It goes a little something like this: you don't know what you got til it's gone. And this time, I'm not talking about being away from my supportive and amazing family and friends.
Instead, I'm referring to my heartache for Whole Foods. Yes, I understand I can spend an entire paycheck there in 15 minutes flat and that the company has brainwashed America into thinking it's the ONLY place to shop for groceries and health products, but they back up their word with quality and experiential shopping that is hard to duplicate.
You know what I miss most about Whole Foods? Just going there to walk around and look at all the different options and product packaging (can you tell I've dabbled in marketing??). It was thrilling to see what new gluten-free products were on the market!
Additionally, Whole Foods has always been a comfort for me. I've spent many nights at the Whole Foods in Lincoln Park, Chicago just reading, working, or people-watching. I even brought this ritual to London when I studied abroad because I lucked out and lived only a 10 minute run from one of the largest Whole Foods in the world (at the time). My friend and I told ourselves that if we jogged to Whole Foods, we would treat ourselves and then take the train two stops back to our flat. I even remember what I used to get every time: coconut water and banana yogurt.
I know this sounds like an odd thing to miss but this store has been my comfort blanket for the past 5+ years and it's like someone has just stolen it away and stuck his or her tongue out to taunt me.
In Australia, people don't "experience" grocery stores. They simply go in and get what they need. At least, that's what I've seen in Queensland so far. Maybe it's different in other states. Furthermore, Australian grocery stores don't have an overabundance of product choices. There's usually a couple name brands and a generic brand. That's it. Yes, it makes choosing easier; however, what if the choices are terrible?!
In conclusion, I miss Whole Foods and now further appreciate the endless possibilities there are when choosing a product in America. I like analyzing, comparing, and then making a decision. But in the meantime, while I'm abroad, I'll learn to appreciate resting my brain and just pulling a product from the shelf.