European Castle


Let’s just start with this….if you are traveling ANYWHERE, you should be Thankful.  I could articulate a million examples, but I won’t, because I know you agree, and totally get what I am saying.  So, beyond the obvious level of Thankfulness, I found that my itch to travel has increased my Thankfulness in many ways.  Thank you for indulging me while I share 5 Ways Travel Increased My Thankfulness in 2019.


#1 Our First “All Skate” Family Trip

Thankfulness Family in Rome

My husband and I dated for six years before we got engaged, and then married two years later.  We took the slow and steady approach to a second marriage, our first priority was to our four children, and their comfort with our relationship.  Will and I have traveled with the kids, but not all together until our trip to Italy in June.  And….at the last-minute, my son was not able to go because of an awesome summer internship, and today he has his first full-time job….so we are just gonna say this trip was close enough to count as an “All Skate”!  Every day, my Thankfulness increased, as we all had the opportunity to interact in a way like never before.  We had a wonderful time, and my husband and I were particularly thankful when our youngest (who is 18) still says his favorite part of our trip was our nightly dinners together where we just laughed and talked.  WIN, y’all!  WIN!


#2 Deepening Friendships

Thankfulness Mary and Allen Katz

Thankfulness Will and Mary and Josh Lowenfels


Y’all know that I travel to NYC frequently.  Will and I are totally in love with the city, and through the art and antiques world, have established friendships that deepen every time we go.  Many of those friendships started out as “business relationships” and became some of our most treasured friends.  I’m always humbled by their generous spirits….practically dropping everything when we come to NYC, and spending hours upon hours with us roaming the streets of New York, inviting us into their homes in the city, Brooklyn, Connecticut, the Hudson River Valley….never let it be said that The South has a lock on gracious hospitality….friends North of the Mason-Dixon are among the most delightful people I have ever known!


#3 Expanded Perspectives

Thankfulness at Balenciaga Exhibit


There can be no doubt that travel increases awareness of people, places, and ideas that are different from our daily lives.  I imagine that most of us have a routine wherever we live, that involves basically the same places, restaurants, people, and experiences.  Travel sets all those routines aside, and compels us to see the world through new a new lens.  For me, taking in as many museum visits as possible expands my world ten-fold.  This year I have recommended several museums all over the world:  In Italy, in New York, in Dallas.  I feel nothing but Thankfulness every time I find myself standing in a museum gallery, even if I am not 100% into the exhibit.  I’m expanding my perspective.  That’s a good thing!


#4 Doing All The “Techy” Stuff

Thankfulness Graphic

Not necessary strictly travel-related, but 100% Travel Blog related, I’m pretty darn proud of myself for allllll the things I’ve had to learn to publish  and market The Curious Cowgirl.  In this post, I talked about what I do to write a single Blog post, and many of you commented that you were amazed by how much work goes into one post.  Friends, I’m amazed too, because on any given day it’s a wonder that I can find my way out of a paper bag!  Today, I’m (relatively) proficient in WordPress, Canva, Tiny JPEG, Tailwind, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Mail Chimp, Shopify, Hoot Suite, Retouch, Afterlight, Awin, Magisto, Trip Advisor, Reddit, Pixabay…..and before my Blog, I could barely navigate my personal Facebook Page.  Let’s hear it for Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks!  Thankfulness reaches into Cyber Space, y’all!!!


#5 Flat Out Helping People

Thankfulness Mary on street in Rome


I’ve had a ton of people ask me why I started The Curious Cowgirl.  And there’s a lot of answers, but one thing is for sure.  I’ve always enjoyed helping friends with trip advice.  I have documents going back to the early 2000’s with tips from my travels that I compiled and shared with others.  Today, my tips are a little more sophisticated, and I have published several Guides for New York and Rome and Paris.  I can’t believe how many people have purchased my guides, and then texted or emailed me….stopped me at the grocery store, and shared with me their deep appreciation for how helpful my guides were to them.  I shriek with joy when a reader hires me to help curate their personal travel plans.  My Thankfulness Cup really runneth over in those moments!!!!

As we all gather around the Thanksgiving table with family and friends, I want each of you to know that 99% of my Thankfulness comes from YOU!  Thank you for being a part of the Curious Cowgirl family!  Now, carry on and enjoy that 2nd (or 3rd) piece of pie!