Feeling Thankful

It’s currently Thanksgiving Day and the neighborhood is filled with sounds of children playing, smells of feasts being prepared, and the subtle cooing of a pack of Golden Retriever puppies falling in and out of sleep. We spent about an hour yesterday going over all the details of how to care for four-week old puppies and their mom, the ins and outs of the condo we are staying in, and what restaurant has the best ramen nearby. The owners of this house are now in a different state while Amalie and myself care for their eleven little furry kids. Alice’s Restaurant is on the radio, a cold Lone Star is in front of me, and I am sitting on the patio while the sun shines on this beautiful and very non-November-to-me seventy degree day. It feels slightly surreal and not what I would have imagined my holiday to look like if you had asked me back in January of this year. A lot has changed since then and now this unseasonably warm and pup-filled holiday feels completely normal. Whether we are dog sitting in Austin, Texas or beach combing in the Florida Panhandle, we have learned to be at home wherever that temporary home may be.

We have so many things to be grateful for this year, something I can't help but spend a lot of time thinking about since we've set sail on our adventure. We have met some amazing new people, caring and giving individuals who either open up their homes or offer a friendly word of advice. We have visited places that we would never have considered going to on vacation but now are on our list of recommendations to anyone we meet. Most importantly though, we have learned how to appreciate everything as it happens. We chose to take this trip and leave everything we knew behind, in return it has paid us back tenfold and we aren’t even close to being done.

This wasn’t something that came naturally to me, nor did this transformation happen overnight. Slowly and surely over the last four months, both Amalie and myself have learned to adapt to our new, chosen, mobile life despite the challenges and distance from loved ones. So much so that we frequently have conversations about how to continue to travel indefinitely. Initially on this trip, we spent a lot of time worrying about money or stressing out over little discomforts that we experienced. We learned that these were the last parts of our old lives clinging to us, ingrained pieces of our past selves that refused to let go. Our days are now consumed with self care, introspection, reflection, and planning for what we want to do next. It’s been truly amazing to us, the transformation that has taken place over the last 100 or so days.

Most importantly, today of all days, we have the time to really be thankful for what we currently do have. Our family could not be more supportive, our truck is running fantastically, we are healthy and strong, and most importantly, we are both incredibly happy. Sure, I would love to be in Maryland right now and have my sister from New York next to me while we eat dinner with the whole family before falling asleep to a football game with our dog and cats nearby. I will have those moments again, and those opportunities will exist for me in the future. For now I am going to focus on how unimaginably lucky I feel to be in this place at this time.

So, from me and Amalie, we wish everyone a fantastic Thanksgiving today and a happy and healthy start to the holiday season. There is enough to stress out about in this world, don’t let this time of year be one of them.

PS: we are back out west and have a lot more free time than we did on the East Coast. Reach out if you would like to connect, or if you have any questions about what we are doing. My email is noahtwining@gmail.com