To put it simply, I am a huge fan of Thanksgiving. I love everything about the holiday: getting to be with family, the food, football, and even the 5K Turkey Trots. It is the one day of the year when it is socially acceptable to think about, talk about and eat food all day. What’s not to love?

However, this year I was a little nervous about Thanksgiving. After all, it would be the first year where I would not get to see my family, eat some of my mom’s famous stuffing, or run as a part of Team Jaegermeister in a local Turkey Trot.  I knew that it was going to be a strange day.

And a strange day it was. While all of you were at home sleeping in, I was waking up and going to class like any other Thursday in Spain. It was an odd feeling knowing that while I was spending six hours in class, my family and friends back home were participating in some of my favorite traditions. Luckily, I was able to catch some live footage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which put me a bit more in the Thanksgiving spirit.

My program was also kind enough to host a Thanksgiving dinner for us. It was the fanciest Thanksgiving meal that I have ever had, and for being cooked by a Spanish chef, it was also quite delicious. While the stuffing was not my mom’s nor the turkey carved by my dad, it still made the day feel more familiar. Although I did not get to see my family on Thanksgiving, the meal with my program made me appreciate the friends that I have in Spain even more.

It might not be home, but it's definitely an impressive spread!

It might not be home, but it’s definitely an impressive spread!

So although this Thanksgiving was different, it still reminded me of how thankful I am for many things in my life. I am so incredibly grateful for my family back home, who not only talks to me regularly through video chat, but who also took the time to video chat me at their Thanksgiving dinner so that I could say hi to everyone. I am also thankful for the wonderful opportunity that I have to study abroad. This experience has been one of the best of my life. And, on a more shallow note, this Thanksgiving I realized how thankful I am for central heating and running water, because I did not have either last Thursday!

This Thanksgiving, like my whole trip so far, was a simply an adventure. It certainly was different, but I know that it was one that I will always remember. After all, not everyone gets to spend a major US holiday in another country surrounded by good food and good company. Now, it is time to focus on my other favorite holiday (Christmas!) and the 2.5 weeks that I have left in Spain. And maybe, if I am lucky, my mom will make some of her delicious stuffing for me when I return home.

~Rebecca Jaeger

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Victoria Elizabeth Snare

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