Last week, just before Thanksgiving, I shared some of the reasons I am thankful for 2011 — it’s been a wonderful, challenging, life-changing year. Over the holiday, a friend from London crossed the pond for a visit, and my family introduced Shel to her first Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and American football and basketball games. As my family and friends discussed things, moments, and people we’re thankful for, I thought of all the people who have been there for me on “transportation days” — the people who have helped me get from A to B and back. This is my post-Thanksgiving “THANK YOU” tribute to them.
Dear mom and dad, thank you
My parents have always been willing to take me to the airport and pick me up upon my return. I’m especially grateful for their efforts since I often fly out of an airport that is two hours away. Though I’ve only asked them to make the 4-hour round trip once or twice, I’m most thankful that they took me to the airport the day I flew to Australia. I was nervous and excited and terrified, and they were happy for me but sad to see me go. When we were within 30 minutes of the airport, chatter nearly ceased, each of us holding in tears. Once I was checked in, I gave them a quick hug and “I love you!” before making a dash toward security. I knew if I turned around for one final goodbye I’d be a sobbing mess!
Thank you to my friends in England
Though I’m comfortable navigating the London Underground and traveling from Heathrow to various destinations unassisted, one (or more!) of my friends is always there to greet me at arrivals — always with a coffee, smile, and hugs. One time there was even a sign with my name on it, which I still have on my bedroom wall! Friends with cars have picked me up or dropped me off, and my boyfriend has already volunteered to arrive bright and early to greet me on the next visit. With friends in other areas of the UK, I’m hoping that Julia would be willing to find parking at Manchester airport if I wanted to pop over for a visit and needed a ride. That’s okay, right Julia?!
Thankful for first meetings at airports
When I first ventured to Australia in 2006, a contact in Brisbane greeted me at the airport, complete with a sign and a friendly welcome. We’d never met in person, but thanks to a mutual professional connection, he had offered to show me around the city and help plan part of my stay. His kindness to a new traveler has never been forgotten.
I also met my friend Gunther for the first time when I arrived in Germany for a two-week trip. Like with Kev from London, I had known Gunther online through his blog for nearly two years before we finally met in person. He met me at the airport, drove us to his apartment, and for the next two weeks we traveled around the country together. Thanks to his planning, our train tickets were booked well in advance, and our transportation days were absolutely effortless.
Thankful for friends who help at home
While I’ve relied on my parents from time to time, several friends who live near DC are the ones that most often get me to and from Dulles. I drive to their homes, leaving my car in their care, and they take the time of out their busy schedules to help me embark on my next adventure. When my feet are once again on American soil, they’re only a quick phone call away. Dan, Rachel, and Alicia — THANK YOU!
Always thankful for friends and family
I could drive myself to the airport, park in long-term parking, and pay the fee upon my return. Obviously having help on either end of the flight saves time and money, and I’m grateful for the sacrifices people have made to help make my travels a little easier. And, just knowing that there will be a smiling face waiting to greet me after hours in the air is a gift.
I probably don’t tell the people above that I appreciate them often enough. Whether it has to do with helping me on transportation days or simply, and more importantly, being a part of my life, thank you.
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