My Italian Thanksgiving

One drawback of studying abroad is not being able to be with family during the holiday season, which makes it a little more difficult not to miss home this time of year. Unfortunately I was not able to go home and celebrate with any of my family this year. It honestly made me sad to think that my family was all together (one of the two holidays where this is the case) and I missed out on the occasion.

But, luckily, something happened the weekend before that made up for it every single bit.

My sister, my mom and me at Trevi Fountain, Rome.

My family decided to travel to Europe around this time of year to come see me. The weekend before they were in Tübingen and I got to show them Germany for a few days. They left the day before Thanksgiving to go back to California, but my last opportunity to see them was the weekend in Rome we had together; I flew to Italy to see them one more time for what will be a while.

I decided to call the weekend my “Thanksgiving Weekend” in honor of the holiday coming up the following week that I was not able to attend at home.

Me with my mom and grandparents at the Colosseum

The weekend was absolutely splendid, I showed them around the city (it was my second time in Rome, so I knew the city pretty well already), we had the best wine and I got to have my “Thanksgiving dinner” with my family in Rome.

Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City

If someone would have told me in January that my family and I would all be together in Rome by the end of the year, I wouldn’t have believed them at all. It was the most unexpected thing to happen but also one of the best memories I’ll have for my study abroad experience. It’s the season of giving thanks and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to have this moment with all of them.

Villa Borghese

My favorite moment of this whole weekend was when we had our official “Thanksgiving Dinner” on the last night together and we tried out a new tradition. My grandmother and my sister collect wine corks and they had a whole cup full of them at the dinner table. I decided that we would take out one at a time and pass the cup around. Each time someone pulls out a cork, they have to say something they’re thankful for. We had enough that everyone got to go about four times, and it was really heartwarming to hear the love everyone had for each other and the thankfulness of being together.

I hope that tradition sticks through time, but either way it was a heartwarming experience that put a smile on my face.

Me and Matt at Villa Borghese.

Thanks for a great weekend Mom, Lindsey, Matt, Grandma and Grandpa. I had the best weekend in Rome with you all, and I hope you enjoyed the rest of your time in Europe.

Trevi Fountain

Brandon Einstoss is an applied mathematics and German junior. He is studying in Tubingen, Germany for a full academic year

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