeland ahaha.

    Reply
  11. Katie

    As an American living in Australia right now, loved reading your perspective on this list! I missed cold brew coffee when I moved here. I ordered iced coffee for weeks in Melbourne and was so confused by why I kept getting ice cream in it…caught on eventually 🙂 There seem to be a lot of trendy healthy eats in Australia, too, especially in terms of restaurants. And as far as candy goes, I’m loving Bounty here!!

    Reply
  12. Nicole

    Haha, some of these things I agree with you on, but mostly, I’m wondering WTF you’re talking about…

    1. Melbourne is the epic centre of the Jewish culture (aka: Bagel Culture) in Australia. Walk around my neighbourhood (Caulfield, Elsternwick, Malvern, St Kilda East) and you will find the place crawling with bagels, including three of four speciality bagel stores.
    Sydney has a much smaller Jewish community (and as such, less bagels). Try Brooklyn Boy Bagels on Bunnerong Rd or The Bagel Shop when you’re back down under.

    2. Cold brew coffee has been taking off for two years in Melbourne, but people still seem to prefer a regular cup of coffee… probably because our coffee is infinitely better than anything you’ll find in the USA. Haha. Next time you are in Melbourne, visit St Ali in South Melbourne for a delicious cold brew coffee served neatly in a milk bottle instead of with ice (that will ruin the consistency of the coffee drink on a hot day).

    3. Coles and Woolworths have HUGE sections of organic produce. There’s also three markets (one farmers only held once a month) that sell ‘organic’ (though some stalls not certified, thank god because that means they can jack up the prices by 50%) within a 5km radius of me.
    Then there’s the organic stores (2 fruit and veg, 1 chicken store, 2 all-natural products, not limited to ‘organic’ foods).

    Not sure where you lived in Sydney but it’s VERY easy to get organic products, and it doesn’t require any research. Visit your local market (the ones I attend have speciality ‘organic’ stores, though I prefer to buy direct from the farmers that visit). Next time you are back in Australia, why not try the Eveleigh Market? Cole’s stocks Lilydale chicken… want me to continue? 😛

    After spending the last month road tripping through the USA, I have concluded that all the organic food/whole foods is overpriced rubbish. I really missed Aussie food because American fruit + veg just seems to be flavourless in comparison… and let’s not get started on the cheese…

    4. Online ordering is a growing market here. Most department stores, chain stores, hardware, books, make up stores, grocery stores, and more deliver next day or in 1-3 days.
    Sure, I can’t get Amazon to ship me stuff in less than a week but everything I ‘need’ I can.

    Reply
  13. Claire

    I feel like we only have half of the things on here because we’re lazy and fat, haha. And the healthy food movement is to fight the obesity epidemic. But man, do I love them anyway. My favorite ‘American’ thing has got to be mac and cheese. God that stuff is amazing.

    Travel often lets me see the great parts of the other parts of the world, but it also makes me realize how lucky I am when I return to America. This post also somewhat serves the same purpose. I mean, I thought every country had bagels and iced coffee? Is that really just an American thing? And you guys don’t have online ordering? What??!!

    Reply
  14. Laura

    I’m an American living in Australia and I certainly miss a few of these things, mostly the fast internet and ordering everything online. I never realized how much I would miss Amazon abroad! That said, I’ve traded up in the weather department so it’s all good :).

    Reply
  15. Henar

    Great post! tho a lot of those things you can find in other countries, not only in the US! 😀 healthy food in Europe is cheap and everywhere, delicious candy, fast internet (in some countries). But I agree, those are important things in this day and age. I’m just shocked to hear you can’t find them in Australia…I wouldn’t have guessed that!

    Reply
  16. Bibiana

    I’m an Australian and I’ve been online ordering for years due to my busy work schedule. Most of my parcels arrive within 2-3 days, and given that I live in Perth, I’m sure the ordering/delivery services should be even better in Sydney. We also have cold pressed coffee in Perth – I’m surprised it’s not available over east. When I lived in the UK/Europe for 18 months, I missed (1) Tim Tams, (2) Vegemite (Marmite and Promite just don’t cut it), (3) easily available sliced bread (sometimes I don’t actually want crusty bread), and (4) high quality fresh produce especially Fuji apples (a lot of apple varieties I came across in Europe especially in the UK had that awful powdery quality). I do agree with the bagels – yum!

    Reply
  17. Rebecca

    Oh my goodness, milk duds! I live in the UK and when I was a camp counsellor in Pennsylvania Milk Duds were my candy of choice, people thought I was silly since it’s basically just caramel in chocolate. To be honest, I really don’t like a lot of their candy or I can’t eat it because I’m vegetarian (the jelly stuff) but I do love Milk duds and they’re so cheap!

    Reply
  18. Ben

    Unfortunately I have to disagree with several points you’ve made here, but I’ll limit my comments to the one about being able to “get basically anywhere in the country for under $150”. This is simply not true, even when booked way in advance. Sure, coming from NYC (where I live now) you can sometimes land a good deal to a select few other major cities, but $150 is a rarity. I am from the Midwest and I can tell you that in it’s nearly impossible to get to where my family lives (just outside a decent sized city) for $150, along with many other places.

    I have other counterpoints to make but I won’t. I do love your blog and enjoy your posts on social media, but you can’t extrapolate your experiences in Portland and NYC and apply them wholesale to the rest of the country (for example, go to where I’m from and no one will have any clue what a ‘cold brew’ is 😊, much to my chagrin).

    Reply
  19. Jessi

    How funny that Sydney doesn’t have bagels or cold press coffee! Both are huge in Brisbane 🙂 Queensland is bad at the burger and doughnut craze though. But ugh, very very jealous of the cheap flights – make the most of it!

    x Jessi

    Reply
  20. Erika

    I take so much of this stuff for granted sometimes! I didn’t realize Australia wouldn’t have high-speed internet or lots of healthy food. So crazy. As for cold brew coffee, though, that’s pretty new even over here. 🙂

    Reply
  21. Julia @ A Glutenfree Road

    As much as I love American candy, I still miss the Swedish candy whenever I go abroad. No specific kind – but the ability to take a bag and pick a few amongst the 200 varieties displayed on the wall (also known as “lösgodis”)!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS