[T]oday is one of the United States' most cherished holidays, Thanksgiving.
Traditionally, Americans kick off their 4-day weekend by feasting on food all day long, and then watching American football on television. It's a celebration of gluttony, but also a chance to reflect on what we're thankful for in our lives.
I'm writing this post from Nice, a beach town in the French Riviera. It was 14 years ago that I arrived here for the first time, as part of my first backpacking trip abroad.
Not a lot has changed. The beaches are still rocky, and the sunsets are still spectacular.
In honor of Thanksgiving, I'd like to take a moment to give thanks.
To My Family and Friends
I know you may not have always known what I've been trying to do the last 6 – 10 years, but I appreciate your patience, and attempts to understand and support me.
I wouldn't be able to continue to do what I do if it weren't for your interest, and words of appreciation.
To Mark and Brooke
Words can't express how appreciative I am of your contributions throughout 2012. Yours stories on this blog have inspired, motivated, educated, and entertained tens of thousands of readers.
To Advertisers and Corporate Partners
Go Backpacking is advertiser-supported, and I also wouldn't be able to keep going without your generous support. I continue to choose projects carefully.
This year, I had the chance to work with some terrific organizations, including:
- G Adventures for a trip to Patagonia.
- Rainforest Expeditions for a trip to the Amazon in Peru.
- Skyscanner for a fun summer giveaway, which received over 300 entries, and resulted in one reader winning a new iPad 3!
- Costa Brava tourism for trips around Catalonia, Spain.
- Eurail for allowing me the chance to re-live my first trip through Europe by rail.
- Indonesia tourism for my recent 2-week trip to visit orangutans and dragons.
- Wales tourism for a long weekend in Cardiff.
I've had the chance to see some of the world's great landscapes this year. I still have so much to write about my time in Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia. Patagonia was just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. And then we still three months of travel in Europe to cover.
Once again, I'd like to wish all my American friends a Happy Thanksgiving.
Eat a turkey leg for me!