I think that gratitude is an essential part of a good life. If you don't appreciate the people, places, and things that make up your life, you don't have much motivation do anything. I feel the weight of gratitude every day. Many times a day I think of how fortunate I am to be where I am, and how so much of that is due to other people. I can't write that post every day, but I think I can get away with it on Thanksgiving.
I'm most thankful for my family and friends. The two categories of people are intertwined because I feel like I'm best friends with many of my family members, and that many of my friends are so close they may as well be family. Genetics make clear lines, but in real life they're one big group of people I love.
I traveled with a lot of friends this year, and I'm particularly grateful for that. Sharing my favorite places around the world and discovering new ones with friends are among my favorite things in the world. I'm very fortunate to be able to do a lot of that.
I made only a few new friends this year, but I feel like I became closer with a lot of friends, often as a result of traveling together.
Nearly every day I think about how fortunate I am to have been raised by my parents and to have had the support of my extended family. As my siblings grow up and find their places in the world, I become increasingly aware that the things I'm most proud of are a direct result of my childhood. We have too many positive common attributes for any of us to claim it was our own doing.
I don't know most of you very well, but I'm extraordinarily grateful for my readers. I feel like I have a whole team behind me in anything I do, and coming up with good posts for you pushes me to push myself in many ways. And it's not just having a number of people reading-- when I meet you guys, I'm always a little bit intimidated, like, "These people are really impressive-- I'd better stay sharp so that I can keep writing things that keep their interest."
In that same vein, I'm very grateful for those of you who bought my latest book. It's doing extremely well (hasn't left top 5 in its category), and the money I earn from it will make a significant difference in my life.
Every time I fly, I look out the window and think about how grateful I am for this earth. There are so many amazing places all over the place, different enough to be interesting, similar enough to be navigable. It's good enough that exists, but the fact that we have the technology and means to hop all over it is almost unbelievably good.
One particular place I'm grateful for this year is our island. We still have a lot of work to do on it, but in the past year I've been five times and it's become one of my favorite places to be.
And last, a lightning round of less important things that I'm grateful for at the moment: MMA fighting, Pimsleur language tapes, good tea, ballet, art, lightweight travel gear, linux, Las Vegas, San Francisco, healthy food, Lil Wayne, Dvorak keyboard layouts, huge Android phones, winning the Amtrak residency, and stand-up sushi in Tokyo.
Hopefully you'll have a great Thanksgiving and have a lot to be grateful for. Thanks for being part of my list.
Photo is a bird in Brazil that looks sort of like a demonic turkey.
This is real food for thought, thanks. Find satisfaction in the simple things such as family, friends, and good health, and everything else is a bonus. You may never be rich in monetary terms, but you'll have found the secret of true, lasting happiness. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving.
I'm thankful for my parents as well. I wish I had told them that more when they were alive.
I'm thankful for my children, and I try to show them and tell them how much I love them.
I'm thankful for my fiance. I tell her everyday that she is the most wonderful person in my life.
I'm thankful for all the friends I have had and currently have. Although, I have to say that the current group of friends I have are truly unconditional. They do kind things for me, and I do kind things for them and nobody is keeping a scorecard. I'm sorry to say that in the past I've had friends that weren't that way.
Hey Tynan, you used the same pic twice... not complaining though, because now it comes with a description. Funny bird.
Wow, I never realized you were selected for the residency! I knew you'd made a few cuts, but that's incredible to be selected. Shows that the folks behind it have good taste.
Thanks for the inspiration that you publish here. I'm very much looking forward to reading your book during some downtime on a trip to Argentina next week. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Im looking forward to your 2014 gear vid with camping gear - your vids are cool , should do more ! :)
Thank you dude.
I'm grateful for the things I've learned or been inspired to try through this blog.
Six years ago, I found this blog when I had just had my car totaled in the Bay Area. I had left my home in SC a month before in the middle of the night to try to find something more in life. When an old lady smashed my car to bits I had everything I owned in it and I lost so much.
When I discovered your blog, I was recovering at a Couchsurfer's place and wondering if I should or even could continue.Your piece on the Nomadic Life inspired me to keep going.
A year later I had CouchSurfed almost every major city in the US, lived in Hawaii for several months just surfing the ocean, and had an incredible time at Burning Man.
I appreciate the inspiration. Have an excellent holiday man.
Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. The other ones are weird religious inventions or consumerized hijackings of religious inventions. And sure, the origins of thanksgiving are a bit murky, but it's hard to argue with such a simple holiday: spend some time with your family and/or friends, and be thankful.
I especially like that it's about appreciating what we already have, taking a break from the distraction of every day life, and thinking about all of the good things that make it up.
Today, as I spend time with some of them, I've been thinking about how thankful I am for my family. I've always gotten along really well with my family, but since most of them were around by the time I was born, I'm sure I have a tendency to take them for granted. As a kid I always just assumed that everyone had a great family and that their family was behind them supporting them all the time. Then, as I grew up, I saw situations where that wasn't the case, and I realized how good I have it.
I have three fantastic siblings, any or all of whom I enjoy spending unlimited time with. We each live in different cities now, but when we're together it's like we're best friends. Besides a scuffle over a plastic ninja sword as a kid, I can't think of a single fight I've had with any of them.
My wife and I don't make a huge deal out of holidays.
There are a number of different reasons for this, but the most important is that I'm not always home for them. I've been fortunate the last couple years to be around for most celebrations, but that hasn't always been the case, and it certainly won't be in the future. When you make a massive deal out of holidays when you're together, they become even more painful when you're apart. As a result, we tend to keep things low-key and just celebrate family as much as possible.
Thanksgiving this year was no exception.
We started the day out with a simple fritata for breakfast. Then, I went for a run while the kids were playing with their train set. Once I returned, we all sat down and watched one of my favorite movies from my childhood, Homeward Bound. Just like when I was a kid, there wasn't a dry eye in the house when the credits rolled. We had sandwiches for lunch and then decided to start attacking a jigsaw puzzle that my wife picked out specifically for the occasion. Please refer to this old post if you would like to know how much I enjoyed that. We Skyped with the family for awhile and then got ready for dinner.
My wife is a pescetarian (a vegetarian who eats fish), and our daughter hates most meat, so our Thanksgiving dinner is probably different than most. We picked up some beautiful ahi tuna steaks from a seafood store not far from our house. CinC HOUSE seared them perfectly and we dressed them up with some coconut rice and squash. It was delicious, and we chased it down with a slice of pumpkin cheese cake.