How to Spend the Holidays Abroad

Spending Holidays Abroad

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I must say, it is my favorite holiday for so many reasons (the least of them not being food) and I am pleased that I get to spend it with my family and some of the best people before heading back to Italy for six months.

However, I will be missing Christmas—another big holiday for our family. Instead of making it a tough emotional experience, I’m going to try and make it fun instead by doing some traveling. I think it’s a good distraction for me to be on the road and concentrating on where I am going rather than where I could be. Here are some recommendations I have heard from other travelers and some thoughts I’ve had when missing holidays back home before:

Find Wifi

You would be surprised how a simple Skype conversation or a phone call using a service like Viber can help when you are away from family and friends. Wifi is a traveler’s best friend when he or she is looking to contact some of the people from home. Last Fourth of July, calling my parents and seeing what their plans were for the holiday made me feel like I was there—even without the fireworks and picnic food.

Find some Fellow Expats/Travelers

You won’t be the only one missing home in your new city. Often it only takes an internet search or two to find a local expat community in your area. Spending time with some other travelers away from their homes can help you to feel less alone. All it takes is a little research to find a group that you would fit in with. Expat communities aren’t only a good idea for holidays. You would be surprised how helpful they can be with the everyday issues you might face while living in a foreign country. Checking out what is available can be a great idea when you want to have some feedback or need a friendly ear to listen to any complications you might be facing abroad.

Stick with a Tradition or Two

Do you have a special tradition during the holidays that you can’t imagine going without? Go ahead and celebrate. I love having hot chocolate during the winter, so you can bet that I am going to treat myself to that minor tradition when abroad. It’s the little things that often make a holiday, and by honoring some of those smaller traditions, you’ll find that you won’t miss home as much as you thought.

Have you ever spent a holiday abroad? Where did you go?

Image courtesy of peddhapati.


  1. Jeremy

    I’ve found myself in Thailand for a couple of Christmases, and it’s vital to find expats to give the season the feel that it deserves. Playing Xmas carols on Youtube isn’t enough for me!

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