Woohoo! It’s that time of year again to feast on our blessings and appreciate a hearty meal! (Or is it the other way around? :D) Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays because everything about this day just feels so comforting and warm—even when it’s usually well below 20 degrees by now in Minne snow ta. I love the conversation that comes up with family over the dinner table and acknowledging my gratitude with the people I love.
This year marks my sixth consecutive Thanksgiving away from home back in Minnesota and naturally, it has me reflecting on all of the places where I toasted over turkey to celebrate the occasion. Even when the environment, company, and food changes year after year, it’s truly amazing how I am able to find a new home with a new family of friends wherever my journey takes me.
So first off, cheers to everyone who has been a part of my Thanksgiving for the last few years around the world, it wouldn’t have been the same without each of you!
And while I’m of course thankful for my health, friendships, career success and the like, I am especially grateful for the travel experiences that have shaped me into the person I am today. Travel has made me a more understanding, compassionate, adventurous person and I wouldn’t trade any of the ups and downs that come from living abroad for a second!
Thus, a toast to travel! Let’s bust out the photo albums and take a look at some of my favorite travel memories, just for kicks.
I’m rolling with 26 experiences in honor of Turkey Day falling on the 26th of November this year, but there are so, so many more activities and experiences I wanted to include in this list! In the end, I narrowed down my selection to some of the most impactful moments and memorable stories that I often find myself repeating to friends and family.
Without further ado, grab a glass of cabernet and enjoy my photographic walk down memory lane!
1. Road tripping the Canadian Rockies
2. Sailing from Panama to Colombia and cruising the San Blas islands
3. Celebrating Carnaval in Oruro, Bolivia – A UNESCO World Heritage Event
4. Camping in the Peruvian Amazon
5. My first experience abroad living and studying in Buenos Aires, Argentina
6. Mountain biking through the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat, Cambodia
7. Living on the Hawaiian island of Molokai and integrating into the local culture and community
8. Hiking high above Machu Picchu for a bird’s-eye view of the ruins
9. Feeding elephants in Kanchanaburi, Thailand
10. Photographing fun perspective shots at Salar de Uyuni (Salt Flats), Bolivia
11. Pushing myself over the (80 meter) edge to break out of my comfort zone in Costa Rica
12. The complete nonsense that was San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. (One of those I-can’t-believe-we-made-it-out-alive weekends.)
13. My “Castaway” moment after a 5-hour SUP crisis off the island of Molokai
14. Having everything—camera equipment and all—stolen in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. (You learn even the most important things are just things. )
15. Learning traditional Quechua weaving techniques in rural Peru
16. Island hopping around Phang Nga Bay in southern Thailand
17. Getting up close and personal with fossilized dinosaur footprints in Sucre, Bolivia
18. Gallavanting around an island of volcanoes in Nicaragua
19. Hiking through Cocora’s valley of the wax palms in Colombia
20. Each and every time I’ve kept my cool under an unnerving situation
21. Finding Quito, Ecuador much more enjoyable than I expected
22. Playing tourist in Bangkok and awkwardly posing everywhere
23. Obsessing over Panama City
24. Belting out the song “Corre” by Jesse y Joy over, and over, and over again with kids of the indigenous Maleku tribe. (And then a couple more times for good measure.)
25. Learning how to produce a good brew from start to finish in the heart Colombia’s coffee country
26. Exploring Bolivia with my camba.