Recent guest poster Jill Kristal of Transitional Learning Curves is back with more outstanding insight on that very topic. Below is an excerpt from an article Jill contributed to the Weekly Telegraph.
In addition to the piece below, she provided a link to an excellent article from the Matador Network entitled Expat Celebrations: Tips for Spending Holidays Overseas (Jill's daughter is pictured in the fourth photo from the top!).
Thanks again, Jill for all of your help and to all the readers who shared theit tips on the blog, Facebook page, and Twitter! And be sure to check out Transitional Learning Curves for assistance in living your best life abroad.
Away From Home for the Holidays
Excerpted from an article written for The Weekly Telegraph, London
For expats, holidays can be joyous occasions of what is familiar and painful reminders of all we have given up for this ‘wonderful opportunity’ of living abroad. Holidays come packed with memories of people, places and experiences and, while abroad, they are reminders of people we cannot be with and events we aren’t part of. The pain of separation, feelings of loss, awareness of distance, belief that ‘my family celebrated the only/right way to celebrate’ are all likely to be greatly exacerbated during holiday times. Add to this the wish to celebrate holidays not recognized in your host culture, difficulty securing supplies to celebrate as you would like, and a lack of understanding of the significance or meaning of your holiday can make getting though the experience feel more like an endurance test than the memorable occasion it is meant to be.
Like so much else in the expat experience, holidays can be a mixed bag, and how you get through them can be influenced by choices you make and the degree of flexibility you are willing or able to bring to realizing them. Holidays can be an opportunity to reflect on who you are; where you came from; to whom, what, why and how you are connected. Holidays can arouse multiple, diverse, and often unexpected and unexplainable feelings in yourself and those around you. Celebrating holidays in another culture often poses challenges and the chance to reach within and discover abilities and skills for coping that have lain dormant which may be put to use in new and different ways. We struggle to hold on to the familiar and resist change, but it is through change and what we encounter because of it along the way -- i.e., varied experience, challenge, exposure -- that we grow as humans, as individuals and as families.
Holidays celebrated abroad provide infinite opportunity for adaptation, awareness, appreciation, and exposure to new ways of viewing and celebrating the familiar. New rituals can be developed and added to existing ones. Realization can occur that ‘the way it’s always been done’ does not mean it can’t occur with some added twist. Some changes will bring improvements to familiar events. Opportunities can be created for teaching, sharing and exposing others to your holidays and ways of doing things. Living abroad often heightens awareness of and appreciation for your own culture and traditions.
And, if and when you return 'home,' you will find yourselves remembering with fond nostalgia the special and unique ways you celebrated as expats.
Photo: Antonio M. Rosario
These articles might interest you :
After some rainy days Saturday started with sunshine – a warm day announced already early in the morning. Our cordial visit ended after morning meditation and... Read moreBy Luphil
Sounds like a fairy tale right? Nope...it's the Jungfrau region in Switzerland, which I was lucky enough to visit this summer during my 9 week backpacking... Read moreBy Decorology
Everyone has their own home away from home. That place you can leave for years and years and yet when you come back it’s as if you never left. Read moreBy Laurawh77
I don't want to leave. I'm pressed in embrace against Leslie, and it's like I'm frozen. I know that when we part, I will have to join my family in the car, and... Read moreBy Thehedonista
DESTINATIONS, HOME, TRAVEL
Over the weekend of the 2011 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix, I was billeted in the Grand Mercure Roxy, a four star hotel managed by globally-recognized... Read moreBy Thelostboylloyd
DESTINATIONS, TRAVEL, VACATION
“A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority, from his not having seen what it is expected a man should see” ~ Samueal Johnson ~... Read moreBy Singcolinquisitor
When going to Iligan you may do so by taking one of the following ways: By Air. There is no international airport in Iligan, even an airport taking domestic... Read moreBy Singcolinquisitor
MOST POPULAR FROM EXPATAll articles
MOST RECOMMENDED IN EXPAT
- My Life Abroad by Jackscott
- Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Flan de huevo (Creme Caramel) by Feistytapas
- Scenery From Madeira by Gail Aguiar
- Street Art @ LXFactory, Lisbon by Gail Aguiar