An Expat in Guam: What I Miss About Stateside Living
If you ever find yourself living outside the US mainland, then you’ll inevitably find yourself homesick for something or someone. Someone’s aside, here are 12 things I miss about living stateside.
A Navy Wife and American Expat in Guam
I lived in and traveled to a good number of places before meeting my sailor and becoming an expat. However, none of those experiences prepared me for living in the Pacific American territory of Guam. Yes, it’s still technically America. But living here is nothing like living stateside in the continental US.
Never heard of Guam? It’s an island between Australia and Japan. Still don’t see it on the map? Zoom in!
Here we have beautiful beaches and tropical weather year round. But don’t pack your bags and ditch your day job just yet. Because I really miss these 12 things about stateside living.
The coffee shop down the road
Call me a basic bitch, but I miss my drink at my Starbucks. There’s nothing quite like being able to drive 10 minutes up the road for the sugar and caffeine combo that YOU KNOW will kick your day into gear.
Moving to Guam meant finding a new drink at a new coffee shop. The struggle was real! For 6 months I had to drive 25 minutes for the best caramel macchiato replacement that I could find.
Take it from me, proudly serving Starbucks coffee and being a Starbucks are not the same thing! And making a caramel macchiato at home is hard.
Future expats beware! Get your Starbucks fix on your layover before you get here. It will be the last Starbucks you see for however long you stay on Guam.
Now before you totally freak out, let me be the first to introduce you to Infusion. It’s a cafe chain on Guam. There’s even one directly outside of big Navy.
Now I frequent the Infusion 10 minutes up the road and I even have a new drink. Hello honey milk latte! My cravings for caramel macchiatos have been entirely replaced with cravings for honey milk lattes. #caffeineaddict
It’s hard to explain the pleasure of Publix unless you have experienced it. The amazing produce, the spectacular pre-prepared meals. I’m almost at a loss for words.
The base gym might have more group fitness classes, but Planet Fitness has the Black Card Spa. I’m talking message chairs, hydro messages, tanning beds, and the Body Angel all for $10.
Did I mention that stateside they had one location by my home and one location by my work?! Ever had a message on a stressful day over your lunch break? AMAZING.
The cheap nail salon by my office
You know the place, the one that isn’t too expensive and can fit you in for a pedicure over lunch. The salon that makes you feel like it’s possible to work full time and not have Hobbit feet.
I’ve been in Guam for 9 months and I still haven’t found a good nail salon. Tear.
It’s all the fun of cooking without the pain of meal prepping and shopping.
If you’ve never experienced the pleasant convenience of perfectly portioned food arriving at your house with a glossy recipe card… then you are missing out!
Watching college football at a bar with friends is awesome. Paying for cable so you can watch college football, in the middle of the night, from your couch… not so awesome.
Guam is 14 or 15 hours ahead of the East Coast depending on daylights savings time (which Guam doesn’t abide by). Translation: College Gameday is in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
My old house
The first home my husband and I shared together.
We house hunted for months looking for it, and argued over expenses when renovating it. We celebrated our engagement and my husband’s commissioning at it.
For the time being we’re renting it to another Navy family. One day I hope to go home to it.
Family and friends I could afford to go visit
I used to be able to drive 2 hours to see an old college friend. And I could fly 3 hours to see my family in New York.
How long and how much does it cost to visit from Guam you ask? About $2200 and 27 hours last I checked.
The Amazon Prime perks I’m currently missing out on
Gone are the days of two day delivery. I’m lucky if my Amazon Prime packages arrive in two weeks, two months, or at all.
Same day delivery you say? That clearly exists in a different future than “where America’s day begins.”
Unfortunately, Prime does not deliver to Guam for free. Sigh.
If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t have Amazon Prime yet, feel free to purchase through this affiliate link. It won’t cost you any extra, but it will help me pay to ship my next order.
Don’t get me wrong, there are department stores on Guam with ample makeup counters and high-end products. Hell the NEX has pretty good selection!
But Sephora is second to none when it comes to customer service and free samples.
Within moments of walking into a Sephora a stylist will ask you if you need help. And I’ve never been denied a single free sample.
Contrary to my old coworkers’ beliefs, there are roads here. But smoothly paved roads that you can go 70 mph on? Yeah, they don’t exist.
Highways are a luxury you probably take for granted. #gratitude
The job I wasn’t exactly happy in
The one that stressed me out with responsibility. The one I had a volatile love hate relationship with. Yup, I even miss that.
PLEASE COMMENT BELOW!
Less than 1% of the world’s population live as expatriates outside their home nation. Are you one of them?
What do you miss?