My daughter and I recently returned from a trip to England and even though it was fun and interesting there were so many things that I missed about home. Some of them were rather trivial whereas others had a fairly major impact on our trip. Following are some reminders of things that we take for granted in Canada that were missing in England:
- The highway system - Cornwall was particularly challenging. Shoulders are rare and the lanes are so narrow that at times the car was scratched by brambles! When there wasn't room to pass an oncoming car, one of us had to back up.
- Speed Limits - We found very few traffic lights and everyone seemed to think that the round-abouts replacing them were helpful. Unfortunately they slowed everything down. We needed to double our travel times because of them as they took us through so many towns and villages where we were required to reduce to 30 mph.
- Face cloths - Hotel staff were confused and sometimes didn't know how to fulfill our requests for face cloths. At one location, they sent us large hand towels.
- Recycling - Empty water bottles and pop cans are just thrown in the garbage and ultimately end up in a landfill somewhere.
- Respect for the dead - When visiting a cemetery where my great-grandmother was buried, we were horrified to hear that many tombstones were moved or even crushed to be used as landscaping materials. Also, bodies are buried at different depths so that others can be buried below and above due to lack of space.
- Silence - London is CRAZY!!!! Bicycles dart in and out of horrendous noisy traffic cues. Buses are packed with passengers. And there are crowds of people everywhere.
- Right of way - Pedestrians do NOT have the right of way. Brits therefore need to be very cautious and even then, risk their lives when crossing a street.
- Straws - I love to drink Diet Coke but never once was served one with a straw. I was asked if I wanted ice and lemon in the glass which was nice but no straw.
- My bed - I had seven different beds in fourteen days - some of which were comfortable and none of which were my own.
- Organization - It is rather disconcerting living out of a suitcase and having to pull it everywhere. My closet and dresser drawers were greatly missed.
Year after year we give thanks for the same things over and over again without really thinking about other blessings that we take for granted.
I found that leaving home and entering a new culture provided me with a new perspective and want to do things differently because of that. So, this Thanksgiving I am going to expand my list of blessings to include so many things that I had not previously considered - like straws and face cloths and silence.
Think of ten things that you have in your life for which you have never given thanks and challenge your friends and family to do the same on this Thanksgiving Day! You might be surprised at how your perspective changes.
And now I would like to invite you to claim your Free Instant Access to a complimentary list of 10 Steps to Making Your Life an Adventure when you visit http://lindahancock.com
From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker