The Thanksgiving Project: Giving thanks for the people in our lives

The Thanksgiving Project discusses the big and small reasons to be grateful and invites you to share your own throughout October and November.

I remember a lot about my camping trip in Taiwan. I remember the gorgeous campground, tucked away along a clear river in the middle of the Chiayi mountains. I remember the treacherous trek up those mountain roads; my trusty 90 cc scooter, Scoot Scoot Riot, screaming in protest as it climbed higher and higher. I remember staring into the eye of the fish head that was served to me at dinner and gagging as I tried to eat it.

Yes, there are many things that come to mind about that trip. But what sticks out the most is the people I met.

The first evening of our stay, my fellow campers, Marty and Yanik, strolled through the campgrounds. We passed a group of six Taiwanese men who invited us to join them for dinner and some Tsingtao Beer. Never one to pass up a free beer, we grabbed seats around their campfire. In no time at all we were laughing and joking around the campfire like old friends (even if neither side spoke the other’s language well).

The food was great (besides the fish head) but the company was better. When the food had all been eaten, the guitar came out and the singing began. In a country obsessed with Karaoke, our hosts showed no inhibitions. Before long, we were butchering songs and dancing around the fire, the fish head sloshing around a belly full of cheap beer.

It was awesome.

In Taiwan, as in life, it’s the people we remember most—our friends, our family and random strangers who feed you fish heads. The quality of any experience is directly connected to the quality of the people experiencing it with us. Miserable jobs can be made infinitely better in good company. And crappy company can sour what you’d think should be amazing experiences.

So here’s to the people in our lives. Here’s to the hospitality of strangers who give you free beer. Here’s to the friends you don’t mind farting in front of. Here’s to family members who are there for you even when you wrap their car around a hydro pole. Here’s to good company and making the time for it.

What (and who) are you grateful for? Add your items to the Thanksgiving List—the goal is to have 1,000 items by the end of November. You can also add your items on my Facebook Page and on Twitter, using the #thanksgivingproject hashtag.


Funny stories. Good advice. Josh Martin is the author of “Simple(ton) Living: Lessons in balance from life’s absurd moments.” and “Balancing Priorities and Prioritizing Balance”. Click here to learn more and to purchase a copy.

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2 Responses to The Thanksgiving Project: Giving thanks for the people in our lives

  1. Hey Josh. This is such an introspective story about the joy of being with great company.

    It’s also a powerful reminder to observe what kind of company we are to others. We can choose to either add joy to others lives, or not.

    To answer your question, I’m grateful for my incredible family and the time I’m able to spend with them. I’m also grateful for a handful of amazing friends that can make me laugh at myself and see the lighter side of life. 🙂

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