An American Abroad.

I was feeling rather homesick on Thanksgiving as I had the Friday (actual Thanksgiving day in Seattle with the time difference) off of work and Lorenzo was working all day. Although I love Sydney and I’m excited to dive deeper into this adventure, homesickness has been rearing it’s ugly head lately and I find myself longing to be with my friends and family in both Seattle and Florence. 

It isn’t like I should have a hard time being away from my family. We’ve never been that close. That said, we are closer now than we’ve ever been and I’ve spent the better part of the last three years halfway around the world from them.

I’m lucky to have found the people I have through my travels. Friends like mine make it easy to forget that you are thousands of miles away from the people that love you most in the world.

Last year, on this very day I was cozied up in front of the fireplace in my friends Georgette and Tommaso’s basement abode while Tommaso’s Mama Italiana scrutinized over the details of a holiday that she doesn’t understand. It was a good thing. She wanted Georgette’s holiday to turn out right, all the bolts in place. We gathered around the table; two Frenchies, a girl from Belgium, an Englishman, three Americans, a Scot and a handful of Italians and we smiled in the warmth of what Georgette and Tommaso had done for us. That night, our adventure in Italy, far from almost everything we’ve known our entire lives, was home.

Thanksgiving turkey

Creative Commons credit: WishUponACupcake

This year, as I ran frantically around work trying to please a large group of particularly fussy clients, the entire day passed with my thinking it was Wednesday. It wasn’t until I sat down for the first time, on a couch in the pub across the street with my workmates, that checking Facebook I realized it was in fact Thursday and Thanksgiving. Technically, as I type this it is in the midst of Thanksgiving dinner in my home time zone. And, honestly, I have a bit of a holiday feeling. It may just be that I’m home from work today, enjoying resting and looking at photos on Facebook is helping me feel like I’m right there with everyone. The weather in Sydney is quite fitting as well as it has been pouring down rain for the last week.

This will be my second holiday season away from home. I was reminded of the huge cultural differences that this time of year endures when my supervisor at work said she thought Thanksgiving was the day before Christmas! Earlier in the year she had expressed concern that we’d missed Halloween; on October 13th. Bless her. At least she realized that there was something coming up.

Growing up you are so accustomed to your own traditions that you don’t stop to realize that all over the world people may be celebrating something different. The fall season is such a huge deal in the U.S.; it’s the time that the colors are changing and beloved fall flavors come out. I could use a Pumpkin Spice Latte right about now. This season is is the epitome of home. The Christmas spirit begins the day after Thanksgiving when everyone crams themselves into the shops to get the best holiday deals. Steaming cups of sweet, hot drinks are seen in the hands of just about everyone as they trudge through the snow and rain to get inside their heated homes, cars and offices.

Starbucks Christmas Cup

 Creative Commons credit: Chris_J

It’s meant to crawl into the 90s (F) in the coming weeks here in Sydney. Of course, I’m happy to welcome summer and with high hopes of finding a new pad on the beach it means that I just might be living the dream. Lorenzo and I are planning a late lunch or dinner on the beach to celebrate Christmas, we want to make it a special day since we’ll both be away from our families.

Last year, I spent a very eventful foodie Christmas in Italy and I’m looking forward to a brand new tradition this year in Australia with santa hats and bikinis, but when it comes to my traditional American holidays. Sometimes I just miss my family.