1. Diet Dr Pepper/fountain Diet Coke from McDonald's.
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned my love of Diet Coke from McDonald's before so this one should come as no surprise. After not having Diet Dr Pepper in Beijing since May of 2013, I'm also excited to have a can of that particular beverage. Hell, let's be honest, normal tasting pop that isn't full leaded sounds good all around.
2. Not having to check my utilities to make sure I'm not going to run out of ________.
This may come as a surprise to you first world country folks, but here in Beijing I have to use cards to buy electricity, gas and water, and I have to prepay for the utilities and load them into machines in my house, oh and there are rules on how much you can buy, when you can buy and when you can load them into the machines. If I don't pay attention, the house will go black, have cold water, or no water at all. Talk about a PITA!! Oh and of course you get no email notification, SMS, or even beeping machine, they just run out.
3. Less Traffic.
I can't wait to complain about Midwest US traffic. It's all small stuff when you compare to Beijing.
If you came to this blog via China and you are an authentic Chinese food lover we will not be friends. Sorry, move on. I love myself some N. China dumplings, otherwise I could never eat another bite of "authentic" Chinese food and be just fine. Sorry to all you snobby Chinese foodies but NMS. I've got a list of restaurants i want to eat at and foods I want from the U.S. and I can't wait for my Chipotle.
5. Blue Skies and Clean Air.
I can't wait to not need to check my iPhone to see if the air is good enough NOT to wear masks, or to let my child take the dog for a walk. We've had a really nice Spring overall, but still not great air. So excited to let kiddo outside to run around and have fun without worrying she is going to get lung cancer in 20 years.
Excited for all the STUFF I can buy that I can't get here like Chia Seeds that don't cost me $50 for 3oz, or organic fruits and veggies. Whole Foods, I'm coming for some Lemon Hummus and Ohio made corn chips. Being able to walk into a store and buy a pair of shoes will be nice. Lucky for me, I don't need shoes, but if I did, I wouldn't be able to find them in Beijing. My feet are too big.
Ironically, through all the anticipation and excitement there is still a lot of fear, anxiety and sadness at leaving friends and "home." I'll be coming back to a few less friends which is never easy and going "home" to the U.S. leaves me feeling like something is missing because I'm not "home." Very psychologically deep and confusing, and hard to explain to someone who hasn't lived the expat life.
*I am excited to see my family and friends, I just don't think that's what you guys were looking to hear.