The Fourth of July came and went with hardly a bang, which is not to say there weren’t any fireworks here in Bermuda, just that I missed them. Horseshoe Bay was the place to be this year, where about 3,000 revelers gathered to watch what I’m sure was a stunning aerial light show. Joy and I had every intention of attending, but after a full day lounging on Church Bay (see above) we were just too pooped to party. Case closed. I guess we just decided to have our own celebration—certainly not the first time we’ve done so and certainly not the last. Living overseas forces you to recreate traditions in ways you’d never expect. Like when we spent Christmas in St. Croix with lanky palm trees wrapped in white lights, sea glass ornaments hanging from the boughs, and a salty sea breeze in the air instead of a cold white snow. I made sure to wear my red Hawaiian shirt that Christmas morning (where else could I don such a gaudy tropical cover up on December 25?) as we exchanged gifts over a fresh pineapple and mango breakfast. It was as lovely as it sounds. We celebrated Thanksgiving in the islands as well, eating roasted chicken in our bathing suits since there were no turkeys left in the store and our new friends had a killer in-ground pool. Were we sad that we couldn't dine with our families that year? Absolutely, but living abroad teaches you how to think outside the box. How to appreciate your surroundings, no matter what they are. How to rewire your brain entirely to enjoy a day you’ve marked the same way for years and years and years, and make it even better. We may of missed the fireworks this year, but we did snorkel through a school of parrotfish—not a bad Fourth of July after all.