By Adelina Badea Career Advancement Program Ambassador Scholar

Adelina has been in the U.S. for over 7 months. Perhaps one of the hardest aspects of living abroad are the holidays. Normally, we are accustomed to spending a lot of holidays with our family, friends, and other loved ones. Adelina had a similar experience, read about her hardest moments, and how she overcame the home sickness during the holidays!

I have to confess that it is the first time in my life when I am so far away from my family for such a long time. At the beginning I thought “Oh, one year is not that much!”, but now after 7 months of being here I’m feeling home sick.

The first months I was excited because everything was new for me, I was very nervous with my new job and I didn’t feel home sick. But after I got used to my new life and with my new job I started to have those hard feelings of missing home, friends and family:  the worse moments are on holidays.

In 7 months I experienced many American holidays. My first American holiday experienced here it was   Halloween. It was the only day when we were allowed to dress up at work, so I dressed up in a 50’s sock hop costume . Even if it is an American holiday it wasn’t a new holiday for me because in Romania we’ve imported this holiday also. The trick or treating custom was new for me, though, and I enjoyed seeing the joy of the children asking for sweets.


Halloween! Not always spooky but a great time to dress up!

After Halloween my birthday came and besides the fact that I traveled to Las Vegas, I also had a surprise b-day party! My friends surprised me at midnight with a b-day cake and we had a nice time together. It was a very nice moment because I felt I have friends here also and they cared about me. I was really happy when I saw them all at my door at midnight.

On Christmas it was the hardest moment for me because I realized that some holidays don’t have the same meaning without family. I missed doing the Christmas tree with my family, the Christmas morning when we usually open the presents, the Christmas dinner and all our Romanian traditional food. I can say that I was very curious how Christmas is in USA because I grew up with Home Alone movies and everything about Christmas in that movie looked so amazing! I am sorry to say it but I was disappointed, nothing is the same as in the movies. But I am pretty sure the problem was that Christmas in the desert is not the same as in the areas with snow. Here there was no snow, no Christmas decorations on the street, no Christmas music and much Christmas joy. The only place in Tucson where I really felt the Christmas was at WinterHaven, a neighborhood where all the houses are very nice decorated, where you can drink hot cocoa and you can eat kettle corn. I spent Christmas with the other interns, we decorated a Christmas tree, we made cookies and we had a small Christmas party!

cookies forChristmas

Can’t miss making Christmas cookies!

New Year’s Eve is the same everywhere, it is up to you how you want to spend it. What  I missed here are the fireworks, unfortunately in Tucson there are no fireworks on New Year’s Eve. But on the other hand I had a surprise, it snowed in Tucson after so many years. So I am glad I lived to see snow in the desert.


Celebrating New Years is always a great time to dress up!

Valentine’s Day, the holiday of love, is a holiday which is imported by so many countries and by Romania also. All the stores are full of candies and hearts and all the restaurants are full of lovers. I can just say that I worked all day because we had a high house count in the hotel, so that means it is a big holiday for Americans and many couples travel to celebrate this holiday.

I am  waiting to experience other American holidays, I am waiting for the Rodeo week-end, for St Patrick’s Day and 4th of July. These holidays are totally new for me because these are not imported and we don’t have anything similar