Sunday, November 25, 2012

a Spanish Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving happened last Thursday. It's the first Thanksgiving I've ever spent away from my family--even when I studied abroad in Portugal, my mom flew over and roasted me a chicken. I was expecting it to be a little weirder (/sadder/more-homesickness-inducing) than it was, so I guess that's a good thing.

A bunch of friends and I gathered in an apartment, cooked two chickens (whole turkeys have to be pre-ordered, and we missed the crucial window of opportunity) and a mountain of side dishes and desserts, and enjoyed Thanksgiving, Spanish-style. No turkey, no cranberry sauce, no gravy, no pumpkin pie, but I didn't care, since I was surrounded by people I feel genuinely thankful to have in my life.

carving the "turkey"
On that note, I thought I'd share five things about living here, that I'm thankful for.

1. Having this opportunity at all. I feel so incredibly blessed to be writing this post from my kitchen in Lugo. Outside of this program, it's virtually impossible for a post-collegiate American to legally live and work in Spain. I won't lie and say that I absolutely love every part of being an auxiliar at my school, but even on the bad days, I'm thankful that I have the chance to be here.

2. Having friends who I feel like I can rely on. When you're alone in a foreign country, a time zone or two away from your family and your best friends, you rely on the friends you make there. They become your support network, your strength, the people you can fall back on when you're having a rough time. I have been fortunate enough to find friends like that here in Lugo.

3. Having Gwen with me. (This is a gimme.) She is a constant source of comfort, love, and wet-nosed kisses. And a great motivation for getting outside and soaking up some Lucense air (sometimes rain) instead of vegetating in my apartment.

4. Living in Lugo. I love this place, from the Roman wall to the spiderwebs of trails to the tree-lined street I live on. It's not a great place to be a tourist, but to live? Hard to beat the low cost of living and free tapas. I can always go to museums somewhere else.

5. The shockingly cheap cost of produce. In Spain, food that's good for you is cheap. I got five apples for 1.08 last week, four oranges for 0.94. And both of them were the fancy varietals, not the bargain-basement ones. The same goes for fish and meat. This is unheard of in America.


  1. Dear Annia,
    It sounds like you are having a lovely time overall! Very very happy for you. Miss you a ton and thankful to have you in my life, too!

    1. Yup it's been pretty awesome! Let me know if you want to Google Hangout any time this week :) I am thankful for youuuuuuu, best roommate ever!

  2. I just found your blog through Liz's and I LOVE that you brought your dog with you :) How awesome!

    I too love the cheap cost of produce in Spain. And in places like Galicia/Castilla Leon (where my heart lies), it's even cheaper!

    1. Hi! Thanks :) It was definitely pretty difficult getting the pup here, but more than worth it.

      Three cheers again for cheap produce! I love that it's more cost-effective to eat healthy food here.