Happy Thanksgiving from the Bangkok Airport

Thanksgiving. A holiday meant to be spent relaxing with family and food, I was spending it alone on a plane and in an airport.

I had booked my flight from Australia to Bangkok on November 27th not realizing what day it was. Maybe this is why flights were cheaper? But really it doesn’t matter if it’s Thanksgiving when you’re not in the US, no one else celebrates it anyway.

Except that I was reminded of this holiday by friends from home, talking about their long weekends and asking what I would be doing. The year I was in Peru for Thanksgiving our porters on the Inca Trail made us a cake and wrote “Happy Thanksgiving” on it. I would not have the same international Thanksgiving celebration this time.

Instead, I spent 9 hours on a plane. With no entertainment. I flew Jetstar, so the perks of international flights – food and movies – were missing. I had swapped my last book, The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, for a lighter read in the hostel book exchange: Hunger Games 2, Catching Fire. I figured I deserved something easier after making it through Don Quixote and The Satanic Verses.

I started Hunger Games as we taxied away from the gate in Melbourne. I finished it somewhere over the ocean, with 2.5 hours left in my flight. I can’t remember a time I opened a book and didn’t put it down until I turned the last page. Now what? I watched the last 2 episodes of Season 2 of The Sopranos. We still had an hour left. Music and an attempt at a power nap got me through to landing.

I disembarked without much excitement, knowing that I was planning on sleeping in the Bangkok airport. I had a flight to Vietnam the next morning so getting out to a hostel for a quick restless sleep and then back to the airport didn’t sound worth it. What a way to spend a holiday.

But then I was walking through the airport surrounded by signs written in type that made no sense to me. Thai. And it hit me: I was in Thailand. I have never been to this part of the world and even though I wouldn’t see any of it tonight I still made it here. Finally! My spirits lifted a little.

I ended my Thanksgiving day writing blog posts while sipping on an Americano in the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in the Bangkok Airport. My American tribute to Thanksgiving.

This is where I am now. I’m trying to get as many posts written as I can before I get to Vietnam tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll get most of Australia cued up to publish once a day while I’m enjoying this next location.

Because in Vietnam I know I won’t be writing much. I will be joined by familiar faces for the first time since Andy came to Colombia in August – this time, it’ll be family! My aunt, uncle and cousin are meeting me in Vietnam and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s a great way to start the third and final part of this journey: Asia.



  1. We will be thinking of you today and will raise a glass to toast your courage and spirit. We are thankful today that you are well and living your dream.

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