Thursday was Thanksgiving in the United States, a day originally meant to focus on strengthening relationships across cultures, religions, and colors. While this isn’t the forum for political chatter, lets just say the “state of the union” is pretty damn dismal this year.
For the last 15 years or so, this time of the year has brought on an onslaught of emotion. For whatever reason, so many of the negatives in our life have happened during these late months of the year; the death of family members, job losses, saying goodbye to beloved pets. Add in the usual drama of the holidays, and I have to admit I have often just wished I could hibernate until Christmas.
This year, I have to say that I simply feel gratitude. This year has brought with it a lifestyle we have been striving for. I am grateful that we have the option to work for our dream, and make a life of our choosing.
I am grateful for on-going work. Not enough, as of yet, to sustain us long term, but certainly heading in that direction.
I am grateful for the digital age. Although we are constantly chasing the internet, and a great deal of my time is spent cursing connection speeds, the ability to connect regularly with friends and family back home, and keep easy track of fellow travelers out in the world, has made an enormous difference in the ability to not feel separated from those we love.
I am grateful for new friends. Our days are now often full of time spent with those around us, who are also away from friends and family, making it easy to instantly connect in a common goal and become one big overlanding family.
I am grateful to be able to spend time in the amazing culture that is Guatemala. Volunteering with the Guatemala Housing Alliance, eating lunch to assist the needy at Konojel Community Center, and buying direct from the locals has gained us numerous friends in the community, and taught valuable insights into this vibrant culture.
I am grateful to spend Thanksgiving in this beautiful region of the world, and easily understand why so many never leave.
And I am most of all grateful that my days and weeks and months are spent with Jim and Aspen. My little family means the world to me, and the gift of being able to spend nearly all of our time together truly precious.
This morning I spent time going through everyone’s turkey day photos on Facebook. Enjoying seeing each and every smiling face of those I love and miss, grateful that the power of social media was able to bring a little piece of their day to us here, even though we are countries away. Today, I feel gratitude.