I was proudly invited by the sweet Meg Campbell, from Destiny USA (Facebook, Twitter), to write a special blog post on my favorite holiday memories/traditions to participate on their Unwrap Your Memories Campaign.
I have loads of cherishing memories from my holidays with my family and friends, but the one I spent in England while living there for my master studies was quite unforgettable. Besides studying hard, I also worked part time as a waitress at a café and at an Italian restaurant. That was from 2009 to 2010. I was so lucky to meet a bunch of great friends from a couple of other countries, with whom I learned a lot and exchanged wonderful experiences that I’ll take with me forever.
I’ll never forget my shifts at the café at the mall, with background Christmas songs or live Christmas carols, gorgeous Christmas decorations with shiny green and yellow balls hanging from the ceiling, and the lovely English customers bustling in carrying bags full of presents for their loved ones.
After calling it a day at the café, my Christmas Eve dinner was among dear friends from Poland, Italy and Colombia. We ate traditional food from our home countries (e.g. pierogi, from Poland, and tiramisù, from Italy), exchanged lovely presents and pulled Christmas crackers, wearing the golden hats that were inside for the rest of the evening.
On the 25th, I proudly managed to roast a turkey for the first time! After going to mass early in the morning, I enjoyed a Christmas lunch with two friends from Tanzania who lived with me at the dorm. They also prepared ugali, which they usually eat with their bare hands (that’s why a woman from Tanzania will only paint the nails of one hand, leaving the one they use to eat clean).
On New Year’s Eve, some friends from Poland and Italy, and I went to London to see the fabulous fireworks. However, we never got to the river Thames and couldn’t actually see them! lol The place was crowded and the police were blocking the streets that would lead to the river. Nevertheless, we had so much fun roaming around London streets, taking pics with strangers, laughing our hearts out and celebrating the brand new and promising year. Before taking the train back home, we stopped for a hot dog, and it magically started snowing! It was so cool! When you come from a Southern country where people usually spend their holidays at the beach, wearing shorts, tank tops and flip-flops, being able to get the real holiday feeling with snow is something special.
Being away from home, especially during holidays, is really difficult, but the friends I made and the moments I spent with them turned them into the most special holidays I’ve ever had.
Why don’t you also share your holiday memories with us? I would love to hear your story! 🙂