NPR has launched a Thanksgiving program called Project: Expat Thanksgiving in Far Away Lands. The project got me thinking about how truly those of us who enjoy the beauty of travel are blessed. I say that because if you can go to another nation, spend an extended period of time with cold showers, stinking toilets, crowded markets and probably not understand a word of what is said to you, come home and tell everyone you had an amazing time, well then you are blessed. And not because you’ve been far away, because you’ve experienced another way of life and appreciate it for being not strange, weird or uncomfortable- but for being different and interesting and that in and of itself is a blessing.
We always come home for Thanksgiving. That was our rule when we were in college, and our rule when we were traveling around the world. Because for us Thanksgiving means family, friends and home. This year we’re celebrating the holiday as we always do- an informal gathering of extended loved ones- family, friends, neighbors, and those who we know that have no where else to go. Our Thanksgiving is the ultimate open tent of friendship – all who see it are welcome to partake in our feast of food and fellowship. This year we have a lot to be thankful for: friends, family and two little travelers who joined us in June. Nothing was more humbling than the birth of our twins and the incredible outpouring of joy we received from our friends around the world. These girls are luckier than they will ever know.
We try to live our lives like every day is Thanksgiving, like every day is a day to appreciate how truly blessed we are. We hope that feeling of gratitude is something we can pass on to our twins.
No matter where you are today, and even if you aren’t American, we hope that you take a few moments to appreciate the world around you and how truly blessed you are to experience it. And if you’re feeling alone in your corner of the world today, jump on Twitter, hashtag #nprexpat to connect with others who might be feeling miles from home.