I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
I have an abundance of things to be thankful for, but before I get to the list, I will start off with this one- I am thankful for the 3 lovely thanksgiving celebrations I had over the course of the past week.
The first Thanksgiving (Saturday, November 23rd) was held at one of my students homes; several families from my class came together and cooked the teachers a wonderful feast! It was a full house, but we toasted to coming together with friends from around the world. Oh, and we played ‘Just Dance’ for hours. It was enjoyable spending Thanksgiving with my students and their families!
My second Thanksgiving consisted of me, myself, and I on actual Thanksgiving day (Thursday, November 28th). I had a regular school day, and on the way home, I stopped by my regular dinner place- a little tarp-covered restaurant on my street that makes the most comforting Thai food. Pictured: garlic chicken, veggies, and an egg.
To-go box #2:
My third and final Thanksgiving (Friday, November 29th) consisted of a dash to downtown Bangkok straight after school with several other teachers (AKA my friends). Our end point was ‘Bourbon Street,’ a cajun/creole restaurant (owned by a Louisiana native) whose thanksgiving buffet is no secret to the American expat community.
Although the buffet served all the classic thanksgiving items, my favorite dish was, in fact, cajun- I had several heapings of jambalaya. (Feel free to read the rest of the paragraph in a southern drawl…) Other southern favorites included: mussels, oysters, gumbo, cornbread, and ratatouille. New Orleans style Thanksgivin’ in Bangkok, who woulda’ thought?
As tradition calls for, we went around the table sharing what we were thankful for; we even went above the call of duty and played 20 questions. We laughed about hilarious occurrences in Malaysia, and several full plates later, we had eaten ourselves into a blissful food coma- the kind where you feel too weak to squeeze your hand into a fist and you can’t help but laughing at things that aren’t even funny.
I am so grateful for all the scrumptious food and delightful company. For me, gratitude is an important practice, not just on Thanksgiving, but in my daily life. Gratitude is an especially important feeling to cultivate while traveling/living abroad as it is easy to become overwhelmed and frustrated by language barriers, loneliness, and cross cultural clashes.
Gratitude is important in Thailand where I have a general misunderstanding of everything going on around me at any given time. (I don’t know weather to laugh or cry about that.) Creating a gratitude list can usually pull me out of any ‘Thailand sucks’ slump.
Eckhart Tolle says, “Acknowledging the good that you have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” Here is my sturdy foundation:
I’m thankful for…
On thanksgiving I even had my students make lists of everything they were thankful for. Here are some of their gems:
I am thankful for….
Bagel sandwiches and monopoly- I couldn’t have said it better myself. Socrates would say, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” But I believe that a life without gratitude is not worth living.
Please add on! What are you thankful/grateful for?