This year is the third holiday season that I’ve spent away from home, marking it the longest consecutive holidays abroad. Truth be told, I was more homesick this year than usual. There is nothing particularly special about what my family does for the holidays, but just being around them provides that air of comfort. The holidays tunes about being home for the season resonated me more this year than ever.
The holiday began with Thanksgiving feast, to Hanukkah party, to Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day dinner. I was fortunate to spend each of these holidays with different groups of friends. When you are abroad, friends become families, and while they can’t replace the real deal, friends help sooth that pangs of homesickness. I say the same thing every year, and every year it becomes ever more true: I’m so incredibly grateful for people whom I’ve met, and whom have made foreign lands home for me.
Christmas is a time to honor these friendships. So, beyond the friends in Shanghai whom I could physically spend time with, I’ve spent the past few days writing messages and making calls to loved ones around the globe. These relationships are what make my life so interesting. People is what matters. This holiday season, I am particular grateful for the people I’ve met along the way. The human connection is fascinating, and I can’t express enough gratitude for it.
It was a beautiful Christmas here in Shanghai, with clear skies and brisk, yet not too cold air. As I walked to a café to get work done, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and albeit the homesickness, I felt peaceful. I hope you’ve been able to spend the holidays with people who made your lives whole. I look forward to many more unique connections in the new year. Happy Holidays, my loves!