15 Things I’m Thankful For this Thanksgiving

15 Things I’m Thankful For this Thanksgiving15 Things I’m Thankful For this Thanksgiving15 Things I’m Thankful For this Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving was originally a day of giving thanks for the blessings of the preceding year and of the harvest. It is a secular celebration, although it has roots in religious and cultural traditions, and is associated with the gathering of family and friends to feast from the bountiful harvest.

I will be feasting with family and friends today and food and drink will be plentiful. In the midst of this all, I wanted to give thanks for my blessings of this year. Here are 25 things that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving 2016.

  1. Family and friends, including the four-footed ones. These are people who make my world a better place every single day. I love you all.
  2. Better vision. A year ago I had cataract surgery to correct my failing eye sight. I still wear a pair of low strength readers, but what a difference this surgery made in my life. I can see again! Looking back I see how blind I had become.
  3. Living in Washington. This is a suitably liberal state that is a great launching point to travel the rest of the world. The airport is a little over a half hour away and I can be packed and out the door in about that same time. Quick getaway anyone?
  4. A passport and the ability to travel. Although much of my travel is business related, I never forget what a privilege it is to travel and to have the ability to see the world. My passport opens up doors that may be closed to others, and every time there is a delay or mishap I remind myself of this.
  5. Soft comfy pajamas. They’re not just for sleeping anymore, and I’ll often dress in a fresh pair as loungewear on work at home days. I’m often my most creative in a comfy pair of flannel pajamas.
  6. Wine. I’ve always enjoyed a great glass of wine (often defined as the one in my hand) and it was part of the impetus for my quest to visit every winery in the state of Washington.
  7. Bubble baths. Nothing banishes stress for me like relaxing in a bubble bath. Add a glass of wine to make it doubly relaxing.
  8. Massages. If you’ve been crammed into a coach-class seat on a long haul flight, you’ve likely arrived at your destination a little stiff and sore. Nothing helps you put it all behind you like a massage – maybe a Thai massage (which is more like a chiropractic adjustment than a relaxing rub down), an upscale spa in Las Vegas, or a massage in your villa in the Philipines.
  9. Reading. Since I’m an avid reader, the thought of not having something to read close at hand is enough to send me into a panic. I’ve had a Kindle for years, and switched to the Kindle Paperwhite a couple years ago, and can’t imagine the weight of carrying around books any longer. My Kindle is always in my purse or my pocket so I can read anywhere. And, many libraries have e-books to check out and sync to your device. Queued up for the holiday weekend is John Grisham’s The Whistler.
  10. Daydreaming. Sitting with a beverage and staring out the window is one of the underrated pleasures in life. I’ve been fortunate to do that in some fantastic places around the world, and it always produces a sense of awe and appreciation for the world around me. I try to have a journal with me, or at least a scratch pad and pen, because some of my best ideas come from just sitting and daydreaming.
  11. Sunsets and sunrises. Although sunset is a more social time, there is something equally special about the solitude of watching the sun coming up. My two favorite places to watch the sun come up both involve water – in Hawaii and on a cruise.
  12. Learning something new. It’s said that you can’t teach an old dog new trick, but I am one of those old dogs and I learn something new every single week. Some knowledge I actively seek out and pursue, but it’s also been known to come along out of nowhere and bite me in the hindquarters.
  13. My travel blogging friends. I started blogging in 2005, an eternity ago in the digital space, and it’s evolved from random thing to do to a hobby and from a hobby to a business. I have met so many wonderful bloggers and PR and destinations representatives that it boggles the mind. Business relationships have turned into friendships as life has progressed through babies being born, kids starting school, and then the empty nest syndrome and kids have gone off to college. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve plotted. You’re the best.
  14. Chocolate. And ice cream. And chips and salsa. And really good coffee. All those things.
  15. Waking up one more day with the opportunity to fill it with things matter.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Waking up one more day with the opportunity to fill it with things matter.

Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Israel, Stockholm, and a Baltic cruise.

2 Responses to “15 Things I’m Thankful For this Thanksgiving”

  1. November 24, 2016 at 11:37 pm #

    This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for hope (election results notwithstanding) which coming from a cautious pessimist is extraordinary and life affirming.

    • November 27, 2016 at 9:18 pm #

      Hope is a wonderful thing, and certainly worth being thankful for.

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