Nothing brings the term "National Holiday" Home quicker than being out of the nation on that day. Having Independence Day be a day of barbecues, fireworks, and (for some of us) birthday cake is just natural. Being in Japan cured me of that really quick. Having to work on July 4th just seemed wrong. Though of course my students would think the same thing about having to work during Golden Week or O-bon. Why, only savages have to work during those important holidays!
This year is even stranger, in addition to being the third year in a row that I am out of the United States on Independence Day, this time I'll be in London, in the seat of power of the very country we declared independence from!