What a great day it is to spend time with friends and family, indulge in way too much turkey and stuffing, take a nap, wake up, prepare another plate and reflect on all the amazing things we are thankful for. For me personally, I have quite a few items on my gratitude list this year and many of them I can attribute to my traveling experiences.
Before the food coma sets in from the tryptophan, here they are:
Because traveling solo requires me to be a mix of Liz Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love, Olivia Pope in Scandal, and Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games — always down for the adventure but ready to defend and protect at a moment’s notice.
Because carrying a loaded backpack, a purse and rolling luggage throughout cobblestone streets at night while I look for a hostel since I failed to secure one beforehand requires herculean efforts.
Because security lines are long, flights get delayed, languages have barriers, kids are kicking seats, directions are wrong and why is the beverage cart taking so long to get to my row?
Because plans change, I didn’t get the whole row to myself like the seat map said I would, it starts raining as soon as I land, I forget my shower shoes and instead have to walk into the shower stall with my bath towel and Rachel Roy riding boots on.
Because right when I’m ready to board the plane and zone out, someone plops down in my row and starts reading their autobiography to me and will then want me to read mine when their done.
Because dining at restaurants in other countries taught me really quick that I’m not in America and no they’re not supersizing anything. I’ll take what they have on the menu and enjoy the portion I’m given.
Because I don’t get flight upgrades and better rates on accommodations by just closing my eyes and clicking my heels.
Because meeting people from all walks of life and listening to their stories helps me have a greater sense of compassion for everyone I encounter even when I’m not traveling.
Because getting out and exploring the unknown solo continues to mold me into the well-rounded and well-traveled person I’ve always wanted to become.
This post originally appeared on This Way North
Photo credit: WhatJaiSees
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