Surprise Care Package From Idaho: An Expat Life Highlight

Packages are always a fun discovery in the mail, but when you’re an American expat living overseas, getting a care package is like Disneyland for kids.

Well for us, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas just arrived early in the form of a surprise care package stuffed with classic American gifts from Idaho!

Wondering why these two Americans expats are living in Switzerland? Check out our story!

After signing for our care package from our friendly postal delivery guy, I waited impatiently all day for Travis to get home from work so we could open it together.

I knew the contents must be pretty enticing since the side was all mashed in with a giant hole, leaving only one logical conclusion: an amateur thief had attempted to unload some of our loot.

Luckily, the sender had packed our loot in plenty of bubble wrap, foiling our would-be thief.

Damaged care package box shipped from USA to Switzerland
Hopefully nothing in our package is fragile.

When Trav finally got home from work, I ripped into the package and we stood back in awe.

The box glistened with the shiny wrapping of Big Hunks I’ve been madly craving, king size and mini Reese’s peanut butter cups that Travis loves, a bag of Rolos, Dutch Bros coffee, and a giant bag of Idaho huckleberry taffy.

I opened the bag of Rolos and buried my nose inside with my eyes closed, blissfully inhaling the scent of Hershey’s chocolate.


My heart swelled with gratitude and the impending diabetic sugar overload I was about to inflict on it.

Goodies in our expat care package from Idaho
Huckleberry taffy, Reese’s, Big Hunk, and best of all – Dutch Bros coffee!

So who, you might be wondering, sent this generous care package?

Doug, a family friend from “the good ol’ days,” and his lovely wife, Karen.

Way back in the early ’80s when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, my family lived for a time up Latour Creek (or as we pronounce it, “crick”) in rural northern Idaho. With very few neighbors, our family and the family living on the property next door became good friends.

With the five neighbor kids, my three siblings and I shared the kind of life that many rural kids did back then, helping our parents care for farm animals, can our own food, split firewood and the like.

Doug was one of those neighbor kids, though he was closer in age to my older sister. He was like a big brother.

Care package from Idaho for American expats in Switzerland
Care package from Idaho – “Because we CARE!”

After a 20+ year gap in contact and countless moves, our two families managed to reconnect several years ago.

Hopefully now we’ll always maintain contact. Shared history binds in a way that little else can.

It’s just incredible to me that after all these years, Travis and I received a care package from Dougie from up Latour Creek.

Doug and Karen, thank you for the gifts from America!

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