Of course, Day 24 of the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project* is about giving thanks.
Seeing what others have – and don’t have – around the world often helps us appreciate our own good fortune. What are you thankful for this year ?
First and foremost, I am thankful for my family and friends who have supported me on my current trip, even if they don’t always understand or agree with it.
I am thankful for my adorable niece and nephew whose videos and pictures always make me smile. Hopefully they will still remember who Aunt Katie is by the time I get home.
I am thankful for Professor Hesli, who taught several of my international politics courses in college and further sparked my interest in the former Soviet Union.
I am thankful for Patty and Brian, who agreed to permanently adopt my cat Leo. While it brings a tear to my eye to let him go, I know it is best for both of us. He needs stability and I need flexibility.
I am thankful for Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook may be annoying at times, but I am so thankful that it has allowed me to reconnect with wonderful friends from the past and stay connected with so many friends and family while I travel.
I am thankful I had the opportunity to participate in Fear Experiment and meet so many new amazing friends before I left Chicago.
I am thankful for Snickers and Peanut M&Ms. I may not have survived my first month in Russia without them.
I am thankful for gluten-free hamburger buns in Finland.
I am thankful for Irina at the Apple Hostel in St. Petersburg for getting my ATM card back for me.
I am thankful for Vladimir who gave me a ride back to Irkutsk from Taltsy in the snow on Wednesday for free. And chatted with me in Russian the whole way.
I am thankful that I got to spend a weekend on Olkhon Island and see Lake Baikal – and that I met Maarten and Marie-Ann from Belgium who made it so much more fun.
I am thankful for fellow travel bloggers I have gotten to know over the last year: Amanda, Val, Ali, Andy, Sherry, Michaela, Lisa, Russ, Scott, Julia, Michael, Brooke, Kim, Gillian, Jodi, Jaime, Katie, Adam, Caz, Craig, Ayngelina – I am sure I am missing someone, but all of you have inspired, encouraged and/or supported me in the months leading up to my trip and as I hit the road. I’m not sure this would be possible without all of you.
I am thankful I have the ability to travel at all. While many travel bloggers often write that travel is possible for anyone, in reality, for the vast majority of the 7 billion people in this world, it isn’t. I am thankful that I was born into circumstances in which I could even dream of traveling in the first place.
Finally, I am thankful for all of you out there reading. Whether we are good friends, online acquaintances or have never even met, I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and I am so thankful for your comments and your emails. Knowing that I am touching even one other person out there warms my heart and makes it all worthwhile.
*Throughout the month of November, BootsnAll is inviting bloggers from around the world to join them in a daily blogging effort – the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project – designed to reflect on how our travel experiences over the last year – or whenever – have shaped us and our view of the world. Bloggers can follow the prompts as strictly or loosely as they like, interpreting them in various ways and responding via text, photos or video posted on their own blogs.