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Season Of Thanks

America: Something To Be Thankful For

In the end of 2008 I set off on a big adventure: I was moving to Tijuana, Mexico.

To live in a foreign country, having little to no training in the culture and language (not to mention all the other important things you should know when moving to a foreign place) was a big deal to me. I had never left the United States before. I grew up in one of the richest counties in the nation, had parents that loved me and supported me, went to a good school and had good friends. Needless to say, I was a spoiled, American kid in a “well-off” family.

The first night in Tijuana was insane. Although I had been taught the language in a 6-week crash course, I had no idea what anyone was saying. Within 5 hours of being in Mexico and on my first ride to my new apartment we had rear-ended a car in front of us and of course, I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt. Luckily everyone was OK, but with no insurance, my driver had to ask a friend to bring him 2,000 pesos (around $200) to pay off the driver of the car we hit. When I finally reached my new apartment around midnight, I learned just how lucky we are to live in America. I heard gunshots ring out constantly through the night, watched dozens of mangled, disease-stricken dogs prowl through the neighborhood and the local police use the streets as their own personal racetrack.

 

Throughout the year and a half I lived in Tijuana, I saw many things that I never would see happen in the United States.

So for this Thanksgiving, and really every day I have been back since, I am thankful for this country, what it stands for and the opportunities it gives us every day that we take for granted.

The next time you catch yourself complaining about OUR country, just remember, you are better off than most…