Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Thank You — and Happy Thanksgiving 2020 to You

Please allow me to be one of the first to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving holiday — unless you celebrate the American holiday in the eastern hemisphere, where it is already Thanksgiving as I write this; or if you happen to be Canadian, in which case you already celebrated Thanksgiving on Monday, October 12, 2020.

Thank You — and Happy Thanksgiving 2020 to You

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

The year 2020 was quite unique for many people, to put it mildly: the decimation of the entire travel industry worldwide due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, which is thought to have contributed to almost 1.5 million deaths out of greater than 60 million confirmed cases; a record hurricane and tropical weather season in the Atlantic Ocean basin; intense wildfires; insane politics which included a wildly unprecedented election for the office of president in the United States; the continuously abhorrent lack of security of highly sensitive personal information; and a variety of a surfeit of other issues which seem to keep barraging us like a massive tidal wave every day and straining our collective patience — but that ironically can have us feeling thankful that we are not directly affected by those reports.

In fact, realizing how fortunate we truly are these days can be taken for granted, as there is always something to challenge us and test our mettle. Will we be successful at resolving issues and incidents which have a negative impact upon us — including everything which was associated with the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic?

The answer is yes — and no. Sometimes we will be successful; and sometimes not — but we have to remember that each failure is an educational experience from which we have an opportunity to learn for the future…

…and do we have a lot to learn from this incomparable year!

Better yet, we have the opportunity to be thankful for such experiences — but we may not always acknowledge our thankfulness.

Speaking for myself, there are a number of things in life for which I am thankful — but there are times where I feel that I do not express my thankfulness enough. My hope and wish once again for this Thanksgiving is that the list of things for which I am thankful will cause you to pause for a moment and reflect on the people and things in your life for which you are thankful — and please feel free to share them in the Comments section below if you feel compelled to do so.

Despite the fact that there are many more places where I would like to visit — most notably, the South Pole and Antarctica itself — I am thankful for the opportunities to have already traveled to many places all over the world. This year is shaping up to be the first year in many years in which I have not traveled as a passenger aboard an airplane — and more articles of trip reports from past travels are in line to be written and posted here at The Gate. Although I am extra thankful for the opportunity to have traveled in comfort and style during some of those times when I was either upgraded or paid for the luxury, I am equally thankful for all the other times during which I have traveled…

…even when the experience was — shall we say — not so ideal.

Every day which passes has been another day in which I have experienced reasonably exceptional health — although this past year has an asterisk attached to it, which I may decide to explain in a future article — especially to be able to travel the way I do. I suffer from no allergies and still to this day do not take any medication; and I realize how rare is that gift. I wish I can bestow that gift upon everyone and eradicate disease, illness and suffering.

Not having to wonder from where my next meal is coming is another reason to be thankful, as there are people around the world who are literally starving — especially as millions of people have either lost their jobs or other means of employment due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic; and many more millions of people have had their income cut substantially. That simply should not happen.

I am thankful for the opportunity to help other people in many ways — such as mentoring entrepreneurs with a better knowledge of business so that they may be successful on their own as one of many examples — but most notably, to donate blood and platelets whenever I can. For me, this is the single best gift I can give to someone — I do not consider it charity — as I am truly and literally giving of myself whenever I donate blood and platelets. If you are a healthy person who does not already donate blood and platelets, please consider doing so. You could save someone’s life, for which he or she would be eternally thankful.

I am thankful for the family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances who have been and are a part of my life — especially whenever I have needed their support.

Speaking of support, the team of BoardingArea ensures that I do not have to spend time being concerned about the background issues inherent with operating a weblog — instead allowing me to write, to photograph, and to travel — and I am thankful for each and every one of them and the work they perform on a daily basis. I ensured that I let each and every one of them know just how thankful I am for them. A trip report to the most recently former House of Miles is still forthcoming; and the building was listed for sale when I visited — more on that and the reasons why will be explained in a future article.

If you ever have the opportunity to meet in person my colleagues at BoardingArea, you will find that many of them are a great group of people — despite what you might think of their writing styles. Regardless of all of the technological options available in which to communicate instantly, expressing thoughts and experiences with the written word is still one of the more difficult things to accomplish for so many reasons. I am thankful to be a part of this group of “bloggers.”

I am also quite thankful every time you patronize the companies which advertise at The Gate — as well as the affiliate links which I include in some of the articles that I write. I may not always write glowing reports about them; but at least you can be assured that I remain honest about what I write. I was hesitant to use them; but they have worked out nicely for me as an additional source of income — and I greatly appreciate that.


Pecan pie
Photograph ©2008 by Brian Cohen.

Last — but certainly not least; and I cannot reiterate this enough — I am thankful for you. You are the reason why The Gate exists and why it keeps evolving. I learn from you whenever you take the time to comment — especially when you do not agree with what I write or when you correct me on information which I mistakenly posted — and I read every single comment posted by you. I learn from your advice and experiences…

…and there are few things which are more gratifying to me than reading how I have been able to help you either plan a trip or save money or avoid a negative experience — or even simply entertain you. I enjoy giving back to the frequent flier community any way I can — through BoardingArea and through the forums of both FlyerTalk and InsideFlyer.

I may not say it often enough; but I am thankful for you all year long — and I am honored to have the opportunity to be a small part of your life whenever you choose to read The Gate.

Despite the craziness that the year 2020 has proven to be, may you and yours have the best Thanksgiving holiday yet this year — replete with plenty of joy, happiness, success, loved ones and delicious food — and may you be truly thankful for all that you have and experienced.

One other thing: after a number of years, I finally found two of the photographs of roast turkeys which I have taken over the years. I suppose that is one good thing I can say about the year 2020.

Thank you — again and again — from the bottom of my heart.

All photographs ©2008 and ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

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