We spent Thanksgiving this year with friends from Key West. There were 8 of us all together. We had a crab stuffed Mutton Snapper as our main course and we also had a Turkey. Kristina insisted I buy a "Happy Turkey" one that lived it's life as a vegetarian and free ranged. Happy Turkeys (read expensive Turkey) aren't sold as loss leaders at Publix, Winn Dixie or Stop and Shop. They come from Specialty stores and typically cost as much as a Day at Disneyworld. They don't seem to taste different to me and since Kristina is a vegetarian, I suppose they don't taste different to her. I don't really think the Turkey was any happier once he was in the oven but who knows.
Spending holidays like Thanksgiving in Key West or Costa Rica is very similar. Let me explain. Not many who live in Key West are from Key West. In fact most people who live in Florida are not from Florida just as not many North Americans who live in Costa Rica are from Costa Rica.
When you move far away from your friends and family, you very quickly discover a new circle of friends. One thing you may not realize is that when you no longer live in your familiar circle of friends and family, most of those around you also no longer live in their circle. Expats seek out other expats. We all want to spend times like Thanksgiving with others, in fact even more so than before you'd moved away.
Nearly everyone who moves abroad is surprised how quickly they make new friends. Another plus is that when you move away, you get a new found sense of freedom. Most of us don't realize how much of a slave we are to our stuff, our family and our past. It's like having a clean slate and getting to start over again, pick new friends, get new stuff, clean out all the clutter that muddles your mind and creates stress.
Costa Ricans don't celebrate Thanksgiving and it is not national holiday. There is no black Friday shopping on the day after and nobody has the day off.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. We have so much to be thankful for.