Thanksgiving really quietly snuck up this year, didn’t it? This is our first Thanksgiving abroad (from Thailand!) and it just isn’t the same. Whereas everyone back home is basking in the aroma of a golden roasted turkey and laughter of family and friends, here it’s just another hot & muggy Thursday. We spent the day visiting a hospital (story another day!) and grabbing take-out from the grocery store (that’s right, we didn’t even go out to eat), followed by a couple of Netflix movies.
I miss the weeks of browsing recipes and collecting ingredients, the delicious aroma of freshly baked pie, and cooking together to create one fabulous meal. I miss the stuffing of faces until you literally cannot eat another bite. I miss all the weeks of eating nothing but turkey leftovers in creative ways. All the traditions that make Thanksgiving so special (which, let’s be real.. is all about eating certain foods only to be consumed this one day of the year, and eating them to excess).
But even though turkey and pie is missing here, we can still carry the true spirit of Thanksgiving with us wherever we are in the world.
This year, I feel more grateful than ever. They say nothing opens your eyes more than traveling. I see families living out of shacks that don’t even have four solid walls. Or people performing hard manual labor under the hot sun to make their living. Or people who have never left their village and never will. And it all makes me realize how lucky I am to have been raised in a first world country where the options are truly limitless.
I am grateful for not only having had the means to an education and a career, but also the luxury of choice. I made the conscious choice to step away from the perfect American dream, and instead chose freedom and adventure. Seeing how others live, I’m finally grasping the full scale of what this means. I chose to live simply and with less possessions, but I also know that I could go back to my cushy old life any time I want. This is truly a luxury beyond the means of most people.
I am so thankful for having the means to purchase plane tickets and travel, to always have a comfy bed and a roof over my head, to keep my tummy full and my body clothed, to have clean drinking water, to pay for overpriced touristy things, to afford unnecessary luxuries such as massages, to have insurance, and to see as much of the world as I have already.
I am thankful for the freedom to go anywhere we want to go. I am thankful for being from a country whose passport is welcomed almost anywhere (with minimal hassle).
I am thankful for being healthy enough to walk, hike, bike, climb, and in general, carry myself through 3 continents in the past 8 months of travel. I am thankful for making it through these months with no major incidents or illness, and instead with a whole lot of smiles, good food, and amazing memories.
So even though by all accounts, Thanksgiving is truly unspectacular this year, just the fact that I celebrated it in another country makes it pretty freaking awesome.
But damn, I could really use a pumpkin pie (or two…).
Happy Thanksgiving all! Have loads of pie for me!