Editor’s Note: This article is a significantly updated version of a post originally published in November 2012 and updated in November 2017.
Grateful for the priceless gift of travel
When the temperatures cool after the hot summer and there’s a feeling of autumn in the air, I start to look forward to Thanksgiving. This year, Mr. TWS and I will be enjoying the company of my aunt and cousin at Thanksgiving dinner in our Scottsdale, Arizona home. I always bake my famous (in some circles) pumpkin pie, indulge in turkey with all the trimmings, watch some football, work on a seasonal jigsaw puzzle, and think about how grateful I am for friends, family and travel. I’d like to highlight some of the places I’ve visited that have me reflecting on the priceless gift of travel.
Giving thanks in 11 languages
Thank you, Hungary, for the gorgeous architecture, deep history, thermal springs spas, and international intrigue of Budapest that keep me returning.
Thank you, Portugal, for cities of colorful ceramic-tiled buildings, the vineyards of the beautiful Douro River, and delicious Pastel de Nata!
Danke, Deutschland and Austria
Thank you, Germany, for amazing walks through history and my wonderful Christmas market experiences in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Lubeck, Nuremberg, Passau, Regensberg, and Prien am Chiemsee.
Thank you, Austria, for the romance of Vienna, the splendor of Salzburg, and the high spirits of a Heurigen evening.
Děkuji, Česká Republika
Thank you, Czech Republic, for Kafka, castles, the Vltava River, and goulash. I was able to check off a big one from my must-see list when I first visited Prague several years ago and was grateful for a return visit a few years later.
Thank you, Italy, for always making me feel at home. From the magical cities like Venice to the hilltops of Tuscany to the white cities of Puglia, I’ve discovered something new to love every time I visit.
Thank you, France, for everything about Paris!
Also, thanks for fine wines of Alsace, the charming villages of Brittany, and the rich Christmas traditions I experienced in Provence.
Thank you, Catalonia, for Salvador Dali, sumptuous flavors, Barcelona’s “rauxa i seny“ character, and Mediterranean beaches.
Gracias, Spain and Mexico
Thank you, Spain, for a glimpse of authentic Spanish culture, world-class museums, art and architecture in beautiful Madrid.
Thank you, Mexico, for cultural traditions, beautiful beaches, luxury resorts, adventure, history, and tequila (even when it’s not Tequila).
Buíochas a ghabháil leat, Éire
Thank you, Ireland, for warm people, villages where my ancestors lived, lush landscapes, the craic (conversation), Guinness and the Blarney Stone.
Dank je, Nederland
Thank you, Netherlands, for Amsterdam’s bikes and boats, honoring the story of Anne Frank at Anne Frank House, iconic windmills, and your countryside fields of flowers.
And finally, in my native language…. thank you, USA, Canada, and the U.K.
Thank you, USA, for 50 states to explore by plane, train and automobile through deserts, mountains, plains, and cities. I am thankful that you are my home.
Thank you, Canada, for being our friendly neighbor to the north with vibrant cities like Toronto, Halifax, and Vancouver. (And a heartfelt “merci” for the amazing food, wine, art, and natural beauty of Québec.)
Thank you, United Kingdom, for the Thames, historic landmarks, cheerful pubs, cottage pie (I crave it), and holiday spirit.
Looking to the future, I’m grateful for the travel opportunities ahead. Thank you, my readers from all over the world for following along!
While not having the traditional feast and football, we too are giving thanks for the gift of travel. This is a fabulous post and obviously you put time and effort into the languages, the thanks and in selecting the memories. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mr. TWS! Happy travels and happy holiday ~