November 2012 Thankful fors…

My friends, and the fact that they are literally all over the world.

Checking my Facebook is like spinning a globe. I really can’t express how proud and impressed I am when I think about the people I’ve met and developed friendships with through school, college, study abroad, rugby, jobs and travel. Even if we depend on the internet and pending annual visits, I always have my people and our memories close to my heart, and they are doing some crazy-cool things with their lives. If you think my generation is screwing the world with our consumerism and dependency complexes, you haven’t met my friends.

Something about being a billion miles from home and constant bombardment of equal parts difficulty and amusement really bonds you to the people around you. Also, they’re both from New England so they walk fast and don’t talk to strangers.

It would have been a rough year without them.

The nationality inscribed on my passport.

Our country is far from perfect. I tossed and turned in the days approaching November 6, 2012, struggling to imagine a USA under Romney and wondering how I would manage to stay out until 2016. However, no matter where I travel and what perspective I gain, I am still constantly, immensely thankful to be a citizen of a country that spells out my rights and lets me fight for and support additional ones that I (and all human beings) deserve, a country that enforces positive laws and safety under a relatively non-corrupt government, where I can feel safe nearly anywhere I travel without a threat of guerilla or paramilitary forces (except for those crazy-ass minutemen on the US/Mexico border…what is up with them anyway?!) I’m thankful that my nationality lets me enter and exit my own borders at will and those of most other countries in the world. I’m thankful to have been born in a place where things like running water, nutrition, K-12 education, literacy, electricity and indoor plumbing are not considered luxuries.

A network of family who, at the very least, passively support my life.

I KNOW, I KNOW. I live far away, and I miss the birthdays and holidays, and I’m probably causing everyone a lot more anxiety than if I were living a thousand miles closer – but I keep you entertained, right?


I don’t take for granted that I live in a foreign country, or that I’ve lived in a few foreign countries. At least once a day I stop dead in my tracks at the sight or memory of something that reminds me how lucky I am to be living this way, and to have seen and known so many places. Not everyone can say the same.

The little things…

– My faithful old 2006 Macbook. It makes angry clicking noises more often than not and can’t support more than one open program at a time, but it’s really still going quite strong considering its life on the road.

– Arepas.

– Email, Skype and social networks. Do you really think I would handwrite you all letters or risk public payphone germs?

– Crepes & Waffles, Capital Bagel, Bob’s Pizza, Maki Roll, Baked by Ana and all the other non-Colombian food restaurants keeping us sane this year.

– 5 mil manicures. Delivered to my dining table.

– Any time that mass transit is smooth sailing.

– The kindness of strangers in this country and in any country. Today I randomly remembered sitting at Authors bookstore café one afternoon with Kate, when she accidentally sent her latte flying. The Colombian businessman sitting next to us flagged over the waiter to get us new drinks as well as snacks on his dime just because.

– Hot sauce.

– Rugby.