Turkey Day from England

Real quick before I get into my Turkey Day post…. I updated my website a bit, so if you didn’t use it to get to this post, go check it out 🙂


Alright, now… Thanksgiving

This will be the second time that I am out of the United States for Thanksgiving, but for some reason this one is hitting harder than the first one.   I knew I wanted to post today, but didn’t know what direction I wanted to go with the post.  I really miss my family and friends back home, and knowing that I’m not going to have Mom’s turkey for dinner tonight just doesn’t feel right.  I’ll miss sitting at the table with Dad, Mom, Brother (Josh) and Grandma (Mimi), and having Mimi yell at Josh and I for screwing around at the dinner table because “God is sitting in the middle of the table watching us”.  With logic like that, it’s no wonder I’ve never mentioned the “E word” (evolution!!) to her.  Nevertheless, it’s one of my favorite parts of every year, that and passing around who will say Grace like it’s a hot potato (again, not going to get into a religious debate, but I partake solely because of the tradition, I am a scientist after all!).

Walking in to school today (about a 35-40 minute walk), I realized how much thinking about how today came at the perfect time.  With dealings approaching quickly, and with loads of work ahead of me, i’ve definitely felt the pressure and been a bit stressed lately.  While walking today, I was able to take a step back and think about how thankful and lucky I am just to be where I’m at right now, now just physically, but to have the set of adventures, experiences, and special moments that I have had which have all added up to me sitting at this table right now.  So the rest of this post is going to be what I’m thankful for; things, moments, thoughts, good stuff, bad stuff … whatever.

I’m thankful for…

Life, it is our basis, something we have everyday and depend on literally more than anything, but I think it is taken for granted more than ANYTHING.  Without life, nothing else matters. 

Family, plainly put… my family is the shit.  My Dad is the analytical one, always being supportive with how thorough he thinks things out and considers every possible angle of every situation.  He comes off as a major hard-ass, but I know it’s largely a facade, he really does epitomize the “iceberg” metaphor, there is WAY more under the surface than anybody realizes. My Mom is my everything, my confidant, and the one who will be positive in any situation, she truly is the light in a dark world.  My brother, well he’s a shithead  but I love him.  I don’t tell him enough, but I’m proud of the guy he is growing up to be, and I’m proud to be his older brother.  I am so thankful to have them in my life, I can say 100% that I would not be where I’m at right now without them.

Friends, both old and new.  My friends back home are sorely missed, I wish I had all of you here with me to have adventures!  As for my friends here in England, I feel like I have gotten so close to so many people in such a short amount of time, and I am extremely lucky to have such a fine group of human beings here in England to call friends!  I love you all.

Moments that hurt me.  I know, doesn’t sound right… who is thankful for being hurt?!?!  I have felt many different types of pain, and with each occurrence, I have tried to embrace the pain, and learn from it.  Having lows makes the highs that much HIGHER!  

Warm clothes, it’s cold as hell here!

Moments that take your breath away, not just in love, but in life.  I could go on for ages talking about moments with past flames that still resonate with me to this day, but that would suck.  However, a quick and relevant one:  Last Thanksgiving I was in Tampa, Florida with a past girlfriend… running my first ever race.  It was the “Turkey Trot, and running that together really was what made me want to continue on with it… Now I’ve done 2 half marathons, other fun runs… and I’m in the middle of planning my first marathon.  All started one year ago today, I’ll always remember it.  Most recently however, I walked out of my house and saw the field across the street was covered in snow, okay… it was just frost …. but to a kid from Florida that was snow dammit!!  That moment totally took my breath away…


This was a “wow” moment for me


There really is so much more that I’m thankful for, but this post would literally go on forever.  

I wish everybody who reads this a Happy Thanksgiving, cherish every moment with your families, and remember… a family isn’t defined by blood.  I’m lucky to have family all over the world!  Enjoy your turkey, gobble gobble … I hope my brother enjoys being told once again about how God sits in the middle of the table, it those little things that resonate the most.


Right now I’m about to be thankful for a cup of coffee, a piece of carrot cake and a paper about a theoretical behavioral model…. happy days.


About mdnichol87

Marine Biologist studying towards a Master's in Conservation and Biodiversity at the University of Exeter.
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2 Responses to Turkey Day from England

  1. Cindy Valverde says:

    Matt …
    I have to say I love reading your blogs!
    You are a great writer and growing to be
    a great young man!! I know you are going to be successful and I wish u all the best!!!
    Miss you — happy Thanksgiving … Be safe and keep warm!! Xoxoxo

  2. mdnichol87 says:

    Thanks Ninnie, I really appreciate it. Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving, tell everyone hi for me!

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