Today is Thanksgiving Day in America. This is a unique holiday in that most countries don’t have such a day. For example, I’m living in the Czech Republic, where Thanksgiving is not a thing. No time off of work to have a huge feast and reflect on the things I have to be thankful for. Because I’m part of an ex-pat community, I’m experiencing a unique take on a Thanksgiving feast this Saturday. However, I know that today my loved ones back home gather together to share a meal and spend some quality time together. I know I’m missing out on some memories, and that’s difficult. I won’t get to eat any of my mom’s amazing food or help decorate my Nana’s house for Christmas or play with my nephew. I won’t get to drink wine with my siblings as we talk and laugh and reminisce. It’s not always a dream, living in another country. However, living in Prague has me reflecting on the things I’m thankful for. My list is usually short and simple, my family being the main thing I’m grateful for. This year, my list is a little different, as I’ve experienced life without a lot of the privileges and amenities we enjoy in the United States.
I’m thankful for clothes dryers, garbage disposals, dishwashers, and shower heads attached to the wall. I’m grateful for canned pumpkin, brown sugar, authentic Mexican food, being able to read labels at the grocery store, and having to go to only one grocery store. I’m thankful for supportive parents who raised me to be compassionate, independent, and kind. I’m thankful for my mom’s cooking and dinner time around a table with family. Here in Prague, I’m blessed by Do Slova (my church), UpWord English (my teaching family), and MoveToPrague (the team that has helped make it possible for me to live and work here legally). I’m thankful for sun in a climate that is usually cloudy. I’m thankful for convenient public transportation. I’m thankful for an apartment to live in and a house full of women who are easy to live with. I’m thankful for the postal service, so I can get cards and letters from home.
I could go on forever. Essentially, my life here has taught me the value of the things I took for granted back home. I’ve also learned the value of new things and new experiences. If you’ve made it to this point in the post, thank you for allowing me to share on a day that makes me long for home and family. To my family and friends back home: I’m so grateful for all of you. Be blessed this Thanksgiving, and know that I love you all from afar. To my new friends here in Prague: I’m so thankful I have you all to do life with. May you all be abundantly blessed!