It’s more than a bit odd to be in a place where there is not even a whiff of the Thanksgiving holiday, which I find hard to believe is the day after tomorrow. As we experience the subtle change of seasons here in Porto, we are thinking of those we love most and missing them. It’s bittersweet.
Think Instead of What We’ve Learned
Last Thanksgiving, I wrote a post titled, Think Instead of What We’ve Learned, which was in reference to a news panelist discussion of the 2016 presidential election results. I reread my post this morning and I think the topic of what we’ve learned is even more relevant today than it was then. I have learned so much in the past year, not only about myself but about those who live in the world at large.
My world – as I knew it – came to a screeching halt last year and it took months for my head to stop reeling. As a result of the cataclysmic shift in my world I’ve become somewhat of an activist which started with marching on Washington, DC on January 21, 2016 and the fire to make a difference burns brightly.
We’ve been traveling throughout Europe for the past five months and as we explored the wonders and beauty of nine countries, we also visited powerful memorials such as the Berlin Wall in Berlin and the Shoe Memorial in Budapest. What we took away from those – and many other experiences – was the knowledge that history seemingly continues to repeat itself. Why is it that there are millions among us who remain stuck in a mindset and unable to move forward?
- “It is not worth while to try to keep history from repeating itself, for man’s character will always make the preventing of the repetitions impossible.” Mark Twain
As we witnessed these places and the stories told, we took those lessons to heart. And, I suppose those lessons will continue to fuel the fire of activism within. But, there have been wonderful lessons learned as well this past year. Beautiful places and beautiful people live in this vast world of ours. There are incredibly kind and open-minded people, we just have to go out and find them. Yes, there are cranky people too, but hell, you can find them in your own neighborhood. Right? The beauty of our planet is awe-inspiring in places such as Lake Bled, Slovenia and the majestic mountains surrounding Salzburg, Austria. I really find it difficult to find the right words in trying to describe the Alps, or Lake Mondsee in Austria, or the Danube River, or… They have to be seen to be believed.
The Thanksgiving Holiday
The biggest lessons to be learned are those we have to experience. This is what I take away from each and every new adventure. This is what I’m holding on to as we watch the Thanksgiving holiday quietly pass by this year. This in itself is a lesson because the world is HUGE, the world is diverse, and guess what? Not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving and that’s a good thing!
We may consider ourselves a learning species, but we are slow and continue to repeat mistakes we could learn through history. Although other cultures don’t celebrate Thanksgiving too many are embracing the consumerism of Black Friday. Instead, we can be thankful for following our hearts and learn how to learn.
Gaelyn recently posted…Camping at Kelso Dunes Mojave National Preserve
It has been humorous to see Black Friday here in Porto, and the stores were definitely busy with local shoppers taking the lead.
Happy Thanksgiving abroad to you both! We arrived in Los Barriles yesterday after more than a few literal and figurative bumps in the road and are happy to settle in for a bit. We are greatly looking forward to some friends arriving for the winter soon and other friends flying in to visit but for now are just relishing being back in one of our happy places. Cheers to you!
Wonderful, Rhonda, that you’re back in one of your happy places, especially knowing you’re all set for 2018 as well! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!
Seeing your video of the magnificent scenery in Slovenia is a wonderful reminder that there is so much beauty in the world to marvel at and appreciate. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and, I agree, it’s a different feeling when you celebrate it far from the US. It’s a great time to take stock of the past year as you’ve done (has it only been a year since the election?) and reflect on what you’ve learned as well as the amazing roads you’ve traveled since your last turkey day. Here’s to gratitude, friends and family, near and far. Wishing you and Abi a very lovely Thanksgiving!
Thank you, Anita, for the friendship, and here’s to you and Dick and many adventures to come. Happy Thanksgiving!