I wrote this post on May 31, 2017 while sitting in a hygge cafe in the San Blas neighborhood in Cusco, Peru. I had just taken an amazing yoga class and was enjoying a delicious cup of coffee when I was inspired to write about gratitude. And then for some reason, I never posted it. Below is what I wrote that day, word for word, with an updated version of things I’m feeling grateful for as of today (September 26, 2017).
From May 31, 2017:
I recently read an article about gratitude and how expressing it makes us happier people. Neurologically speaking, it forces you to think of positive things which then increases serotonin levels in the brain. I just left an incredible yoga class in Cusco where I meditated on this idea for a while. So this is my attempt to articulate the immense gratitude I feel in relation to my travels.
Things I am grateful for:
- My legs! They bring me to all the beautiful places I’ve seen and they never complain.
- Pachamama (Mother Earth): what a beauty she is! I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, and continue to have, to explore this beautiful world.
- My parents: although they’re mostly worried about me and they possibly think I’m a crazy person, their support of my adventures never fails. I see how hard this is for them sometimes, but they always choose to support me anyway and love me for who I am.
- FaceTime: it helps me feel like the people I love aren’t as far away from me as they geographically are.
- You, whoever you are, for reading this blog. My goal of turning my blog into something a little more than it currently is has proved to be more challenging than I thought, but you’re helping to make it possible, so thank you. I appreciate you!
We always have things to be grateful for. The important thing is to remember to recognize them.
With love from Cusco,
From September 26, 2017
Life looks a lot different today than it did when I was sitting in that cafe. No more sharing a room in a hostel with 9 other people – I have an entire bedroom all to myself! Instead of living out of my backpack, I have a bureau and a closet full of clothes to choose from, and more shoes than I know what to do with. I have a job that I go to everyday, and I get to see my family on a regular basis. It’s been a challenging transition from that life to this one (more thoughts on that coming soon), but I’m working on finding ways to be as happy as I can be, even when the travel bug is constantly nagging me about where to go next.
So what are the things I’m grateful for today?
- Living at home: Not only does this give me the opportunity to see my family on a regular basis, it also allows me to save a lot of money. Seriously, it is crazy to me how expensive it is to rent apartments – and because I want to go on another backpacking adventure, I just can’t justify it right now. Although living at home at 29 isn’t the ideal situation, I realize not everyone has this option and I’m so grateful that I do!
- My parents: they deserve to always be on my gratitude list. Along with their continuing support of my adventures, they welcome me back home with open arms and a full refrigerator. I recognize how lucky I am that they provide me with free housing and food to eat, and I don’t even have to ask them for it. I love you Mom and Dad!
- Reunions: The best part about coming home is getting to see the people I love! Not to mention the yummy food and wine that typically goes along with these reunions 🙂
- My job for taking me back: This time last year I took a job serving tables at The Merchant Kitchen & Drinks in Boston. At the time I wanted a job that I could leave at short notice without burning a bridge, and the lucrative and transient service industry seemed like the perfect fit. I got so lucky with The Merchant because it came equipped with an awesome team of people that have become my friends. When I told them I was back in Boston, the owner immediately welcomed me back and then asked when my next adventure would be. I’m grateful to have found a place I can come back to that also supports my spontaneous lifestyle.
- My upcoming trip to Madrid: Next week I’ll be heading to Madrid with my best friend Claire for a week of indulging in our favorite places, foods, and Spanish wines. I can’t wait to be back in my second home and I’m so grateful for the affordable flights and free places to stay! I’ll even get a bonus visit with my Danish family during my 9 hour layover in Copenhagen!!
And of course, you! Whoever you are, thank you for continuing to read and share my stories. I’m endlessly grateful!