As I think back on my memory of this holiday, I remember once when I celebrated Thanksgiving far from home. I was on an extended trip through Egypt after graduating college. On the day of Thanksgiving back home I would be on a train leaving Cairo heading to Luxor.
I did not expect to have a Thanksgiving meal at all. I would be served dinner in my cabin, dining alone. So no family, football or turkey. I was content though as this trip was wonderous. For me Egypt was mesmerizing with its warm and welcoming people and truly spectacular sites.
Yet, this meal far from home turned out to be a wonderful story of Thanksgiving.
When my meal arrived I was surprised to see turkey and various side dishes. I asked and was told that the meal choice was just chance. Maybe no family or football, but turkey made it Thanksgiving for me. I was thousands of miles from home and I would have my own private Thanksgiving.
Yet, I knew Turkey alone would not be enough to make this a special meal. I thought of the other folks I met on my trip and remembered an older gentleman who was also traveling to Luxor on the same train. I knew he was travelling alone, so I grabbed my tray and went in search of his cabin.
I found him and asked if he wanted a dinner partner, a fellow American far from home. He was enthusiastic and invited me to join him. I was still young and had few stories to tell. He though had a lifetime of stories. He lost his wife a year before and he was traveling the world experiencing all her wonders.
I was a California boy and he was from Minnesota. I found myself as amazed by his stories growing up in Minnesota as I was experiencing in Egypt. His travel stories were full of color and spirit. We talked for hours.
Today, I look back on that night and the wonderful Thanksgiving meal. I was not with family, just another person travelling through life. He inspired me to hold my sense of wonder.
Thinking back on that Thanksgiving night so many years ago, I am thankful that I still have a sense of wonder of the world we all share. We are travellers together, you and me.
Let’s tell each other our stories.