Travel really changes you. It is a lot like taking a leap of faith. You hit a few branches, but you still land on your feet, albeit landing in a different location than you expected.
After months of living out of my backpack and in hostels throughout Europe, I really started to take note of the things that mattered in my life. There would always be constants, like my family. I would be lost without them. As travel changed me throughout the months, I realized there are some new things I am thankful for as well. Some are deep, some are just silly.
Enjoy reading and Happy Thanksgiving ❤
I am thankful for the freedom in my life at the moment. I am not tied down specifically to any one person, job, duty, or thing. If I really wanted to, I could pack up my few belongings and move tomorrow. How beautiful is that?
I am also thankful for that freeing feeling that we get as travelers. Sometimes we get it driving down a long, deserted road. Sometimes its that feeling of wheels going up in the plane. Have you ever felt that rush of excitement? The one that tells you that everything is about to change?
I was rushing to catch the train from Paris to Luxembourg. If you’d love to see photos of charming Luxembourg, click here.
I am thankful for the changes that took place in me, the ones that changed me into the person I am today. This year was a rough one, harder than the last few, and backpacking through Europe gave me a lot of time to reflect on it and grow.
Feeling peaceful at mysterious Stonehenge
There were some days I slept in hostel hallways because our hostel was closed. Sometimes I slept in train stations in Greece, blissfully unaware of the hundreds of people staring at me. You kind of just learn to sleep anywhere you can, without embarrassment!
How lucky I was, to find a hostel with a decent bed. And arriving home to see MY OWN bed? Priceless. How thankful I am that I have a home and a bed waiting for me. Others aren’t so lucky. I am especially thankful for the luxuries I take for granted at home.
Collapsing on the bed, aboard a ferry traveling to Ibiza. Bliss!
I am thankful for the dirty, worn out shoes that carried me across the world. In a time when I was limited to whatever few possessions I packed, my shoes represented stability and comfort. Every morning before jetting off on a bus or metro, I would stop to tie my shoelaces and reflect on what adventures lie ahead. I feel that my shoes carry my adventures notched in their soles. I can’t bear to get rid of them, even now that I am home.
Excel Spreadsheets, Google Drive, And Budgets
In all honesty, I am still learning to manage my finances. This year I really am thankful for Excel hahah. It helped me keep track of where my money was going and how much I had left to survive abroad. I am so thankful for GOOGLE DRIVE for storing some of my photos because, damn, when you are traveling you end up with more pictures than you can imagine! Budgets are your friend when you have a dream and limited money. Gotta plan ahead to get ahead!
My Family, Close Friends, And Skype
I remember sitting in my first Air Bnb in Paris, the day I landed in Europe, and getting a Skype call from my entire family. This not only included parents and brother, but it also included my grandmother and my grandmothers sister from Argentina. I realized that they were my whole world and I was half a world away from them. Thank goodness for SKYPE, so that I could stay in contact with the ones who always have my back.
I’m not sure if it’s just me, but when I travel, I really realize which friends of mine are ‘real friends.’ I’m okay if I can count my close friends on my hand. My heart tells me which friends I miss and which I am happier leaving behind. The friends I do maintain are like family and I am thankful that we are close without too much effort.
If you want to read more about how to maintain friendships while traveling, click here.
Toilet Seat Covers
This minute I landed in Washington D.C from Paris, I rushed to the restroom. I audibly GASPED out loud because I was surprised to see toilet seat covers in the restrooms! WOW! While backpacking through Europe, you’re lucky if you get toilet paper or get let into a bathroom for free! Oh glorious day, my thigh muscles could take a break!
Have you ever noticed that a few memories stick out in your brain, more than others? The morning that I woke up in Paris, walked outside onto my Balcony, and saw the Eiffel Tower in plain view really gets me choked up.
I can still see the twinkling lights of Santorini at night and I can still smell the ocean breeze. I remember standing up against the wall, thinking “How did I get here?” and that “I never want to go home.”
It’s little moments like these that I am thankful for. I hope your life is full of little moments too.
This Crazy Life
One minute you are at work, packing up to go home and to the airport, and the next minute you are in Paris staring up at the Eiffel Tower! What a difference a choice and a risk can make in your life! Doesn’t it trip you out that tomorrow, your life could change drastically? You could meet someone and fall in love, take a plane trip and find your new home, or any kind of crazy situation you could imagine. It feels great not knowing exactly what is going to happen next.
What are you thankful for this year? Leave me a note in the comments! Happy Holidays travelfam ❤
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