Giving Thanks

As great as it is to live abroad, one of the major downsides is being away from family and friends during the holidays. What’s particularly difficult is when the holiday isn’t even celebrated in the country you’re living in.

Thanksgiving is the holiday that I probably miss the most since I’ve been living abroad.  I’ve been lucky enough to have been home a handful of times for Christmas since 2004, but making it back for Thanksgiving has always been more of a challenge in terms of timing. When I was a student in the UK, there was no Thanksgiving break (and I probably couldn’t have afforded a flight back for such a short trip anyway), and then once I started to work in the education sector, the majority of my vacation time needed to be taken in the summer.  So I think, if I’m remembering correctly, I’ve made it back for a total of one Thanksgiving in eight years.  Sad, huh?  In the beginning it didn’t bother me so much, but I’ve come to really appreciate (and miss) this holiday that is uniquely north american.

Still, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, even if that means not getting to enjoy pumpkin pie while you’re doing it! As hard as it sometimes was and sometimes still is, I’m thankful to have had the opportunities I’ve had to live and study abroad and experience different cultures. I’m thankful I have the opportunity (as much as I complain about it) to learn another language now. I’m thankful the Mr. has the good, permanent job that brought us here. I’m thankful we have his family here and we’re looking forward to celebrating Advent with them this weekend, and later Christmas. I’m thankful I’m going to get to fly back to see my family in January for a “late” Christmas. I’m thankful for all the new friends I’m making, and for the old ones that make it feel like no time has passed since we last saw each other. And I’m thankful for our little furry Mia, who had a tooth pulled yesterday morning and seems to be doing just fine.

I am so thankful for so much, that I really don’t even know where to begin or where to end this list. I don’t know what I did in my previous life to deserve such a great husband, family, friends, health and privilege, but I deeply appreciate all that I have.

Happy Thanksgiving!


About bittenbythebug

I love travel and have always been fascinated by other cultures. Back in 2004, I began my life as an expat in Edinburgh, Scotland. Fast forward 5 1/2 amazing years later to 2010 and the new chapter in my expat adventure: Würzburg, Germany.
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6 Responses to Giving Thanks

  1. Lindsey says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Holly! I hope you did something food-related to celebrate it this year. Maybe one little dish? Is pumpkin available in Germany? That’s my favorite food this time of year — pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie….

  2. Bonnie says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! I agree with Lindsey–can you buy pumpkin something? I make muffins that are 1 box of spice cake mix, a 15 oz. can of pure pumpkin, and 1 c. water. Stir and bake in cupcake liners for 20-25 minutes at 350. DELICIOUS. When are you going to be in Indiana in January?

  3. cliff1976 says:

    If I may: canned pumpkin is exceedingly hard to find in Germany and shockingly expensive when you do find it (unless you have access to a military base, I suppose).

    But Hokkaido pumpkins are pretty easy to find this time of year and not too difficult to work with. An average-sized one of those yields enough pumpkin puree to do one pie (about 2 cups) and one loaf of pumpkin bread (about 1 cup). And it freezes well, so you can roast and puree a whole batch of pumpkins and stash your productivity away for an off-season treat later, if you like.

    • Thanks for that tip, Cliff. I have to say, though, that my mom and I bought a squash recently (back in the states) that we wanted to roast, and man…that thing was really difficult to cut open! I think the experience sort of scarred me, lol!! So I have to admit I’m a little hesitant to try to cut into anything in the squash family now 🙂

  4. Another Thanksgiving for me overseas too 😦 I think I’ve been home for 2 Christmas holidays in the last 10 years. Your first photo is beautiful! What amazing color.

    • Only two in the last 10 years?! That’s a bummer 😦 Thanks for the compliment on the photo. I have to ‘fess up, though…the husband took it. I think it’s pretty beautiful, too.

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