Leaving the house for the first time was quite nerve-wracking. This was the first time in a very long time I left the house/hostel/pension/communist cell block, without the following items:
-high boots/old black Spanish leggings
Those are my essentials. But I really shouldn't worry because in Vegas, anything goes. No passport? No problem. Don't have cash? We'lll find another way to let you gamble away your 401K. You're always under surveillance so no camera necessary. No make-up? Probably just an animal rights activist or a natural-beauty enthusiast. As for the high boots (which house my passport, wallet, and camera), I'm still quite attached to those.
I've also found that I'm even more attached to Spanish cafe con leche. Sometimes simplicity is unattainable in the US. For just one tiny euro, I get the perfect size cup, always white, with one shot of expresso plus milk. If I were to go to an establishment like Starbucks, the smallest I could buy is a "tall"; it would probably be laden with sugar and cost at least 4.00 USD. That's one complaint that the US students have at Franklin: we're used to these tiny little things in most of Europe then recieve something four, five, six times the size when we return to the US. And after drinking my mom's coffee, which she drinks Americana, I no longer crave coffee.
Maybe I never really enjoyed cafe con leche in Spain or cappuccinos in Ticino. I have had bad coffee in Europe, but it's not necessarily the taste that always matters. It's the experience. Going into a cafe allows me to people-watch, to write, to think about how things are going to work out (even if it's just a quick coffee, even if I'm standing). It's not a life-changing moment every time I drink a coffee, however it helps me organize my thoughts. I can plan my day without the small-talk of hostel-goers. I can interact with locals, practice a language, etc.
Well, there's my speil on coffee and how I now leave the house. Don't get me started on the lack of public transportation...