There are certain times of year when it’s harder to be away from family than usual. Holidays tend to be at the top of that list. One of the things I associate most with holidays is spending time with family. Combine not being with family on a holiday plus being in a country where that holiday isn’t even celebrated, and you’ve got Thanksgiving abroad.
This was the first time I have ever had class on Thanksgiving (and probably the only time I ever will). It’s also the first time I haven’t been with family for this holiday. Not being with the people I am most thankful for on a day designated for showing thankfulness was tough.
But it’s amazing how kind and warm people can be. I had a potluck Thanksgiving with some of the American friends I’ve made here. We laughed, shared stories, and made a surprisingly good dinner for a group of kids who have never made Thanksgiving dinner before. I also got a message from a British friend asking if I had somewhere to go for the holiday to make sure I wouldn’t have to be alone, and I tried to pass on this holiday spirit by inviting a classmate last minute when I found out he had nowhere to go.
Not being with family when you want to be with them most is hard, but friends can be family too. My friends certainly helped me start off a great holiday season, and they gave me plenty to be thankful for.