Larry Crowe /AP
Thanksgiving in a foreign land can be a challenge.
Thanksgiving in a foreign land can be a challenge. Larry Crowe /AP
I've only been abroad for one American holiday: In the summer of 2007, I was in Yanai, Japan, living with a host family. I distinctly remember bounding down the stairs and announcing to my hosts, "It's the Fourth of July!" But that's all I did to observe the Fourth — no parades, no barbecue, no fireworks. It was just another day.
Which made me wonder: How do Americans living in other countries celebrate a tradition-laden holiday like Thanksgiving? Would they still watch football before dinner? Would turkey and pumpkin pie still grace the menu? Who would they celebrate with?
We put the question to our Facebook fans abroad. Among the more than 1,200 responses: Turkey with all the fixings plus pasta in Villasanta, Italy; buying a small turkey for $60 in Katmandu, Nepal; and sharing dumplings with Czech friends in Prague. We've charted their stories on this interactive map. Click and imagine for a moment how food, family, and friends still connect us, despite the challenges of time and distance.