Last year, I spent my very first Thanksgiving without being with my family as I was living in Argentina. I decided that I would get my new friends together and have an Argentinian Thanksgiving! I was living with my friend and his boyfriend, and we invited about 5 people over; most of them were Argentinians and didn’t know too much about Thanksgiving. They’d heard of it, but were curious as to the exact reasons and history of the holiday. I pulled into my elementary school archives and gave them a run-down of how the First Thanksgiving supposedly that the Native Americans and Pilgrims were all getting along and had a feast together and all gave thanks for what they had- that is, of course, before the Pilgrims decimated the Native Americans, but before it was cute! (major sarcasm of course). It was interesting explaining an American holiday to people who have never experienced it before. I explained that, to my family (and I’m sure for many others), it’s a way for extended family who might not get together very often if at all during the year, to have a dinner together and to give thanks for what we have in our lives.
Everyone pitched into the meal, which wasn’t necessarily traditional, but had an Argentinian flair, and was very special to me none the less. Here was our menu:
My “traditional” spinach dip (I make it for many family occasions)
MAIN COURSE + SIDES:
Chicken Fajitas with grilled onions, bell pepper and guacamole and queso cremoso (drool)
Sweet potato mash – I couldn’t find marshmallows, so I used a bunch of brown sugar!
“Green bean casserole” – again, I couldn’t find cream of mushroom soup or the french fried onions, so I sauteed mushrooms and onions with the green beans and spices
We also had an assortment of typical Argentinian alcoholic beverages such as Gancia and Fernet, usually paired with coke.
I think everyone had a great time and I could not have wished for a greater Thanksgiving away from home! It definitely made me grateful for the new friends I had made and the opportunity to share a tradition from where I come from with them, the opportunity I had to grow away from home as well as the passion I have to make travel a part of my life.
Have any of you ever spent a holiday away from home? What has travel made you grateful for?