If you are a first-time expat wife, you might be wondering what goods or products you should bring from your home country to another.
As a Japanese living in Canada and the US for more than 3 years in total, I’d like to share what you (especially, but not limited to, Japanese or Asian women) want to bring for your happy expat life.
These 10 goods below are the short list of my personal choice.
Toiletries and Sanitary products
Brushes you can usually buy in the US are a bit too big and don’t really fit for Japanese.
That might not be true if you live in an Asian populated area, but I recommend that you get a stock of brushes back home.
Dental health is critical and you never want to compromise.
Body towel for a shower
I know it sounds funny, but it’s difficult to find a soft scrub towel that we usually use in Japan here in the US.
I’ve only used the Japanese ones even in the US and don’t know much detail, but it seems the quality or absorbability are different.
All these stuff you may feel like using something you are familiar with.
This is another good that might be difficult to find your size in the US.
It’s not just about the size, but about design or color too.
Uniqlo is the biggest fast fashion brand in Japan like H&M and now expanding internationally.
You can find their stores in big cities in North America including Chicago, but the price, in general, is higher than that of Japan.
If you are a Uniqlo lover, just buy things back home.
This can be said to any local fashion brand of your choice.
Skin-care products are what you directly put on your face and body, so you want to bring your trusted products.
It’s no doubt you can find good cosmetics products in the US, but explaining your need and finding something right in English can sometimes be difficult and troublesome.
Chicago is called “Windy City” and it’s dry, so I always use moisturizing cosmetics or carry a face mist.
This is something I couldn’t easily find in the US.
I always use the net for delicate stuff, because washing machines in the US mostly are relatively more powerful (and rough) than the ones I used in Japan.
Wet wipes and pocket tissue
It’s another weird thing but it’s true; you can often get pocket tissues for free in Japan around stations, but that never happens in the US.
Tissues and papers are generally more expensive here and sometimes have lower quality.
Yes, there are not a few Asian or Japanese supermarket in the US and Canada, but their price is not very cheap especially compared to what you were used to back in Japan.
Just be careful there are many things including meat, vegetables or fruits that you cannot bring into the US.
I recommend something like green tea powder; “tea” here is in many cases very sweet and different from what we have in Japan.
Bring smart and live a happy life
These are just a short list of “Products Japanese Expat Wives Would Miss In US”, or what I personally find helpful to bring from home.
I can assure you that you will find no big problem if you don’t bring anything to the US, as you can virtually get anything online in this country.
Yet, if you want to be a bit more mindful about your spending, it’s always a good idea to buy and pack goods back home before starting your expat life in a new country.