In years past, after running the YMCA Turkey Trot in Buffalo, New York, with my family, we would return home to feast on a spread of traditional Thanksgiving favorites. Soon after, we would fall into a “turkey coma” and then awaken to watch our beloved Buffalo Bills play on national TV. This year, I celebrated Thanksgiving in a slightly more refined and memorable manner.
After searching several grocery stores in Vienna, I found one relatively small turkey. This became the main course of my first attempt at preparing for a US Thanksgiving with the help of my roommates from Germany, the Czech Republic, and Austria. While enjoying our meal, we spent the evening vicariously experiencing each other’s holiday traditions.
In contrast, our meal at the 2022 Thank Fulbright – Thanksgiving was much tastier, given that special Austrian flare—you can be sure I will attempt to replicate that taste in future Thanksgiving celebrations. Mingling with the Fulbright community provided me with a sense of connectedness and of belonging with these inspiring people. Those of us new to Fulbright were able to share our experiences, culture shocks, and certain adjustments we had made up to that point in the program year. Building relationships and getting to know other like-minded people who were on a similar but uniquely different journey in Austria made this event even more memorable.