Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday; the time of year I get nostalgic for living in the US. I love the food. I love the family. I love the friends who are family. It is the perfect holiday- no religious connotations, no stress of gift giving, just food and loved ones.
Of course, being the wanderer I am, many times I have not made it home. Here is the rundown of Thanksgivings abroad:
- 1996 (Chile)- I honestly have no idea what I did. I was 16 and hadn’t reflected yet on what I was missing.
- 2000 (Chile)- Cooked thanksgiving dinner with my friend Melissa for my roommates and friends, 4 men. We greatly underestimated how long it would take a turkey to cook and had to confiscate car keys and cell phones to avoid a pizza dinner.
- 2002 (Moldova)- Thanksgiving with the other Peace Corps volunteers. Cooked dinner for 200+.
- 2003 (Moldova)- Thanksgiving with the other Peace Corps volunteers. Cooked dinner for 200+. Harder the second time as the cooks through I was too young to know how to cook and kept “helping”.
- 2007 (Chile)- Thanksgiving with some friends at Marisol’s. Lots of food. Lots of drink. Salsa dancing.
- 2010 (Kazakhstan)- Had dinner at my boss’ house with his boss and senior management. Still not sure how I got invited, but had a great time.
- 2011 (Kazakhstan)- Cooked duck over at Jim and T-raz’ place. Great friends. Great fun. Little Elephant’s first thanksgiving.
- 2012 (Albania)- Turkey from the cafeteria. Very low-key as we were waiting for my brother-in-law to arrive and celebrate. We did. Just one month later!
- 2013 (Albania)- Toddler play date while parents gobble turkey legs, mushroom bisque, two types of potatoes, cranberry dressing, ginger trifle, and a thrown together meal. It may not be quite as elaborately planned, but then again, what is with toddlers? And, turns out, with a few foodies, not elaborately planned can turn out delicious!