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How do Expats Celebrate Thanksgiving?

The Thanksgiving holiday is primarily celebrated in America and Canada. But there are scores of Americans living abroad for work, school or pleasure. As much fun as it is to experience a new culture, it is hard for expats to give up all the traditions they left behind, and Thanksgiving is no exception.

Luckily, there’s no reason that Americans living abroad can’t observe, celebrate and enjoy the holiday from anywhere in the world. People who live outside of America rely on celebrations like Thanksgiving to remind them of friends and family back home. Here are a few ways that expats make the day special



It may or may not be possible to get Thanksgiving staples depending on where the expat lives. In some places, it’s easy to find frozen turkeys and potatoes to create an authentic feast. In other places, however, the local culture has never seen a turkey, let alone a can of cranberry sauce.

In instances where the menu is a challenge, expats often prepare a feast of local cuisine. In the same way that Thanksgiving in America is a time to enjoy eating a little too much delicious food, there is the opportunity to feast on something almost anywhere in the world. And since Thanksgiving is not a holiday in most places, restaurants are open and happy to feed a hungry crowd. Expats in particularly remote areas might indulge in one favorite food as a way to mark the holiday.


Much like Thanksgiving itself, football is largely an American phenomenon. In larger foreign cities it may be possible to watch American football on satellite TV, but this often means staying up until odd hours. Die-hard fans make the effort, but most expats find some other way to enjoy the sport.

In places where there is a large American population, or a group of eager locals, games of touch football are organized just like they are in backyards across America. In some other cases they play soccer or basketball, or fall back on video game football to remind them of home.

Friends and Family

Many expats use Thanksgiving abroad as a way to introduce American traditions to new friends and bond over a great meal. Groups of Americans often organize some sort of Thanksgiving celebration and then invite along their new friends to join in the fun. Most will tell you that the company and camaraderie is more important than the food or festivities.

Thanksgiving is also a great time to call home by phone or video chat. When multiple generations gather together under one roof to celebrate Thanksgiving, it gives the expat a chance to chat with them all and experience the warmth of family. For those that are open-minded and a little flexible, Thanksgiving abroad can be a truly special occasion.

If you know someone who is living outside of the country, consider sending them a care package for the holiday. Pack it full of their favorite nonperishable foods, include a handwritten letter, and maybe even a picture. Simple gestures like these mean a lot to the person receiving the package.


Image Source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NATO_Training_Mission_Afghanistan_members_receive_top-notch_service_on_Thanksgiving_%286394858479%29.jpg

Original Source: http://blog.petroledsigns.com/road-trips-and-sight-seeing/expats-celebrate-thanksgiving

Getting Home for the Holidays Safely

The winter holidays are some of the busiest travel days of the year. Hundreds of thousands of people hit the road to visit friends and family. In some cases, they are only going a few miles. In others, they are traveling across several states.

Holiday travel can be a stressful experience, especially if you have a long way to go. No matter how far you are traveling, though, it is important to travel safely. Your goal is to get where you are going so that you can enjoy the holidays, so avoid taking unnecessary risks. Follow these holiday travel tips when you hit the road this year.


Prepare Your Vehicle
Before you leave on your trip, make sure that your vehicle is in good working condition. Have the oil changed and air up the tires. Top off the windshield washer fluid and make sure you have antifreeze in the radiator, especially if you are traveling to a cold climate. If your vehicle has been having issues, consult with a mechanic before you leave to make sure you won’t break down on the road.

Plan Your Route
Consult a map before you leave and plan out a detailed driving route. The shortest route may not necessarily be the fastest or safest, so investigate alternate routes. It is always a good idea to have a paper copy of your directions in case your phone runs out of batteries or your GPS malfunctions. Also, check the weather along your route before you leave so you will be prepared for storms.

Follow the Speed Limit
In addition to being unsafe, speeding can get you a ticket, which is both time-consuming and frustrating. Obey all posted speed limits, and keep in mind that increased congestion may force you to drive below the speed limit.

Take Time for Rest
Get a good night’s sleep the night before you leave, and take frequent breaks along the way. Getting out of the car to stretch your legs, use the bathroom and grab a snack can improve your mood and help you drive safer. A good policy is to stop every 100 miles or two hours.

Prepare for the Unexpected
Keep a blanket, a pair of gloves and a flashlight in the trunk of your car in case your vehicle becomes disabled for some reason. You may also want to bring along a bag of kitty litter to help your vehicle get traction in icy conditions. If you know that your vehicle leaks fluids, make sure that you carry extras with you. Do not let your gas tank get below half full to avoid frozen fuel lines and the risk of running out of gas.

Holiday travel can be a difficult experience, and if you are traveling with children, lots of luggage and possibly even pets, it can fray your nerves. A bad mood leads to reckless driving and irrational decision making. Make sure to stay calm, and if you feel the need to stop, do not hesitate to do so.


Image Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Highway_50_westbound,_West_of_Eureka,_NV.jpg

Original Source: http://blog.petroledsigns.com/traveling-tips/getting-home-holidays-safely