Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, primarily centered on gathering with family for good food...and then going on shopping rampages afterwards. For me, I've witnessed others feel most homesick when spending this day abroad. We always made the best of it and each year, whether if I was in Taipei or Honduras, I was always thankful to be surrounded by people I loved and cared about.
I guess those warm and grateful feelings of spending this significant holiday with fellow foreigners and expats stuck with me. This year even though I'm back in Portland, I chose to have dinner with my dearest colleagues instead of relatives or family friends. I've been a Thanksgiving orphan for too long, so now there's something special about this special gathering with new friends. And the fact that each year I have friends to call my family on this day, that is a true blessing.
This year, like every year, I have more and more to be thankful for.
+I've moved back home to Portland, Oregon and have fallen in love with it all over again.
+I've gotten a job with one of the best companies on earth, and an amazing work family as well.
+I've moved into the neighborhood of my dreams and every day I feel lucky to walking to work.
+I've collected more passport stamps, saw many beautiful sights, and lived to tell about them.
+I've continued to meet and make friends that enrich my life and inspire me.
+I've learned to marvel and enjoy the simple pleasures of the world, like gourmet bread, falling autumn leaves, drinkable tap water, yoga pants, and long conversations.
Portland is my home because my best friend was waiting to pick me up at the airport on Tuesday night. I'm not a very mushy person and I didn't even tell her, but I was moved to tears that someone wanted to welcome me back after weeks of me arriving at unknown places alone. Years, I suppose. This year, after all my travels, I'm most thankful for familiar faces I love and a place to call HOME.
"Travel not to find yourself, but to remember who you've been all along."