One of the worst aspects of long-term travel as an American is that you might possibly miss Thanksgiving. Other holidays are okay to miss: The Fourth of July is the rare chance to rub something in the face of the British (“So yeah…this must be awkward for you, huh?”), Christmas is wonderful everywhere, and if you’re sober enough to know what country you’re in on St. Patty’s Day, you’re doing it wrong.

But Thanksgiving needs to be celebrated at home. Not just in the US: at home. Here’s what you go through when you’re an American abroad:

You notice Thanksgiving is coming up so you check plane ticket prices online, but it’s not happening.

Guy bashes computer

So you desperately start asking around to see if anyone is hosting a Thanksgiving dinner…

Creepy big-eyed cat

You finally find a fellow American who offers to cook the turkey.

Did we just become best friends?

Because it’s not Thanksgiving without a crowd, you invite all of your non-American friends.

Harry Potter scene

But they don’t seem to understand the holiday.

I don't know why there's a holiday about eating

“Didn’t you guys…?”

An artist's conception of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag

You try to explain that Thanksgiving is less about this:

I've decided to scalp you

And more about this:

Kid holding mashed potatoes

And a lot about this:

Dream turkey being eaten by long-haired man

Your foreign friends also don’t seem to understand the amount of food you’re piling on your plate.

Gleeful plate piling

Eventually, you realize it’s not the same, and waddle home.

An obese cat struggles through cat door

You call your family on Skype, and they tell you what they’re doing.

Guy explains what he's up to

And then, maybe if they’re feeling really dickish, they’ll show you their food.

A magazine-quality turkey shot

And you’re like:

Manatee cruises into glass wall of its tank and squashes its nose

Finally, you hang up and go into the corner and do this by yourself:

Crying under desk with bottle of wine

Happy Thanksgiving, wherever you are.

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