Updated: Nov 10, 2020
I am homesick at least once a year.
Precisely on the third weekend of July when I know all my friends and family assemble for the annual `Schützenfest`. In my hometown we literally get that tradition bottle fed. It is the time of the year when I stalk my High School friend's Faceboook accounts and #'s on instagram to get a glimpse of the place that once was home.
15 years and 2 kids later I often wonder what tradition I want to share with my children.
What memories should they look back to?! Oddly enough, Schützenfest has been none of them so far.
Especially as an expat, when we can’t fly home on every birthday or holiday, where we miss weddings, parties and festivities, we may not always be able to honour traditions. Homesickness kicks in and becomes an integral part of our lives.
And that is ok. Accept it.
Embrace it, because homesickness is a lovely mix of memories and emotions, triggered by a date in the calendar, a song, a smell...
With time the brain has turned all the information into an romanticized memory that causes us to experience homesickness.
Bad news, there is no cure.
Good news, lets tackle it head on!
Make new memories in a new country and adopt a holiday!
A lot of typical expat locations are melting pots of cultures. Indulge.
Personally my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.
The food is as good as on Christmas minus the gift giving hassle.
And why did not one introduce me to pumpkin pie earlier?!
In return I have enjoyed passing traditions on to our friends. Each Good Friday we have a large fanclub in our house painting Easter eggs, only to hide and find them on the following Sunday. And no matter where in the world I was, on New Year’s Eve I am confident everyone with me has watched “ Dinner for one” a German tradition.
Each guest brings a traditional dish, everyone appreciates each others company. And best of all I can celebrate with the family I chose, my friends.
Good food, good friends…not much else needed for a great memory in the making.
It was fun living in a country that celebrates Halloween and having small kids. Excitement increases with each lolly more in that bag. Trick or Treat!
Latest discussion in our family home is the arrival of the tooth fairy. Will she come, what will she bring or will it be her Latin American counter part Ratoncito Perez, aka a rat... and the kids have no idea how lucky they are not being in Germany where non of the above are a thing.
Our current challenge is being back in my so called home country. With 16 federal states the religious holiday customs couldn't vary more. Which means I feel foreign in my own home country. So even here, we do what we always do, going with the flow of local customs and habits while adding a touch of our own to each event. This time with extra parameter of what ever covid permits.