22 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

It's hard to believe that another year has come and gone already - I feel like it was just last month that I was posting about how we spent last year's Thanksgiving in Johannesburg surrounded by new {ex-pat} friends and the most delicious American-inspired feast.  I must admit that Thanksgiving is one of my all-time favorite American traditions that I've been able to share with Jurgen and I love that the holiday serves as a yearly reminder to pause for a moment and consider all that we've been blessed with in life.

Of course being an ex-pat offers a unique perspective on Thanksgiving, and it's one of the many times during the year when I wish it was possible to morph back to California and spend a few days with family and friends before being able to snap my fingers and morph back to South Africa.  Even though we all know this isn't possible {yet}, programs like Skype offer a close second and so tonight I'll be setting my alarm for the wee hours of the morning when all of my family will be together at my parents house.

Aside from missing family though, being an ex-pat in-and-of-itself has actually provided me with a host of things to be thankful for!  Truth be told, this year has been one of the best yet!

Here are just a few of the things that I'm grateful for....

+ Being able to call two beautiful countries my home.  There are so many things that I'll always love and appreciate about California and the United States, and there are also so many ways I have been blessed by living in South Africa.  I'm one lucky girl.

+ Jurgen! {I bet you knew this one was coming!}  But really, aside from getting engaged this year, it's just great to have someone in your life who you know you can always turn to for a laugh, a hug, or a shoulder to cry on.  When the going gets tough, for some reason it doesn't seem so bleak when there's two of you.  AND, when the tough gets going, it's even more incredible to have someone so fun, carefree, and adventurous to share life with.

+ My family.  Even though they're 1000's of miles away I always feel like they're here when I need them and are willing to offer words of advice and encouragement.

+ Friends.  Real friends and blog friends alike.  And for this community of incredible women {and a few men!} who continue to inspire and uplift me on a daily basis.  Blogging has turned into so much more than I initially anticipated.

+ A warm bed, a roof over my head, clean water, and a full tummy.  It's so difficult not to take these luxuries for granted, but so important to remember that millions go without these things every day.

+ Travel!!!  I'm so thankful that every once in awhile I'm able to hop on a plane to somewhere new and learn about different cultures, incredible sites, and breathe in a fresh perspective.

+ Our Namibia road-trip this December and January!  More to come on this soon :)

- - - - -

To all my American friends - I hope you have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones and full of the most delicious food!!!


  1. Ahhh happy Thanksgiving Jen! I hope it's not too much of a lonely one this year. Would love to learn more about this tradition and incorporate it into my SA lifestyle, it's a really important one and we do have so much to be grateful for!!!

  2. Happy Thanksgiving! We all have so much to be thankful for. What an exciting trip to look foward to!

  3. Such a wonderful post! You definitely have some amazing things to be thankful for :) Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

  4. Thanks for waking up to make a call to be with us Jenna....we are thankful that you are our daughter...we love you and missed you so much today!

  5. Such lovely things to be thankful for!

  6. such a good list Jenna! Hope you and Jurgen had a great ex-pat thanksgiving :)

  7. such a good list Jenna! Hope you and Jurgen had a great ex-pat thanksgiving :)

  8. i always miss my family at the holidays, but it is nice to call two countries home :)

  9. I'm happy that you could at least skype with your family, even though you had to get up early, which sucks. Or was it late?

    Did you guys have turkey and all the other traditional meals?

  10. this is such a sweet post. hope your thanksgiving weekend was fantastic! xx

  11. What a beautiful family! So many wonderful things to be thankful for, too. Hope you had a wonderful South African Thanksgiving :)

    Stephanie (Big Mario Life)

  12. that's such a great picture...and a beautiful list of things and people to be thankful for :)


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