I've always loved shopping, especially during our travels because it's part of the experience. To me, clothes, shoes, and jewelry are great souvenirs. I'm not talking about the "I love NY" t-shirts or the mass produced "made in china" crap you can usually find at the tourist trap stores. I really try to find locally made products that are unique to the destination.
However, shopping in my newly adapted home can be daunting. Trying to figure out where to buy your toiletries, lamps, electronics, etc. are hit or miss. There are no one stop shops here, which can be a blessing. Back
stateside, you couldn't come out of Target spending less than $50.
Trust me, I've tried on many occasions. Clothes shopping here in Austria can be a nightmare too. The "cheap" stuff just looks and feels cheap and you don't know if you are really getting quality or ripped off by opting for the more expensive stuff. That really doesn't surprise us, because a few European friends already warned us about that.
We are so happy to have taken the advice of friends that have been living here already, before making our move to Austria. They told us things to stock up on that we would have never thought of otherwise. We were laughed at by family and friends for making several Costco, Target, Home Goods, and TJ Maxx runs. Our reasoning for the "apocalyptic madness"? We had room in our shipments, we already know the quality of what we'd be getting, and to have comforts of home for a little while longer. And boy are we glad we did! It was already hectic as it was when we first got here, that the last thing on our minds was to go shopping for anything.
Shopping was, and still is, my favorite pastime; although it remains dormant here in Austria. Thank goodness for our trip to Taiwan and home leave. I'm sure I will go a little crazy stocking up on clothes/shoes and hard to get products!