A Few Things I’m Thankful For This Year

I can’t believe how fast 2016 has flown by, as I write this thoughts of turkey and pumpkin pie dance in my head and visions of Christmas sales flash across my TV screen. Tensions still run high from one of the most contentious election seasons in history, but despite the doom that pops up in my news feed there is a lot that’s good and right in the world. I choose to focus on the positive and this year has generally been a good one for me. Here are a few things I’m thankful for this year.

A few things I'm thankful for this year www.casualtravelist.com


This guy

A few things I'm thankful for this year www.casualtravelist.com

This adorable little pumpkin is my nephew Paul and I had the privilege of welcoming this little guy to the world. He is the first child among my siblings and being witness to the moment he came into the world was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. In his first few weeks he has proven to be a voracious eater, a prolific sleeper and a world class snuggler; I can’t wait to show Paul all the wonderful things, both big and small, that the world has in store.

Travel Opportunities

A few things I'm thankful for this year www.casualtravelist.com

I’ve traveled more this year than any other time in my life. At the beginning of the year I set a personal goal to travel at least once per month and as 2016 winds down it looks like that goal is well within reach. I’ve been able to visit 3 countries (2 new to me) and had some amazing experiences. From sipping cocktails from glass carved from ice in Quebec’s Ice Hotel to climbing dormant volcanoes in Ecuador and dancing the night away in an underground salsa club in Mexico, 2016 is full of experiences that I still can’t believe I’ve had.


A few things I'm thankful for this year www.casualtravelist.com

As a woman, I’ve told friends that I’ve always been thankful for being born both when and where I was.  Throughout much of history (and sadly in some places in the world today), solely based on the fact I have two X chromosomes, my political voice wouldn’t have been heard. While the result of the presidential election did not go the way I had hoped I do respect the outcome and the people who voted differently than me. I am thankful I live in a country (and a time) where I get to voice my opinion and I will continue to put my time and energy behind the causes I believe in.

My job.


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I’m very fortunate to have a day job that I love. As a physical therapist I have a flexible schedule and a comfortable income, both of which allow me to indulge in my passion of travel. What I like most about my job is that I get to help people recover from life-altering conditions including cancer, strokes and Parkinson’s. Over the weeks and months of rehab I get to know these people, they become friends and I discover that everyone has a fascinating story to tell.


A few things I'm thankful for this year www.casualtravelist.com


Java, joe, espresso, cappuccino, flat white, americano, latte, mocha; whatever you call it and whatever iteration you enjoy it for me coffee truly is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I happen to be married to a coffee snob (we have even considered getting a home coffee roaster) and I reap the benefits of this every morning.  We also enjoy seeking out regional specialties on our travels; thick Turkish coffees in (where else?) Turkey, fanciful cafe melange in Vienna and the perfect maple latte in Quebec City. Coffee is an integral part of my life both at home and abroad which you no doubt know if you follow my Instagram feed.

You guys

A few things I'm thankful for this year www.casualtravelist.com

Last, but certainly not least, I’m thankful for all of you guys. For whatever reason you’ve decided to follow along on my adventures over the past few years I can’t express just how grateful I am to have you guys along for the ride. You come from all walks of life and from all corners of the world;  whether you’re a stay at home mom or empty-nester, a senior executive or nomadic backpacker you’ve decided to unite with me here in our shared love of travel. You guys inspire me to be better; a better traveler, a better writer and a better person and I’m happy to have all of you in my life.

What are you thankful for this year? Please share with me in the comments!

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36 Comments on “A Few Things I’m Thankful For This Year

  1. So many things to be thankful for! Congrats on the birth of your nephew, he’s so cute! I’m grateful for the most unexpected yet beautiful thing that happened to me this year: my daughter!

  2. Thanks for including us in your highlights of the year. We really weekly apprciate your article and reading those, seeing your logo, your picture in the widget have made our years full of joys in travelling via friends’ views. Our team is also my year higlight too. Thnaks Brianna

  3. What a lovely post thank you. It’s important to stop and appreciate what we have in life. It’s too easy to continuously want more and to be looking forward to being else where. I’m thankful for my wonderful husband & for having to opportunity to do what I love (travel), not every one gets that chance so I feel blessed. Of course I’m also thankful for having amazing family & friends back home & world wide. Keep sending out good vibes, look forward to your next post, Candace (www.360honeymoon.com)

  4. What a blessing it was to read this! It made me reflect on many things I am thankful for this year as well. Another year with my family, husband, and pup is what I’m most thankful for this year.

  5. Beautiful article and a nice reminder to stop and count your blessings! With the craziness of the election and the upcoming holidays, sometimes you just need to stop and reflect. Thanks for the reminder.
    I’m thankful for my health, friends, family, and having the unique opportunity to travel and see the world!

  6. Beautiful post. 🙂 This year I’m thankful for my health as it allows me to do the things that make me happy. And I’m thankful for coffee too. I don’t think I need the caffeine but I love the ritual of having a warm beverage every morning.

  7. Great post, you definitely have a lot to be thankful for. This year was crazy with the election, if you thought this was bad, this was nothing compared to when Alexander Hamilton and James Madison ran.

    I’m thankful for travel as well. I’ve been able to travel for longer periods this year. In the past my trips were a few days, now they’re two to three weeks.
    Debra @ Traveling Well For Less recently posted…Australia for $93, Etihad First Class Apartment Shower, and More!My Profile

  8. Cheers Brianna!
    What a great 2016! As you said nothing is always perfect, but we need to keep the focus on the achievements and all the good things that happened to us. This was an awesome year for me too, a lot of work, growing as a woman and venturing myself in new projects and new roads…
    Wishing you an awesome 2017!
    Happy travels,
    Natalie Deduck recently posted…The Best of Macau: Tourist Spots and AttractionsMy Profile

  9. Such a sweet post. I think it is important to remind yourslef sometimes being grateful as it can be forgotten easily. Love all your reasons and agree with each of them (though I wish I would have even more holidays from my job) and my nephew is already 2 years but I am still thankful for him 🙂

    • I would certainly love more time off but I’m thankful for all the opportunities I have.

  10. Having a job that you love is certainly a thing to be thankful for! I really can’t understand people who suffer in their jobs yet they are too lazy(or comfortable?) to change it.Keep on with positive life! 😉

  11. Beautiful piece. It sounds you had a great year. I am an auntie and I know how blessing could be 🙂 I wish you a great year ahead

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