5 Fun Ways to Celebrate the Fourth of July When Traveling Abroad

Independence Day is soon going to be upon us, and while you know your friends and family are going to be celebrating this day the usual way – the barbecues, fireworks, and plenty of block parties – you find yourself out of the country, far from the good ol’ USA.

Depending on where you are in the world, despite wanting to celebrate the Fourth of July, you may not want to come off as the overly patriotic (and obnoxious) American. Here are some ways to celebrate the United States’ Independence Day abroad:

1 Have a BBQ

Nothing beats a July 4th barbecue. If you have access to an outdoor grill, some hotdogs, burgers or veggie burgers, buns, and the obligatory red, white, and blue poke cake, then you have yourself the makings of a feast. Call up some friends and coworkers and head to a park or beach.

See who has a yard or veranda to share. Non-American friends may not completely understand, but any reason to throw a party and hang out, listening to a patriotic playlist, is reason enough. Optionally, you can head to an American Bar and Grill if you find yourself in a pinch.

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2 Watch patriotic movies

For the introverts who would rather chill out at the hotel or Airbnb, binge-watching American movies is a wonderful alternative. I mean, what’s better than Independence Day on repeat, as well as Captain America, The Patriot, Glory, Apollo 13, and Top Gun? Grab the Cool Ranch Doritos and Kool-Aid, it is time for Netflix.

3 Share traditions

Though I admittedly keep my red, white, and blue blood on the down low most of the time, you can do what I do around this time of the year and drop American culture hints. For example, if you are teaching English abroad, you can have a lesson about Independence Day and sing goofy patriotic songs. Whatever you used to do on the Fourth of July in States can usually be done elsewhere. Or why not start a new tradition with your new friends?

4 Attend an event

Around the world, U.S. Embassies and Consulates have their own festivities. But you are not stuck hanging out at the Embassy all day. Some places actually have huge parties. For example, in Sydney, Australia, the Sydney Expat Americans throw one of the largest Independence Day celebrations in the Southern Hemisphere.

In Paris, Expats Paris hosts an Independence Day Summer Party. Rebild in Denmark has been celebrating July 4th since 1912; and there is an American Beer Fest that happens in London, England. Do a quick Google search for your location. You will be surprised what comes up.

5 Seek out other Americans

Lastly, seek out your fellow expatriates. I mentioned earlier than you can go to an American-themed bar or restaurant to find a huge turnout of Americans living abroad finding comfort in burgers and beer.

Check out event websites and see where other Americans are gathering for the day. When this time of the year draws near, expatriates are suddenly everywhere – so keep your eyes open for the American flag!

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Just because you are far away from the homeland does not mean you have to miss out on being patriotic. Gather up some enthusiastic friends who love learning about your culture or chill out at home, and spend the day doing things that hit close to home.

Remember to call your Stateside family and friends to wish them a Happy the Fourth of July to let them know you care, and keep on waving that Red, White, and Blue. Happy Independence Day!