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Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from MileValue!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, and only partly because it’s the only day when I consume two heaping plates of some of my absolute favorite foods, pass out for a few hours while my body digests, and then wake up just in time to see the fourth quarter of a football game.

Mainly I love to share the time with family and friends and count my blessings. Before eating, we all go around the table and share what we’re thankful for. I’ll share mine here.

  • I’m thankful that I live at a time where I can get almost anywhere in the world in 24 hours. Just think about that. Tomorrow I can be anywhere. Certainly that wouldn’t have been true for my grandfather when he was my age even if he were the richest man in the world.
  • I’m thankful that I’m stupendously, outrageously materially wealthy in historical and global terms.  Over three billion people live on less than $2.50 per day. And we live at the wealthiest point in human history. Just by earning an average American income, we are so rich. It’s easy to forget that when I compare my income to a neighbor’s or to my wants, but it’s easy to remember when I walk through the slums near Johannesburg, Africa. I’m also thankful that I realize that material wealth over a very low threshold doesn’t contribute to happiness.
  • I’m thankful for frequent flyer miles. I know I would not have traveled to 42 countries by age 26 without them. Not to mention the first class cabins that would have been way out of reach.
  • I’m thankful for the internet. Nothing so connecting, educating, and entertaining has existed throughout human history. I can carry a phone in my pocket almost anywhere in the world and be connected to loved ones, work, and play at the push of a button.
  • I’m thankful for MileValue’s readers. I often get into a flow when I’m writing a post about using award-booking tricks to get maximum value from miles, but a lot of running a blog is drudgery, especially the pressure to have new posts every day. If it weren’t for readers sending me emails and tweets about how my tips led to a dream trip, I would have quit long ago. Because of my readers, I am excited to make the rest of this year and 2014 the best year yet for the blog.
  • I’m thankful to the milesphere. If it weren’t for FlyerTalk and The Points Guy, I wouldn’t have learned about miles. If it weren’t for Million Mile Secrets and Frugal Travel Guy, I wouldn’t have nearly the readership I do. If it weren’t for countless other bloggers and non-bloggers, I wouldn’t know all the things I do that I’ve been able to use for my own travel and been able to spread to others.
  • I’m most thankful for my friends and family. When you’re away from them for most of the year, you appreciate them even more. I was with only one friend for my birthday, so I’m glad to be with many more for Thanksgiving.

I hope you’re having a blessed and thankful Thanksgiving surrounded by the people you love most in the world.

There won’t be any more new posts today, tomorrow, or Saturday, nor will emails or tweets be answered. I’m looking forward to some great posts next week, starting Sunday morning!

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