A note of Thanksgiving

Every year on the fourth Thursday in November, Americans across the U.S. celebrate Thanksgiving. This year we’ll be in Los Angeles, California, where we recently relocated from Phoenix, Arizona. During our own period of change and transition, we have been especially aware of the challenges involved with a move to a new location and culture, and it has made us even more appreciative that you’ve invited us to accompany you on your journeys.

For those in the U.S., we wish you a very happy holiday with good food, good memories, and gatherings with those you love. Whether you celebrate with turkey and football, or do as we do and skip tradition altogether, we hope it is a time of relaxation, appreciation, and connection.

For those who are visiting as expats, international students, or tourists, we advise you to adjust your plans during this holiday time. Traffic patterns, store hours, school schedules, and everything else will be a bit different next week (and even starting today, the Friday before). Expect significant delays on the road as more than 54 million Americans travel, last-minute rushes at grocery stores as your entire zip code scrambles to buy identical foods, early dismissals from some workplaces, closures at government buildings, and holiday breaks for students.

This is a prime opportunity for you to observe American culture firsthand - or even participate in it. Whether you join a community gathering, volunteer at a local soup kitchen, eat a Thanksgiving meal at a restaurant, attempt to cook your own turkey at home, go shopping on Black Friday, watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, go out to admire Christmas lights, or just enjoy walking in a park or watching a movie, there are numerous opportunities to experience an American Thanksgiving in all its variety, wherever you live. (And if you’ve never tried them, now is the best time to sample dishes like cranberry sauce, stuffing, and pumpkin or pecan pie).

And finally, for those in other countries who work with folks in the U.S., we encourage you to be patient as you will likely not receive any email or phone call replies from American colleagues until Monday, November 26. Don’t take it personally - we Americans are notoriously under-vacationed, and the four day weekend is one of our only socially-sanctioned times all year to be off the clock. (Think of it as the European August vacation season, crammed into 4-8 days).

This Thanksgiving, we are thankful for many things: our new home, the opportunity to do the work we love, and especially for the relationships we have cultivated with you. Wherever you are, we appreciate you, and we look forward to reconnecting when we return on Monday, November 26.

Happy Thanksgiving!