Philadelphia Independence Hall

On coming home for Thanksgiving

by Larissa on November 20, 2012

A year ago we didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. It wasn’t a conscious decision, we simply weren’t around. We were a few months into our around-the-world journey and enjoying spring in New Zealand. We hadn’t even realized it was a holiday back home until we glanced into a pub window and noticed an American football game on TV.

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that doesn’t really transfer to other countries, particularly since it occurs on a Thursday. (Well, except for Canada, since they have their own Thanksgiving in October.) Elsewhere in the world it’s just another working day.

Unfortunately, in some places around the world we visited, it’s also just another day without clean drinking water, or free elections, or pollution-free skies, or safe trains, or even something as innocuous as Facebook because it’s banned by the government.  So much of the world doesn’t have the things that we in the United States take for granted. Yet people we met in those countries without these conveniences seemed to take it all in stride. They were warm and friendly and had their own national pride.

This year we’re back in the States, and will be partaking of the traditions of eating too much turkey and pie, watching football and catching up. We’ll give thanks for family and friends and food and health.

But this year we’ll also take a moment to give thanks of a more specific nature—for all the comforts and freedoms we Americans enjoy.  We’ve visited many wonderful places in the past year, enough to see that the U.S. is far from perfect. But it will always be home to us, and it’s pretty damn good.

No matter where you are in the world, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

Kathy November 20, 2012 at 8:33 am

Dear Michael and Larissa,

Glad to hear that you will be celebrating Thanksgiving in the US. We wondered how you fared during Hurricane Sandy, as you know we weathered the storm too. Would love to see you and hear many stories.

Michael November 20, 2012 at 11:32 am

Hopefully we’ll get together soon to swap travel tales.

30Traveler November 20, 2012 at 9:30 am

One of the funny things about thanksgiving as a non-American is that since US TV shows don’t show overseas on the same schedule as in America, the thanksgiving themed episodes occur at random times throughout the year. It’s a novelty to be in America and for the thanksgiving episodes to all be on in the same week.

Thanksgiving is such a cool American holiday.

Michael November 20, 2012 at 11:31 am

If you’re here now hope you’re enjoying it. Don’t eat too much!

Fred Allen Barfoot November 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Celebrate with joy! Might one of your sidebar stories be perceptions of the US presidential campaign/election process as you saw/heard in your travels? Or were you blessed to see/hear precious little of the most negative, most expensive presidential campaign in our life times?

Paula November 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Savor the holiday (especially the pies, of course) wherever you’ll be spending it!

Will November 22, 2012 at 9:04 am

Welcome back! Look forward to reading more about your adventures.

Freya December 2, 2012 at 10:33 am

In my country we never celebrate thanksgiving but I would love to be in the US on day to have a real thanksgiving dinner 🙂
Hope you had a great thanksgiving.

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