As I wrap up the Thanksgiving holiday with my family and friends in the United States, I can’t help but reflect on its meaning. I am stuffed full with turkey, casserole and pie, and pleasantly exhausted from a household of laughter; yet, I wonder if I truly let the meaning of Thanksgiving seep in with all that wonderful noise. (5 nieces and nephews will certainly bring the volume up!)
What about you? Have you stopped to reflect amidst the chaos of the holidays?
One of the most vital practices that we can be reminded of during this holiday season is gratitude. I love this word because it express that feeling grateful is not a one-time occurrence, but an ongoing mindset. Gratitude goes beyond being thankful for each positive circumstance we may experience; it is the underlying way in which we view our lives, knowing that we have been given a life full of imperfect beauty, challenging struggles and a hopeful future. It is the understanding that we have done nothing to deserve our place in the world, and therefore are empowered to enjoy it and to share our God-given gifts with others.
Traveling with Gratitude
This mindset is extremely helpful for me as I deal with my circumstances. It’s easy in the world of travel for people to get caught up in covetousness. Of course we love the thrill of travel, and so we seek out magazines, books and websites that feed this craving or prepare us for our upcoming journeys. All too soon we are captivated by “The Top 10 Most Luxurious Resorts in The World” or “How to Unplug from Your Business While on Vacation” headlines… and suddenly we are dreaming of an alternative universe where that type of trip is our reality.
The Global Commute is a different kind of travel site. My main goal is not to talk about the “trendiest” hotel choices in the “hottest” destinations. The purpose of The Global Commute is to inspire us to look at travel in a different way – to shift the common outlook that the “best” choices are defined by how much they cost in relation to our desires and resources (from the cheapest to the most luxurious), into the mindset that the “best” choices are the ones that connect us to the destination so we can truly engage. This, I believe should be the main focus for all types of travelers, no matter their interests or income. I’ll leave the other covetous travel stuff for you to swoon over elsewhere; after all, there are plenty of other resources for you to get that information. Maybe I’ll even share my favorite general travel resources in my weekly email soon!
The Global Commute Gratitude Challenge
As we glide through this holiday season, let’s challenge ourselves to practice gratitude each and every day. With all the busyness around us, it’s the perfect time to start. But be prepared! This mindset is life changing when it is actually lived by. It has the power to change how we set our priorities, interact with other people and spend our time. It can even reach into other areas of our lives, like travel. It may even lead us to a Journey Beyond the Bucket List, where we connect with the destination and give-back as an overflow of our gratitude.
This is certainly my goal as I move forward in this quest with you. Let’s start together by living with grateful hearts that overflow to others (both near and far) as we enjoy the life we have been blessed with.
Feature Photo Credit: nktwentythree/iStock/Thinkstock
“I truly believe we can either see the connections, celebrate them, and express gratitude for our blessings, or we can see life as a string of coincidences that have no meaning or connection. For me, I’m going to believe in miracles, celebrate life, rejoice in the views of eternity, and hope my choices will create a positive ripple effect in the lives of others. This is my choice.” – Mike Ericksen