Overseas Holiday Celebrations

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Hope you have found the time to reconnect with loved ones to celebrate over some turkey, stuffing, potatoes, yams, football, and stretch pants!

This is my second holiday season overseas, so I’ll be celebrating in a non-traditional way again. So it made me think about some of the differences of celebrating these holidays whilst away from home.

Last year I used a great online grocery store site to purchase a pretty damn good Thanksgiving dinner. They have sets online that you can choose how big and varied the spread is, and then it gets delivered to your home.

This year I’ll be going to a fellow American’s house and celebrating with a larger group of American expat friends, which is pretty awesome! Still need to figure out what side I’m bringing….

But I digress; celebrating awesome holidays from your home country can be a little difficult abroad, although it doesn’t have to be. It will be different for sure, but that’s not always a bad thing.

The major difference is that you don’t have the opportunity to spend the holiday with your friends and family back home, unless they come to visit you or you go back home.

So you’ll be sure to Skype your close friends and parents, probably send an email to grandma or something.

Then what you’ll probably do is spend your holiday in expat bars or social clubs with others from the wide diaspora of cities and countries that have made a presence in your locale. Or you may have a get together with your local friends, and try to show them the ways and traditions of the holiday.

Like, last year for Christmas we had an office party where people dressed up as Santa Claus (圣诞老人 in Chinese, pretty much Old Man Christmas), we drank festive drinks and made ginger bread houses. Pretty cool, right?

But what about the other expats that don’t want to the bar thing for the holidays?

TRAVEL! It’s nice change to sitting through another one of your family parties wearing an itchy sweater. How does sitting on a beach in Thailand sound? Much better I’m sure.

Hopefully this brief glimpse of expat life motivates you to get to that point in your career where you can take the plunge and work abroad. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen 😉

Be sure to check out BRIC’s language packages to help you order the appropriate cold beverage during your holiday.