Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Simple Things (Julie)

It’s the simple things in life that give the biggest smiles sometimes. Like American deodorant and American toothpaste. This may seem odd but living in a foreign country has a way of changing your idea of happiness. Trust me. You don’t appreciate the things you have until you don’t have them.
There are many perks about living overseas (check it out Top 3 Reasons to Travel.)  For instance, in Japan, there are drink vending machines everywhere! Literally. You will never thirst while in Japan. And they have these “dollar” stores that are way better than America’s version. Then there’s Family Mart’s. They take convenience store to the next level, or two.

Living overseas is a choice and you have to learn to forgo some luxuries and familiar things, while also experiencing new things. Recently, however, a friend of mine’s mother, whom I’ve never met, messaged me saying she was coming to Okinawa and if there was anything I’d like from the states? Well sure!! Deodorant and toothpaste! Oh which I am now well stocked in both and couldn’t be more thankful.

It seems such a silly, small thing to be thankful for when it comes down to it. Most people wouldn’t think twice about it. But to me, it was more than just a gift, it was a blessing. She didn’t have to buy and lug a bunch of deo and toothpaste thousands of miles for a person she’d never met. I can just imagine the customs official opening up her suitcase and seeing all that. It’s hot in Okinawa, but not that much!

It got me to thinking about how many times we go through our day missing the small “blessings” of life, things we take for granted. It doesn't have to be something like deodorant or toothpaste, but a simple gift, a smile, an encouraging word, a helping hand, and a listening ear are just some of the many small things of life that can change the outlook of your day. But, are we so busy with our lives that we don’t notice even them anymore?


  1. Fun post, Julie! I can relate a bit to your American toothpaste / deodorant story - when I studied abroad in England a friend took me to Pizza Hut for my birthday (lame, I know, but I missed it!) and I was SO excited that the salad bar had ranch dressing because I couldn't find it in any grocery store :)

    1. I totally know how excited you must have been! Whenever I go back to the states to visit and go to a grocery store, I can't help but just stop and stare for a moment at all the products I haven't seen in so long!

  2. Great post, Julie! Definitely need to appreciate the little things. After having trouble with my back, I enjoy being able to curl up in a comfortable chair with a book. There was a time when I had to sit very carefully, and preferably not in the chairs with the thick cushions.

  3. Nice reminder, Julie! It's eye-opening how accostomed we can become to our "creature comforts" -- until, like you mentioned, we have to go without.


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