Two years ago I was in Shanghai, eating turkey with expatriates. Last year I was in New York City so was able to head home. This year I will spend Thanksgiving on a 22-hour bus ride from Ensenada to La Paz in Baja California. At first this seemed very sad, because I have some friends nearby that are celebrating Thanksgiving and invited me along. But I need to get south so I can attend the Rainbow Gathering this weekend so I didnt really have a choice.
Then I started to consider that spending a reflective and thankful time alone is actually not that bad. Taking the solitude, and using it to think and thank will probably be on the of the best gifts I could have asked for in this particular holiday time. Taking each moment, savoring it, and then letting it go. Pressing my forehead against the cold glass window as the scenery passes by. Watching the sunset along the ocean, seeing the birds glide on and the boats float by. Hearing the foreign language conversations and watching movies in Spanish. Stopping at roadside taco stands, eating my turkey in taco form. Falling asleep to the vibrations of the wheels on the road. Sunrise, more miles, random deep-sleep grumblings. Cramps, discomfort and restless slumber. Or perfect sleep, deep and unmoving. Either way, it is going to be a thankful experience, a unique twist on a voyage that otherwise might have slipped by.
I love to travel overland - travel days are my most exciting, my most real, my most alive. There is nothing more perfect to me than drinking up the landscape as it rushes by. It is normally already a contemplative time, a space in time which I use to search for clarity and creativity. Thanksgiving, and the images of families from one country all across the world being together and hopefully appreciating what they have for once, is a particularly soothing time to travel.
Here I go. Happy Thanksgiving to all!