Niacka Carty: First Thanksgiving Abroad


The preparations for displaying lights in the city during the night and the wide array of Christmas candy in supermarkets are clear signs that Christmas is next month. If I were home, Christmas would feel far away but because Thanksgiving is this month, I have already started to think of the two holidays. I will return home two days before Christmas Eve. Thus, when I return, I am looking forward to being overwhelmed with the holiday spirit. However, I will not be home for the first important holiday to me, Thanksgiving.
The fact that I will not celebrate the holiday with family did not occur to me until it the two week countdown was brought to my attention in one of my classes. The professor asked the class to share new stories and Thanksgiving was the most popular topic. It was more so a popular topic for the professor being that she is Spanish. She had ideas of what Americans do for the holiday but had several questions, such as, “Why a turkey? Why not a pig instead? Why is there so much food eaten?” Having to help the other Americans answer the questions caused me to feel more sad about missing the festivities at home.
I thought about the possibility but considering that Thanksgiving is not recognized in Spain and class attendance is mandatory, I cannot take the risk of returning home for a few days. Thinking of the holiday has caused me to have dreams about it. I have been dreaming about going grocery shopping for the holiday. I always wake up thinking, “I forgot to buy something.” Thus, naturally, I am having small feelings of being homesick. I think even my stomach is homesick. I only have cravings for American foods.
It saddens me that this will be the first time that I will not celebrate the holiday with family. However, I am also looking forward to what I decided to do to celebrate the holiday. The picture of this blog post is of Christmas holiday candy that a roommate and I brought. We thought having the candy would help us remind us of what Thanksgiving would be if we were home to celebrate it. We were in a tourist area and decided to buy candy in a famous tourist mall. The candy was surprisingly not too expensive. We decided to try the many types of candy every day until we leave in late December.