Today I will celebrate Thanksgiving with my family; the first one I will be home for in the last four years. Despite any historical discrepancies between the pilgrims and the native Americans, I do appreciate how the holiday has evolved. With it, there is the chance for family and friends to come together, share a meal, and take a moment to realize what they are thankful for.
I spent last Thanksgiving in Stockholm, Sweden, home of beautiful running trails, great hidden restaurants in Gamla Stan, and northern snowy wonderlands. From there I spent Christmas with my family before studying in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Florence, Italy. In Bosnia I studied conflict and humanity; in Italy I studied culture and life. It’s hard to imagine, still, that I was able to go to these places considering I grew up a modest life in the Midwest. I owe THINK Global School and its founder Joann McPike a lifetime of gratefulness for that opportunity.
Through these years, I met some of the best friends and travel partners ever. To them, I’d say thank you for being daring enough to explore with me and enthusiastic enough to make this whole experience worthwhile. Since graduation we have all gone off to different countries and cities, trying to find a place to call home after living rather nomadically for the past four years. Looking at these pictures reminds me how thankful I am for my TGS family.
Moving back home in June after graduation was one of the more difficult moments of the year; it meant starting over in a place where I would stay for some indefinite time period. I am lucky to have a supportive family and to have started a job where I work with some of the most fun, open, and welcoming people. Without them, the transition would have been ten times more difficult, so for that, I am thankful too.
There are several more things someone can be thankful for, and I hope you too take a moment to realize just a few things you are thankful for today. I hope that this day of thankfulness will remind us all to be a bit more mindful throughout the rest of the year too. It doesn’t have to take a lot of extra effort to realize what your advantages, disadvantages, and general situation in life; but it will make a world of difference. (Maybe all this is the result of all the yoga I have taken up in the last six months though…) Regardless, no matter where you are from or how you spend today, enjoy life with friends and family and take a moment for thankful reflection!