Spending Thanksgiving In a Foreign Country

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Whangarei Falls in New Zealand.
Whangarei Falls in New Zealand.

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is certainly part of American culture to travel on Thanksgiving. Whether it be by car, train or plane, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving ends up being one of the busiest travel days of the year. I live fairly close to all of my family, so it hasn’t been much of a travel day for me historically.

One of my favorite parts of international travel though is spending holidays on the road. For holidays like Christmas, I get to see how other cultures celebrate. For other holidays which aren’t celebrated outside of our borders, it becomes an interesting personal celebration.

Thanksgiving 2007 in New Zealand

Our tiny cabin in the holiday park. Proof that we don't always stay in luxury.
Our tiny cabin in the holiday park. Proof that we don’t always stay in luxury.

A few years ago we were staying in a holiday park in New Zealand on Thanksgiving. For some reason with the time zone change and our busy travel schedules, none of us realized it was Thanksgiving. We spent the day getting a rental car and heading north out of Auckland to Whangarei Falls. These falls were the first of hundreds we would see over the next few weeks in New Zealand.

For the night, we got a very small cabin at a local holiday park and then headed to the grocery store to pickup food to cook for dinner. While we generally would buy simple foods, for some reason on this night a rotisserie chicken stood out to us. Combined with a few side items, it was to be a hearty dinner! (Of course for some reason I didn’t actually take any pics of the food!)

Once back at the holiday park, we sat at a picnic table and prepared for dinner. As we opened the packaging around the chicken, Jasmine and I looked at each with joy when we saw that it was stuffed. At that moment both of us suddenly had the realization that it was indeed Thanksgiving. We had left the U.S., but for some reason the holiday had found us. It was perfect!

For Shawn Reece Thanksgiving in New Zealand was just another excuse to play!
For Shawn Reece Thanksgiving in New Zealand was just another excuse to play!

Enjoy Your Day

Today Jasmine, Shawn Reece & I are staying at home celebrating our final Thanksgiving as a family of three. (Our new addition is coming in March!) I am truly grateful for my family, travel and so much more. I am also grateful for this site and its readers. It continue to be an amazing ride!

To close out, whether you are sitting at home watching football, heading to someone else’s home or globetrotting, have a wonderful day. Happy Thanksgiving. Gobble gobble.


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