To Be Thankful

by Brenna Holeman


Family (Winnipeg, Canada)

It’s become a bit of a tradition for me to post about Thanksgiving every year; I think it’s incredibly important to give thanks. I try to do it daily, but on a day when Canadians are actually given a day off to be thankful, I try to really evaluate all of the positives (and sometimes the negatives, I have been thankful for them, too) in my life. You can see what I wrote in 2012, and 2011, and even way back in 2008 (yep, that’s a Livejournal).

This year, more than anything – health, happiness, travel, London – I am the most thankful for the people in my life. Without them, no matter where I’d be, I would feel lost. This past year has allowed me some quality time with my family, though it’s never enough. I’ve also had time with friends I’ve known for decades, and met people I’m sure will be in my life for decades to come. It’s hard for me to articulate how much these people mean to me, and how important they are in my life. But for all the roads I’ve travelled, and for all the corners of the world, they are the ones who give me a sense of home.

And that’s all that matters, isn’t it? For every stamp in our passports or adventure we conquer, at the end of the day the only thing that really matters is the people we’ve met, the people we’ve shared our lives with, the people who have taught us and made us laugh and given us a reason to get up in the morning. Whether family or friends, online or in front of us, numbers of hundreds or maybe only one, what I care most about in this world are the people within it. Thank you for being one of them.


 Family (Winnipeg, Canada)

Screen Shot 2012-01-09 at 12.40.07 AM

 Kerri (In Thailand, Myanmar, Turkey, Japan, Romania, and Bulgaria)


 Ali (In Berlin, Germany)


 Mark (In Buenos Aires, Argentina)


 Jamie, Aaron, Rachael, Sunny, and Justin (In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) 

Coincidentally it was Aaron, Sunny, and Nicola (not pictured, but I met her in Rio, too) who had me over yesterday for Thanksgiving dinner, complete with chicken, sweet potato mash, gravy, and carrots topped with maple syrup! They are the best.


 Tom (like family) and Zalie (my family) (In Tel Aviv, Israel)


 Pie, Chris, and Kerri (In Cali, Colombia)


 Rikki (In Selkirk, Manitoba)


 Naomi and Candace (In Dublin, Ireland) 


Mum (In Listvyanka, Russia)


 Brendan and Peter, part of the #Travellads group who have graciously adopted me since moving to London


 Dad (In London, England)


 Extended Family (In Winnipeg, Canada)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Candace October 14, 2013 - 3:44 pm

What a fun (and lovely) surprise to see that photo of us with Naomi included here! I couldn’t agree more, though – as fun as it is to see the world, it’s the people we meet along the way (and more importantly stay in touch with) that really give life a sense of meaning and connection. I especially love the montage of you and Kerri – so, so cool that you’ve been able to cross paths all over the world.

PS – I also just have to briefly mention your awesome sense of style here 🙂 Love it!

Brenna Holeman October 25, 2013 - 11:06 pm

Candace! I’m so sorry – I just found this comment in my spam folder. Hopefully that won’t happen again.

Thank you so much for your comment – it was such a pleasure to meet you in Dublin and you’re right, it’s definitely the people we encounter that make travelling so worthwhile and so fun. I hope we cross paths again soon!

Zalie October 15, 2013 - 8:07 pm

I am thankful for you sister! I loved seeing all your pictures xo

Brenna October 15, 2013 - 10:38 pm

YES! I am so happy that you finally commented on my blog. I love you sister.

Zalie October 16, 2013 - 11:27 am

Actually, I comment on EVERY post you put up, just not on here 😉 xoxo

Brenna October 16, 2013 - 12:31 pm

Ha ha, I know sister. I was just happy to see a comment on the actual blog. xo

Zalie October 17, 2013 - 2:45 pm

I know what you meant sister 😉 xoxo

Expatkerri October 15, 2013 - 11:46 pm

I am ever-thankful for your friendship too, Brenna! And that we are travel soulmates! And that we have seen 17 countries together! And that we have enough memories together to last an eternity! And knowing we’ve got the rest of our lives to keep exploring! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

Brenna October 16, 2013 - 1:09 am

You are the best. I miss our travel days together. I know that we’re like, temporarily settled and everything, but can we start planning the next big adventure?

Expatkerri October 17, 2013 - 9:11 pm

Yes please! Where in the world will it be?? I vote Eastern Europe…

Brenna Holeman October 20, 2013 - 8:33 am

I vote Silk Road…or a dive trip in the South Pacific…

Why We Should be Thankful - This Battered Suitcase October 14, 2014 - 7:09 pm

[…] Thanksgiving. It has been a bit of a tradition to write on this blog every Thanksgiving; I did it here, when I had just moved to London, and in 2012, when I was in Peru, and in 2011, when I was on a road trip across North America. […]


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