04 July 2012

The 4th of July.

Yesterday I came to a couple of crazy realizations:

a) somehow it's already July.  Like, as in the year is already more than half way over.  How did that even happen?  This year has been pretty good to me so far.  Stick around 2012... I sort of like you.

and...

b) this will be my fifth consecutive year spent outside of the United States on the 4th of July.  
Again, how in the world did that happen?


The 4th of July is just one of the many times throughout the year when I wish I could magically warp back to California and spend the weekend with my family, enjoy some good food, marvel at the beautiful fireworks, listen to cheesy old American hits on the radio, have a good laugh or two, and then with a snap of my fingers warp back to South Africa again.  Unfortunately, life doesn't work that way {at least not {yet} anyways} and so for now there are just some holidays and special occasions I have to agree to miss out on. 

Luckily, living outside of the United States doesn't preclude one from appreciating where they came from, and to be honest, I must admit that I never truly appreciated the good old US of A until I moved away from it for a couple of years.  It was only once I was able to really experience life in another country that I started to realize how blessed I was to be able to call myself an American.  The high quality public education, the access to solid healthcare, the fact that there is actually a minimum wage {most industries don't have one in South Africa}, the honest and effective policing system, the relatively efficient and non-corrupt government - all of these things that I grew up taking for granted, I don't take for granted anymore.  The USA is definitely a wonderful place to come from.

So on this day I would just like to say, Happy 236th Birthday America, and thank you for all that you've done for me.  I definitely owe a lot to you.

And, to all the Americans reading this: be sure to eat an extra hot dog and light an extra sparkler for me!

{For a blast from the past see last year's 4th of July post here}

Also, today I'm being featured on Jay's lovely blog {From There to Here} in her fun, new series Expatriated!  Jay is one of my very favorites, so be sure to hop on over and check it out here!

21 comments:

  1. I wished I was home for Canada Day as well - there's something about taking part in the celebrations with friends and family. I love all of the community spirit and pride on the day :-) I agree that I took all of that for granted but after 2 years in Gabon, my goodness do I think we have it good as Canadians!

    I hope you and Jurgen find a way to celebrate tonight!

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  2. This is my second year away from home in a row for the 4th, and i'm a lot sad, LOL. I miss celebrating this particular year of "birth" with lots and lots of food and beer. Haha, maybe next year! Hope you have a great day!

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  3. Happy 4th to you! I know what you mean by appreciating the US more once you are gone! I tend to take the US for granted until I travel!

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  4. Have been in the USA during the 4th of july one time already... and loved it :)

    love,
    Franzi

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  5. Happy 4th of July.

    I do love celebrating the US holidays as well...my fav country (after my own).

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  6. Happy 4th of July!!!!! Such a great post about our Country.

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  7. Happy 4th July - hope you got to celebrate a bit :)

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  8. Love this!! Such a great post. And I kind of love that sparkler picture!

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  9. Aww hope you had an amazing 4th of July! x

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  10. It's nice to hear other expats view on celebrating America's birthday across the globe. No matter how much I enjoy traveling the world, nothing beats home!

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  11. love your blog and this! I am your newest follower! I cannot wait to read more of your posts and hope that maybe you can return the favor and follow my preppy blog. I always comment for every comment left on my page and hope to start a friendly relationship with your wonderful blog!

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  12. I ate a delicious hot dog for you yesterday!
    Your list of why you appreciate America is so true and exactly how I feel being a South African living in the States.

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  13. I've been thinking the exact same thing... how the hell is it July already?!
    And I can't even remember the last 4th of July back home. I really need to start celebrating it here too :)

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  14. I'm sure your family wishes you could jump back over too. But I love everything you said - so true! America rocks! Happy weekend chica!

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  15. Hope you had a good fourth!!

    Hope you'll head over my way and check out my giveaway! xo

    Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

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  16. What a great post Jenna! I guess we should all be better at appreciating the place we come from. Sometimes I'm really good at being pretty mean to Sweden. But then again I remember that it's actually a pretty amazing country to grow up in :)

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  17. your blog is darling! so glad i found my way here. wanna follow each other? xx

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  18. i'm so happy i got to be in the US for the 4th.... it's the best holiday

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  19. Hey girl! New follower to your blog, so I'm just catching up - out of the US for the fourth of july that many times? Crazy! I can't wait to catch up on your blog :)

    stop by and say hi sometime!
    www.dysfunctionaleverafter.com

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  20. Hi Jenna!! So sweet of you to mention us ;-)!! I was anxiously waiting for your post about our Picnic as I didn't take any pictures that day (such a shame but I was just so tired ;-)!! Thanks for this great report back! Amaury and I are going to Botswana next week, then we'll go back home for 3 weeks (back in Jo'burg 18/08). Maybe we can meet up after that?? X Julie

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Thanks for commenting! I love reading each and every one of them :)