Thanksgiving abroad

Travel blogger, Andrea Leblang, has spent many a Thanksgiving abroad whilst travelling the world and creating Best World YetShe's given us her top tips for celebrating the holiday if you're away from home.

Most people picture Thanksgiving as a time for feasting with family and friends. While turkey and football are usually the main event, socializing with the ones you love is the most important part of the day. I have fond memories of this ‘traditional version’ of Thanksgiving, though it has been many years since I’ve had the opportunity to partake.

My husband and I spent the past four years (including Thanksgivings) outside the United States. A passion for travel, and the ability to work remotely, led us to a unique, nomadic lifestyle. In our early travels, we viewed the holiday as a time to embark upon an extraordinary adventure.

Our first Thanksgiving away was spent on a South African safari - one of our most memorable trips to date! Over time, we searched for more traditional ways to enjoy this special day while living abroad. We weren’t always successful in our quest for turkey, but we always found a memorable way to celebrate: from Italian-style, expat celebrations in Florence to fancy black-tie Thanksgiving events in Paris. We’ve also had quaint, casual celebrations - like our Thanksgiving picnic on the cliffs of Rovinj, Croatia

While there is something sweet and comforting about a traditional Thanksgiving celebration, there are many ways to create memorable experiences abroad. Here are my tips for bringing Thanksgiving to you, wherever you may be…  


Locate your fellow expat community

Most large cities have expat groups. Even less populated locations have a friendly community of people who want to celebrate together. University towns will always have some sort of event, with surrounding restaurants typically catering to the college community, serving Thanksgiving menus.



Share a special meal with new friends

Thanksgiving is a time to socialize with family and friends. If you’re far from yours, use the opportunity to enjoy the company of new friends. Maybe you’ve met a few friendly faces during your travels? Invite them to join you for a ‘Friendsgiving’ style feast. You could host the party, or you could even have a casual, potluck picnic.


Embrace the cuisine of the country you’re visiting

It’s hard to picture Thanksgiving without turkey, but the opportunity to spend this day in a unique location calls for a unique celebration! Learn about local cuisine, and spend a day preparing your own feast. Make your own pasta, roll your own sushi, or simply shop local markets for fresh ingredients and get creative!


Dine out at a restaurant that serves a Thanksgiving menu

Thanksgiving feast is traditionally a meal at home, but it’s nice to skip the cooking and dishes for a change! Many local restaurants around University towns, and US themed restaurants, serve a Thanksgiving menu. These meals can be a social event as well, and are often served at large, family-style tables.


Create a unique experience

If you strike out on turkey and traditional events, or if you simply want to indulge in a unique activity, create your own funky way to celebrate the holiday! Whether it be a big adventure, or a fun and simple treat, do something that makes you thankful to be where you are in that moment.


This blog was written by Andrea Leblang from Best World Yet where you can find more inspiration for your travels.