I'm thankful that I spent a lot of time as a child on a sailboat. I think the time instilled in me a deep love of the water and an appreciation for all things natural. When many 18-month-olds were at home in pack-and-play contraptions, I was jumping off the bow of my family's small sailboat and swimming to shore. I was spending days upon days with my toes in the sand and my hair in the wind.
My family wasn't wealthy when I was growing up, but my parents always made a point of putting what money they did have towards what they valued most - and one of these things just happened to be giving us experiences sailing. We even lived on our 27-foot sailboat in Florida for a short time. And we spent the better part of our weekends when living in Florida exploring the intercostal waterways. My family remains close-knit to this day and I think that's in small part due to the fact that when by brother and I were growing up we spent so much time together in close quarters with our parents on a boat.
To this day, there's nothing - absolutely nothing - that makes me feel at peace the way being on a sailboat does. Hearing nothing but the waves lapping and seeing nothing but the endless horizon just calms me to the core. And it lets me know that no matter how far I may travelhe from the ocean, eventually I'll always be drawn back to one of my very first loves.
So I'm thankful to my parents for always valuing simple experiences and family time above the latest fashions or the most extravagant vacations.