There is nothing I love to do more than travel the world. Well, teaching is pretty awesome. :) I'm lucky that I get to do both. But, in all of my travels so far, there is one thing that always holds true for me. Shopping in the U.S.A. is the best!
Oh, do not get me wrong, buying artwork, antiques, knick-knacks, etc. in other countries is fantastic. You find things that you do not see back home. But, when it comes to clothes, it is hands-down the U.S.A. that wins my credit card. Here are the main reasons why:
1. In Asia, I am considered "large" and it is difficult to find clothes. And shoes - not a chance. Although, if I want to wear men's shoes, I am fine.
2. The quality is MUCH better back home. Europe has some good quality as well, but then that brings me to the final main reason.
3. Cost. The long-term cost is much cheaper back home. Yes, it is true that you can buy clothes in India, China, and other countries for next to nothing. But do not be shocked when they fall apart in the washing machine. They are cheap, but are made as "throw away" clothes. On rare occasions, I have found an item of clothing in Asia that has lasted longer than expected. But, it is rare. I still have shirts that I purchased in college (13 years ago!) from Old Navy that I still wear, and they are not even close to being worn out. And do get me started on jeans. I can get great Levi's jeans for $20 back home. The cheapest I have seen them anywhere else in the world is $50 and that is for ones I wouldn't wear. The classic ones - $100 and up. NOT HAPPENING!
So, this summer, after two years of traveling around, it is time for me to shop. I am going to get new socks, shoes, bras, clothes, and sneakers. And, anything else I see that I feel I need. I am looking forward to being in a store, NOT having someone tell me I am too big for their stuff, and being able to hand over my visa at the register.
There are other things I am looking forward to back home, like buying food products where I can read the ingredients, eating out without wondering if they will sneak in peppers or not, and being able to drive again. And, of course, time with friends and family. But that should go without saying. So, here is to 100 more days of Asia before I head back to the States. If you plan to be in the Dubois/Punxsy/Pittsburgh area the end of June through mid-July, feel free to swing by! :)