All you need to know about Iberian America

The Weirdness of an American Holiday without America

Published December 14, 2021 in Personal Stories & Opinions - 0 Comments

Ever since the Covid travel restrictions started, I’ve been living in Mexico without my occasional visit back home.

A usual visit once every 6 months was normal.

A trip around Thanksgiving and Christmas time and a visit around 4th of July and my mom’s birthday.

Worked perfectly.

Well, it’s been a little while since I’ve had those visits.

About 2 years now.

Of course, as I wrote here, it’s weird in general for a holiday you knew since growing up to come around but yet not have many people to celebrate it with.

Though, if we’re being honest, some holidays back home are celebrated down here also.

Like Christmas or New Years for example.

Assuming you know some folks, you can easily enough find someone to celebrate with during one of those days down here.

Like if you’re dating someone formally perhaps.

 If not, you can always go to your local gringo expat bar for New Years and meet someone new there for the occasion.

Though hopefully you have someone to celebrate Christmas or New Years with down here if, for whatever reason, you can’t make it back home for that week.

And then you have the birthday.

While I strongly prefer celebrating Christmas and New Years with family up north, I strongly prefer celebrating my birthday down here.

For one, it feels like over the last decade that nobody back home really gives a fuck anymore if my birthday is around the corner or not.

Though, to be fair, this year’s birthday was a little bit nicer. I did get a few messages.

But it generally is “lack of fun” back home.

Either a parent forgets to even say “happy birthday” for the day or I am back home and the birthday kinda sucks dick.

The last time I was home for my birthday was over 2 years ago.

Long story short, I got into a big argument with someone in the family while being dragged around the state of Iowa with only a few hours of sleep from the night before. 

In contrast, my last birthday involved having a nice Mexican chick buy me numerous shots and beers at a club while moaning “dame hijos blancos” when we were fucking.

So, suffice to say, one is more memorable than the other.

As of right now, we have covered two types of days.

Holidays that are celebrated up north and down south and the birthday.

But what about holidays that aren’t celebrated that much down here in Latin America but are back home?

Obviously, there aren’t too many Mexicans shooting off fireworks for 4th of July.

A sight yet to be seen.

And, while you do have some Mexicans who celebrate Thanksgiving as I wrote here, it’s largely a US holiday.

It does have some place in Latin America but only within very select groups.

It’s holidays like those that are even more peculiar.

Assuming you at least know people down here, you got those who are totally down to celebrate the holidays like Christmas or your birthday.

But 4th of July?

I never had a local in Latin America celebrate 4th of July with me for obvious reasons.

Nor have I ever hoped for such.

Still, as a foreigner in any part of the world, those holidays hit a little bit extra hard because you don’t really have anyone to celebrate with necessarily.

It’s easier, as I said, to find someone to celebrate something like Christmas or your birthday but not as easy for something like 4th of July or Thanksgiving.

As a result, you get left with a odd feeling.

The Holiday that Disappeared

It’s a strange feeling waking up on a day where celebrations should occur but they don’t.

They occurred all your life, didn’t they?

The night every year of going behind the house to shoot off fireworks your parents bought from Missouri to use in Iowa.

With that occasional sprint around the house to make sure no cops are on the street to bust you for enjoying freedom.

Or the afternoons of celebrating Thanksgiving with family with plenty of good food and all that.

Now you wake up.

It’s 11 AM.

A little bit hungover, you are.

And yet nobody to celebrate that special day with you.

That day being 4th of July, Thanksgiving or whatever else.

All the folks from back home are talking about this day on Facebook.

Yet, down where you live, it’s irrelevant.

I can’t express it any other way than “it feels odd.”

It doesn’t ruin the day necessarily.

It just feels odd.

Like something is missing.

It’s not a pleasant feeling but it doesn’t send you down a deep hole of depression either.

Just feels odd.

And, in that moment of feeling odd, you might reflect on your childhood when you did celebrate those days.

When you had someone to celebrate it with.

That negative odd feeling is now compounded by nostalgia for the past as you think about the home country and those little bits of your own culture that aren’t as relevant to common day life down here.

Of course, there’s obvious ways around this.

Let’s wrap this up on that.

The Solution

I can hear it already.


Yeah, I get it.

And I accept it.

Still, while you accept the obvious as I’m not demanding that Mexicans celebrate 4th of July, you still obviously miss celebrating that day the way you did growing up.

So, while you do have to accept it, there are solutions to work with.

First, as I hinted at already, a visit home to celebrate with your fellow countrymen isn’t a terrible idea.

Personally, I strongly prefer a visit back home once every 6 months.

While I can’t stand living home and find that it makes me feel a little more depressed, I also feel a little more depressed being away from home without that visit every 6 months.

I need both!

I need to live away from home but I need a visit home once every 3 to 6 months.

Second, if you live down here long enough, I imagine you’ll start your own family someday.

Well, maybe not if you are in retirement age.

But someone young like me?

Very likely.

So, if that’s the case, I suppose you can always celebrate those “American holidays” like 4th of July or Thanksgiving that aren’t celebrated down here.

And, for something like Thanksgiving, that’s not entirely possible as there are folks down here who do celebrate it as I wrote here.

On top of that, if I ever do have kids someday, I guaran fucking tee you that I’m raising them to be part American.

They’re going to know their roots.

I’ll even teach my future family the Star Spangled Banner so they can sing along with me in our future backyard in some city in Latin America.

Then we’ll shoot off fireworks and have a barbecue.

With all the commotion we’ll make, I’m sure one of the Latin American neighbors will yell out crying “THE AMERICNAS ARE COMING! THE AMERICANS ARE COMING!”

That’s right, bitch.

The Familia Americana is in the house!

Suck these red, white and blue nutz!

Third, if you miss a certain holiday not celebrated down here, go find some expat community to celebrate with!

When I was living in a Bolivian city called Cochabamba, I celebrated 4th of July because I was part of a group of foreigners living in the same city.

We played beer pong and other cool shit.

Anyway, that’s all I got to say.

That, as a foreigner in any country, you’ll likely have holidays that aren’t celebrated down here in which you’ll feel “odd” when those days come by when you got nobody to celebrate with.

But, as I just said, there’s ways to work with that.

Got anything to add?

Drop a comment below in the comment section.

And follow my Twitter here.

Thanks for reading.

Best regards,


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