Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Thank You — and Happy Thanksgiving 2021 to You

Please allow me to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving holiday today, Thursday, November 25, 2021 — unless you happen to be Canadian, in which case you already celebrated Thanksgiving on Monday, October 11, 2021.

Thank You — and Happy Thanksgiving 2021 to You

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

As with 2020, the year 2021 was quite unique for many people, to put it mildly: the recovery of the decimation of the entire travel industry worldwide — punctuated with the pent-up demand of crowds simultaneously with supply issues due to shortages of both human capital and supplies — as a result of the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic. Insane political issues are still occurring around the world; 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 these incomparable past couple of years!

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. Thankfully, I have managed to not yet skip a year without flying as a passenger aboard an airplane — and as I wrote last year, more articles of trip reports with literally thousands of photographs 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 both 2020 and 2021 have 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…

…but now the labor market is largely that of the employee and not the hirer — which is an equalizer that has been colloquially called The Great Resignation — as companies have recently been scrambling to hire people and pay higher wages. What a strange twist from last year when unemployment rates were quite volatile.

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…

…and I am especially thankful for their help in the transition of The Gate to a new format, which I like substantially more than the former design; and I thank you for helping me tweak its aesthetics with your comments.

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.

Final Boarding Call

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 after greater than 15 years. 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 FlyerTalk.

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 years 2020 and 2021 have 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.

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

All photographs ©2008 and ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

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