Funny enough I wrote this list/article last year after returning from our winter in Ecuador. I am not sure why I never published it. But after re-reading it and having recently returned from Bolivia, I have to say that I still agree with my thoughts. I thought it a good idea to share.
I haven't even been back in the States for 24 hours and already feel a panic looming over me. I don't want to go back to feeling chronically stressed and unsatisfied. So before I forget of a bigger better world out there, I want to note the immediate differences that I've noticed.
- Americans don't really interact with strangers. Example: Saying hi. Good morning. Good afternoon. Eye contact is more limited in the US.
- Food options are out of this world here. The common person has no connection to food source. And I have to admit...there are too many choices...too many bad choices as well.
- Mirrors everywhere, makeup is the norm, and fast fashion is common. Not to mention the beauty magazines.
- Convenient foods vs made from scratch and home grown. Convenient food is a lot more expensive than rice, veg and beans in most parts of the world....so that's what they eat.
- Screen time. Need I say more?
- Herbal medicine vs Pharm....I was happily surprised to see how herbal medicine was the "go to" for most people.
- Family and community connection....Most families in the US are spread across the country vs. in most countries families stick together. Now I don't doubt that it's a good thing to get away from an unhealthy family situation...but I still feel there's more of an individual vs. communal mindset in the States.
- In most other places int the world people walk more drive less. Every family does not own a car. And that may be because they can't afford one...but still it means they are moving their bodies more than most Americans. They also rely on public transport more which in turn creates more human interaction.
It's funny because I feel that as Americans we strive for independence and uniqueness but the bottom line is that we are dependent creatures. Yes we are all unique but our basic needs are fundamentally the same. When I travel to countries that have not fully taken on the American consumerism mentality yet I always feel a sense of relief. It's as if my soul can breathe again. Anyways, I wanted to share these thoughts before they get lost in the rush of life here. I feel like modern life definitely has it's benefits but it's too bad we lost our connection to our traditional culture and diets. Then we would have the best of both worlds.