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As a backpacker you’re going to spend all your holidays away from home. Take a moment to be sad, but then forget about it. Do you actually remember Thanksgiving with your family? It involves constant questions from Aunt Sally about what you’re going doing to do with your life after you graduate from college. It involves your mom sending you to the grocery store ten times that day because she forgot the sage or the marshmallows or the cornbread. It involves your dad accidentally sitting on the mashed potatoes. It involves your sisters fighting over who gets the last drumstick.
Thanksgiving at home is a nightmare. So, this year, be thankful that you’re traveling the world and don’t have to deal with it.
If you want to celebrate Thanksgiving while you’re traveling abroad, you have many options: all of which trump spending it with your family back home.
How to Celebrate Thanksgiving Abroad:
Find a Hostel Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner
Hostels all around the world cater to American holidays, so you should have no problem finding a hostel that is hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. Just prepare for it to not taste quite like mom’s home cooking and include a few questionable side dishes. Mashed yucca might not be the lumpy starch you’re used to. But it will have to do.
Make Your Own Thanksgiving Dinner
If you can’t find a hostel that is hosting Thanksgiving dinner just organize a few people in your hostel and make your own. You can each be responsible for a different dish. You’re probably not going to cook an entire turkey, so chicken breasts and canned green beans may have to do. But when that Australian surfer accidentally sits in the mashed potatoes and those two Dutch girls are fighting over the last bits of stuffing, you’ll feel right at home.
Find an Expat Group
Every city has American expats and all of them probably will be celebrating Thanksgiving. This is your best bet for an authentic Thanksgiving abroad as they all have been gone from home so long that they start actually missing their family and traditions. So if you can find an expat group, you can probably find an expat Thanksgiving pot luck to crash.
Holidays, no matter where you are in the world, usually end up with you smashed. So why not just skip right to it. Forget trying to find a turkey in Vietnam. Forget trying to make mashed potatoes in Thailand. Forget trying to explain green bean casserole in Cambodia. And just go out and grab some beers with your new friends. Because beer is definitely something to be thankful for.
Have you ever celebrated Thanksgiving abroad? Where did you celebrate? What did you do?