'I Won't Be Home For Christmas'

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Throughout my life, my family has treated Christmas as a wonderful and important holiday. We did all the normal things and had some amazing traditions. It was family time, and I took it for granted that I'd always have a family Christmas.

On August 18, 2008, I left for the most important adventure of my life thus far. I was on a plane for nearly an entire day, traveling through many time zones. I arrived at my destination tired and travel-worn, but happy. I was finally in Taiwan,my home for the next ten months.

Four months later, the holidays were fast approaching, and I had become a completely different person. I was starting to understand my new language, and I had a wonderful host family who loved me like a daughter. It was hard to tell that it was mid-December considering the weather. Coming from snow-covered Michigan, I had always experienced the clichéd "white Christmas." And although the weather in Taiwan was constantly switching from hot to cold, it never snowed. So it took me by surprise when I looked at my calendar and saw that Christmas was just three days away...

Keep reading this article on TeenInk.com

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