Happy Thanksgiving! I can’t believe its the start of another holiday season. Thanksgiving in Italy is, err, a little different from back home. I had to remind myself that for most people in Milano (not to mention for 95% of my class) it is just another day.
What do you mean we have 7 1/2 hours of class today, its THANKSGIVING!!
Well, for those that don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I’m sure you at least know about the gigantic Thanksgiving feast that marks the day. However, aside from the immense amounts of deliciousness that goes on, one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is contacting friends and fam and sharing greetings, reasons we’re thankful, and reflections on the past year together. Tonight I ducked out of the typical Thirsty Thursday routine in order to catch up with some loved ones, and I also had a chance to read my last blog post from last year’s Thanksgiving when I was in Chennai. Then, of course, I had no idea that I would be on this incredible b-school journey in Italy, and I can say with some certainty that a lot of the reason I’m here today is because of that experience I had last year. So maybe I owe my backpacking friends and hosts a little more after all!
Here are just a few of the things I’m thankful for from my time thus far in Milano:
One fantastic location: London was awesome and what was just as good as getting on a two hour flight to the UK was knowing that on the way back we were going back Home to Milan. While I wish I could be jetsetting everywhere my class schedule (and my wallet) can’t exactly afford it right now, but at least Milan’s positioning in northern Italy is pretty great for being a quick train ride to other amazing Italian cities.
Orbit gum, peanut butter, and Aleve: Justt kidding, what I’m really thankful for the person that traveled thousands of miles to bring this, and many other important essentials, to me – my mom! (Truth be told I think she was using it as an excuse to visit Italy, but she’ll never admit that.) I’m thankful to have parents that are so supportive and encouraging in all my endeavors. What parent doesn’t love to hear that their kid is quitting their job/income to pick up and leave the country for a year, right? On that note, I’m also thankful for being a part of such an international family. My family’s Thanksgiving destinations this year: Italy, Japan and Costa Rica. But Christmas: only India. :)
Fresh produce and delicious desserts: Pretty self-explanatory, but I’m not sure if there’s ever been a time in my life where I’ve ever eaten better! As the saying goes, “If you ever have a bad meal here, you’re doing something wrong.”
Supportive and fun classmates: We study together, we goof off together, we stress out together, and we party together. Moving to a foreign city is hard enough, but adjusting to an intense grad program simultaneously is demanding as hell. My classmates have been a lifeline for me when I was teetering on the verge of a meltdown (or had maybe freshly fallen into it.)
The constant “wow” factor of technology: iMessage, you may win the Coolest
Tech App Gadget Thingamajig Award in my book. The fact that I can text friends and family back in the states for FREE is so freakin’ cool. Same goes for WhatsApp, Skype, FaceTime, Gchat, Facebook, good “ol-fashioned” email… pretty much anything that helps me stay connected to those back home and make it seem as if I’m not thousands of miles away.
My Nespresso machine
Next mission: Find a real Christmas tree for my real tiny apartment. Will I have to make some expat compromises on the Christmas traditions this year?