We have had some interesting Halloweens while traveling. Like our first Halloween in Spain, last Halloween in Bora Bora, our favorite Halloween in New York City/ New Jersey with Wendy Perrin’s family, a Halloween in beautiful Umbria, plus Barcelona. We have even have been on the BBC talking about our Halloween celebrations.
Halloween is just not the same in Europe and elsewhere. Sure, you can find a few token Halloween things here and there, but for the most part it, is not celebrated in the same way. It certainly is not considered a special holiday, and door-to-door, old-fashioned trick-or-treating is not done at all; except in a few other places, mostly in the UK.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t still find fun ways to celebrate. Just adapt. Since we have a traveling-as-a-family lifestyle these past six years (to 43 countries on five continents), we’ve learned to keep our own holiday traditions even in places where they’re not celebrated. If there is a will, there is always a way!
We like buying costumes on our travels that we later use for Halloween. We bought belly dancer costumes in Turkey that made visiting Ephesus extra fun for our six year old, then later used it as her Halloween costume in Umbria, Italy. Extra bonus: it was super small to pack (we always pack very lightly, with just carry-on luggage).
When we visited the castle in England where they shot the outdoor scenes of Hogwarts from the Harry Potter movies, we splurged on a Hermione costume and broom. This made it a thrill for our HP book fan to learn to fly with Harry Potter there — and later use it as her costume in New Jersey and New York City, when we landed there on Oct. 31. Another bonus: you may find that museums that day are totally empty, as we did in New York.
Last year, we knew we would be in Bora Bora for Halloween. So we bought our daughter Mozart a costume when we visited Hawaii, and she did get to do a little trick-or-treating in French, thanks to our hostess who asked the locals where the best Halloween spot for kids was.
This year, for the first time in years, we will be celebrating Halloween at home — in Santa Cruz, California. I think we can appreciate it more now that we have experienced it in so many other places and ways.
Jeanne blogs at Soultravelers3.
Jeanne Dee is an internationally recognized travel guru/lifestyle design consultant via her award-winning website Soultravelers3. National Geographic Traveler calls it “One of the best family travel blogs in cyberspace.” She’s been featured in The New York Times, BBC, MSNBC, The Huffington Post, as well as in The New York Times best-seller The 4-Hour Workweek.
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