For the most part, traveling to new and exotic locales is a thrilling and overwhelmingly positive experience. But when national holidays come around, it’s easy to hunger for home.
Americans living or traveling abroad are particularly susceptible to homesickness during the most American of all holidays: Independence Day. But take heart. While you might not be able to recreate a poolside barbeque abroad, you can celebrate July 4th in style at any of these locales.
Yes, there’s a surreal aspect to Britain’s celebrations of American Independence from Britain. But that doesn’t stop Londoners from going all out. Each year, thousands of attendees flock to the American Independence Day picnic, which features great food in addition to lawn games and food eating contests. Meanwhile, local restaurants fly the star spangled banner and serve up American-inspired cuisine. The day is capped off with (what else?) fireworks.
Every July for more than 100 years, a gathering of Danes, expats, and travelers have come together for one of the largest 4th of July celebrations outside the U.S. Thousands of revelers come together for the multi-day event, which includes live music, entertainment, and speeches by celebrities of both American and Danish heritage. (Former speakers include Walt Disney, Richard Chamberlain, and Richard M. Nixon.) Rebild is just over an hour away from Copenhagen by car, making it a worthwhile pit stop for Americans in need of a taste of home.
As soon as Rome’s July 4th celebrations die down each year, the American International Club of Rome gets started on planning the next year’s festivities. The annual American Independence Day celebration kicks off in style with family-friendly activities, yard games (hello, potato sack races!), live music and entertainment, and classic American fare such as hamburgers, hot dogs, and s’mores.
Thanks to its large expat population, Shanghai is always home to a rockin’ July 4th celebration. The Shanghai-based American Chamber of Commerce typically organizes the event at a different location each year. No matter where it’s held, the event consistently boasts great food, live music, entertainment, dancing, and family-friendly activities. Each year’s celebration is unique in that it showcases a different aspect of American culture, such as the NBA.
Each year, American expats living in Sydney make it their mission to organize the largest July 4th celebration in the Southern Hemisphere. They pull out all the stops in order to put on a festival replete with American-inspired food and drinks, classic bar games (think beer pong and trivia), and—of course—fireworks. While the weather might not feel appropriate for the day (July is winter in Australia), the celebrations will be on par with the real deal.
Don’t let homesickness ruin your July 4th. Instead, head to any of these cities for stellar Independence Day celebrations that rival the festivities in the United States. And if you can’t make it to any of these events? You can still connect with fellow Americans abroad by hosting a mini July 4th celebration wherever you are in the world.