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First Thanksgiving in Asia

November 23, 2010

sunrise Malaysia Thanksgiving

"Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving" Kahil Gibran   

In this season of gratitude, we have many things to be grateful for like this gorgeous view out our windows from our new winter home in Penang, Malaysia. We remember our first Thanksgiving in Spain in 2006 when we began our world tour and the many wonderful Thanksgiving meals that we have had at home with family. This year we will have a tropical Thanksgiving and that in itself feels a bit surreal as we settle in and adjust to a new way of being.

food shopping penang malaysia

It has been intense travel the last two months from Malaga to London, NYC, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Fresno, Honolulu, Kauai, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, New Zealand, Sydney, Singapore to Penang, so we are more than ready for a rest. We also had two close relatives rushed to the hospital via 911 when we were visiting home and two deaths of close, very precious loved ones while on the road this year, one in Spain and one in Bora Bora, so that has taken a huge toll.Two very special and beloved dads/Grandpas.

view from our winter home in Penang, Malaysia

Thus, it will be a quiet, simple and sweet Thanksgiving in this new country, mostly spent with relatives at a distance in California via webcam calls. Then, when they head to bed early in our day, we will head to the pool here at our resort and to the movie theater in the mall to see the new Harry Potter movie. We haven't seen English movies in a theater together in 5 years, Mozart is a Harry Potter fanatic who has read the books so much they are almost memorized, has a day off from her new Mandarin classes coincidentally, and movies are extremely cheap here in the HUGE mall nearby, much bigger than the one at home.It seemed like a logical choice and treat for us.

Asia mall in Penang, Malaysia


Life goes on during this tender time and we get through it step by step. We are soothed by this new environment, but  having only been here for five days so far, we are  still learning the ropes and finding a routine. It is good to be not living out of a suitcase for a while, but grief finds you, no matter where you are or what day or holiday it is. Despite having a ton of work to do to catch up, I find myself resistant to doing anything, but make myself plug along. I know death, loss and grief are part of life, but I don't have to like it. I never seem to be prepared for it, the continual blow that it is to the stomach or how long it takes to recover from the black cloud blues that engulfs me. My heart aches the most knowing my dearest ones are in emotional pain and there is little I can do.

We are ever so grateful for all the time we DID have with our tender hearted, sweet beloveds, so we will keep our focus on that this holiday season. After the holidays, my almost 83 year old mother will join us for a while, so we will be Soultravelers4 for a bit. We wish all of our American readers a very sweet Thanksgiving and the focus on gratitude to everyone!

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving." Westermayer

 

 

 

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Emily

Sorry to hear about your losses. It is always hard and is a good time to be gentle with yourself.

Oh and I really really love this blog. It inspires me every time I read it. I definitely want to give myself and my (theoretical future) child the kind of experiences and adventures your family has! I love love love all the tips on how to travel cheaply!

Jo

I wish the 3 of you a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Christina

We're praying for lots of blessings for your family this Thanksgiving. And thanks for giving us this blog!

Kelsi

so much adventure. spending Thanksgiving in a tropical place seems weird to me too, but I've found that surrounding myself with things or people i love makes the holiday just as meaningful.

Nadine

Lots of hugs. Nadine

Kymri

Oh I'm so sorry for your losses which make this holiday tough. I can relate - in previous years I had lost both my parents, my uncle, and this year now my brother in the weeks preceding Thanksgiving. But like me, you are blessed with a husband and daughter and a grand appreciation for travel, and that there's more to be thankful than sorry for in this world. A journey is always more meaningful when shared, and I thank you for sharing your amazing family travels. Happy Thanksgiving to you all :)

Amber Hadley

Very sorry to read of your losses. Peace be with you.

Melissa Read (readontheroad

I think you deserve a rest after the recent fast pace, I always described it as drinking from a fire hose! I sympathise with your loss, I'm missing my sister even more at the holidays. But what a gift to have your Mom join you, I would have given anything to be able to share some of our Europe trip with my Mom. Be kind to yourself as you recover from the past year, we're wishing you all the best in the new year.

Theodora (Travels with a Nine Year Old)

Great to hear your mom is coming out. We're seeing a lot of family here in Australia, which is fantastic.

But it must be a challenging time for you. Complete with the culture shock, because Asia, like Africa, is a major transition from Europe/US...

Hope the movie was good. We went for the Narnia one instead...

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