Well, for the first time in my thirty-one years, I am spending a Thanksgiving completely and totally alone. I’ve spent many a holiday without family around, having lived so far away for so long, but this is the first time I haven’t had at least other American friends around to celebrate with as a make-shift family. The people here don’t even know what Thanksgiving is, let alone want to celebrate with me. Though Mate’s opinion of it when I tried to explain was that any holiday based on eating a lot of good food sounded like one worth celebrating.
I’m not going to lie and pretend that being alone today hasn’t been lonely. My family and friends all around the world are celebrating together and I’m sitting in a really cold cabin (I haven’t figured out the whole lighting the fire thing yet), waiting for the water to boil so I can make macaroni and cheese, and having a very real (and very rare) case of American homesickness. In any case, its time to be cliche and do the required “what I’m thankful for this year” list, so here goes:
- First, I’m thankful to be alive and that I am not still stuck in the bog I rode my horse into today. That’s right, I took one of my three year old fillies, Rubi, out for a ride and managed to get us both stuck up to my waist in a very quick-sand like bog. We were probably only stuck for all of 90 seconds, but getting free was a major ordeal for Rubi and took a lot out of both of us… definitely one of those moments where you’re thankful just to have survived.
- I’m thankful for the health of my menagerie. This last week has been a real reminder of just how much I depend on my furry family to be there for me, and seeing Wasi and Syn so sick means that I’m extra appreciative for their recovery and the continued health of dogs and cats alike!
- I’m thankful for my amazing family, as always, and especially for their support and many “coming to the rescue” moments over the last four months. I wish I was with them all now.
- I’m thankful for all of the incredible people that I have in my life. From old friends who’ve put up with me since childhood, to my make-shift family back in England who have shown me what true friendship looks like, I don’t know what I would do without you all. Moreover, I am so incredibly grateful to all the new friends I have made on this journey so far, people who have given me new perspectives, shared their cultures, embraced me even when I was a stranger, and who I will now be able to call friends for life.
- I’m incredibly thankful to have the opportunity to be on this journey, to have the adventure of a lifetime. So many people would love the chance to travel like this and somehow here I am, living that dream.
- Finally, though I know I’ve done this in reverse order, the thing I am most thankful for this year is my cousin, Travis. Ten months ago he literally came to my rescue because I couldn’t face my husband and the divorce alone. Since then he has been my rock, my stability, my best friend. He’s let me cry, let me vent, put up with my often irrational mood swings and bouts of depression, acted as my service human, given me space when I’ve needed it and a kick in the ass when it was called for. He’s driven me crazy and let me drive him crazy, but never for a moment have I doubted his cousinly love. Without him I don’t think I would have made it through the first six months in England after my husband abandoned me. I definitely never would have made this trip. So Travis, you’re what I’m most thankful for this year, have a lot of your dad’s rolls for me!