Thanksgiving can be tough if you’re abroad. Being separated from home means being separated from all the food, fun, and friendly faces that make the holiday special, right? Wrong. While celebrating Thanksgiving abroad means you’re going to have to put a little more effort into organizing, it can be every bit as feast filled as if you were back home. So, however you find yourself abroad, whether it’s for work, studies, volunteering, or vacation, read on below to make sure you don’t miss one ounce of holiday fun.
- Take time off
It’s not always possible, but if you’re working, volunteering, or interning abroad, try and arrange to take the day off. If you can’t get the whole day off, then a half-day, or even a few hours away from the daily grind will put you in a holiday mood. Plus, it will give you more time to get ready for your festivities!
- Gather friends
I don’t care whether it’s one person or fifty: ‘round up every friendly face you know. You can go all out and do a potluck dinner (the ideal scenario), meet at a local restaurant, or even just spend an hour sharing a drink at the neighborhood watering hole. Check in with other ex-pats you know to see if they have Thanksgiving plans, and if they don’t, invite them too! Thanksgiving is about coming together as a community, so keep the spirit of the season alive and be inclusive.
- Find ex-pats
New to the area? Check social media for ex-pat groups! Most will already have several Thanksgiving events planned, and it’s a great way to make friends. Even if you’re busy on the holiday itself, chances are there will be events happening the weekend before and after, so you’re bound to find a seat at a table.
- Make time-honored dishes
Whip up some of your favorite foods to instantly transport you to your Thanksgiving happy place. It is possible to find some staples from home, if you know where to look. The internet will be your best bet in locating what stores near you sell the necessary supplies, or if you can’t find them, getting them shipped in. Reach out to friends and family back home to see if they can ship you a care package if all else fails!
- Embrace local cuisine
If you can’t replicate your favorite dishes, embrace the local flavors! When else will you have a Thanksgiving meal of aromatic tagine and mint tea, sushi and sake, or curry and coriander? Wherever on the globe you find yourself, dive into the regional food culture headfirst and feast up.
- Put a new spin on old traditions
Find a way to incorporate your favorite traditions into your day. Whether it’s streaming the big game on your computer or taking a traditional Thanksgiving morning walk, if you can sneak in some of the things that make the holiday special to you, it will go a long way to keeping your spirit bright.
- Volunteer and give back
Thanksgiving is all about generosity and community, so what better day to volunteer and give back? You’ll feel great and will have done something beautiful to benefit the world — it’s a win win! If you don’t know where to start, peruse the internet for local non-profit, places of worship, and charity organizations in need of volunteers.
- Connect with family back home
Make time to call, and if the WiFi can handle it, Facetime or Skype, your family and friends back home. It’s so important for your mental health to stay connected to those who love and support you, so if you’re feeling homesick, reach out to a friendly voice.
- Make time for self-care
For many abroad on Thanksgiving, from aid workers and doctors, to scientists and researchers, to international volunteers and journalists, a relaxing meal surrounded by friends is not possible. In these cases, practice the minimum of self care. Eat something satisfying and special. Connect with anyone who brightens your day and makes you feel valued. Reach out to loved ones back home, and carve out some personal time to reflect and decompress.
- Count your blessings
At the end of the day, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for the blessings in our lives. If you’re abroad, be grateful for this special opportunity to travel, learn, and grow. At Around the World Beauty, we’re thankful for you, our beauty tribe, for inspiring us every day. Stay gorgeous!
Written by: Mallory Huron Media by: Stephanie Flor