The end of November marks 10 months remaining in the UK. We’ve spent our last expat Thanksgiving here, and while I’ll miss the Christmas markets, mulled wine and mince pie, I won’t miss the rain, long nights and weak sunshine (when it bothers to come out).
Thanksgiving here is always fun, but it doesn’t feel like a holiday when you have to work the day of and the day after. A local hotel and restaurant cooks up our favourite American recipes, and roasts up a few large turkeys. There’s plenty of wine, great volunteers who decorate and set the whole thing up and plenty of festive cheer. Even the pumpkin pie is pretty good! But it’s not the same as being home, watching the parade on TV and spending the day with family, something I’m really looking forward to next year. That and leftovers!
We’ve done what is likely our last high level hike of the year, and we had a whirlwind trip to Dortmund (post on that coming soon!). I also took part in my first trail/fell race at the Kendal Mountain festival. I’d recommend it- though I wouldn’t recommend buying shoes the day before the race. Even if they are on sale! Oops. Shoe photo below since I’m grimacing in all of the official race photos… it probably had to do with the very large climb to Scout Scar.
Now it’s the slide through the holiday season. With parties and Christmas pudding every weekend from now until we fly home, before we know it we’ll be staring down the final 9 months of our expat careers. This time of year always makes me homesick (and I find it hard to believe it’s been nearly a year since we were last stateside!) but the thought of our permanent move back to America is intimidating. Four years is a long time, how will I adapt? Will I find a job that recognizes all the experience I’ve gotten here or will it have been a waste? Will we be bored without a monthly European vacation? I worry I’ll be homesick for a country and lifestyle that was only ever temporary.
But enough moaning. It’s time to be festive, and I think I sense some mince pies and tree decorating in the near future!!