While recovering from hangover, I realized that today is my first Thanksgiving Day.

First, I reflected on what’s been happening around me. Then I put together three reasons why Thanksgiving Day is awesome and why I wanted to celebrate it every year. I also added a list of special people I wanted to thank.

If the only thing you know about Thanksgiving Day is that everyone eats Turkey, read more.

#1: Thanksgiving day celebrates gratitude

The attitude of gratitude is super powerful. According to Google‘s executives, it can make you happier, and can even make you live longer.

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude is simply “the quality of being thankful”.

After researching more into the subject, I found these 31 benefits of gratitude that make perfect sense.

According to the author, gratitude can help your emotions. It decreases jealousy and increases good feelings. It also makes your personality less self-centered and more optimistic.

Thanksgiving day is the best time of the year to express gratitude

Creative way to express gratitude?

Moreover, the author claims that you make more friends and your relationships become deeper.

For a second I thought about my personal relationships.

The truth is, I really like the people who show gratitude more compared to those who do not.

On many occasions gratitude is taken for granted.

However, few weeks ago I received an email from my new American friend thanking me for a nicely spent Sunday together.

I may not remember everything said or done on that Sunday but I will surely remember that my friend appreciated the time we spent together. And that’s a damn good feeling.

Perhaps gratitude is one of the reasons why Americans love celebrating Thanksgiving day each year?

Actionable tip: Next time your friend’s advice helps you or you enjoy spending time with someone, tell them.

Why keep good emotions untold? By expressing gratitude you make your friends feel better, and you feel so as well. So just say thanks and explain what for.


#2: Thanksgiving day gathers people together

Wednesday morning.

Giovanni took an overnight bus last night to LA to meet with his aunt.

Lauren is flying back to Atlanta to reunite with her family on the East Coast.

Audrius posted a picture on Facebook saying how much he loves working for Uber. Yet its Wednesday before Thanksgiving day so he goes to New York to see his lovely girlfriend.

In fact, Wednesday before Thanksgiving day is officially one of the most intensive days in terms of traveling in the US. School friends reunite and go to bars to celebrate.

These Wednesdays have notoriously became known as “Blackout Wednesdays”.

Furthermore, the Friday after Thanksgiving day is famously known as the Black Friday. You can get the best shopping deals for anything you can imagine, from clothes to jewelry to electronic gadgets and TVs.

Perfect time for Christmas shopping?

No matter where you are or what you do, reuniting with family and friends is always exciting. And Thanksgiving day is all about that.

Actionable tip: even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, give a random call to a friend you haven’t seen in ages or family members you missed. Trust me, they will love that.

#3: I don’t usually say this.. but I will today

Thanksgiving Day is the last Thursday of every November (or second Monday in October in Canada). It has been celebrated as a Federal holiday ever since 1863 after Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it to be a national day.

The celebration actually has its roots in religious and cultural traditions. The main point is simple – express your gratitude.

Therefore, I wanted to say thanks to a few folks. I had a brilliant week. I reached my goal. I realized I will be living and working in San Francisco, California for at least another year.

That’s why I wanted to express appreciation for the most important people around me.

FAMILY. My parents Robertas and Audra as well as brothers Simas and Gytis have been amazing over the last few months. They supported my somewhat spontaneous decision to go do job hunting in another continent on the other side of the world. They always trust me 100% and I’m really proud of them. Ačiū (thank you)!

FRIENDS AT HOME. When I told my friends I consider going to San Francisco, the reaction from all of them was the same.

“Awesome idea! Only you could think of doing that!”

None of them were pessimistic or had any doubts in me. Their trust and support added an incredible boost to my own confidence. Guys, you know who you are, and I thank you!

Thanksgiving day thanks for my friends in Lithuania for support

Užutrakis mansion, Lithuania

NEW FRIENDS. I’m meeting amazing new people every day. Yesterday we spent four hours talking about Python, Ruby, Angular and MySQL with a bunch of talented international developers at StartupHouse.

The day before we had dinner with some of the brightest young people in the US. People, who previously worked for NASA, started Universities at the age of 13 and did heaps of other cool stuff.

Tonight we’re having a Thanksgiving dinner with a charming young couple Lukas and Marija. Thank you all guys!

Thanks to Lukas and Marija for my first ever Thanksgiving dinner

From left to right: Lukas Steiblys, Tomas Pagirys, Marija Steibliene, Lukasz Kuczera, Julius Narkus (me), Michal Brzezinski, Agnieszka Korzeniewska, Jokubas Laukaitis.

STARTUPHOUSE. Awesome people. Long night conversations. Much wow.

Special thanks to

  • Crazy couple of founders Paul and Andy from ‘Stralya
  • One of the coolest Italians Giovanni from Florence (Stefano, hope you’re reading this!)
  • Best fake “Italian from Pompeii” Jake from New York
  • Legendary StartupHouse homies Jorge & Armando! Jorge, have a safe trip back to Mexico!
  • Karolis & Egle, for showing the world how cool Lithuanians can be.
  • Joey from Arizona will go very far and best of luck to kiwi Josh on his project.

SF LITHUANIANS. Big thanks to my Big Brother Romanas who made my first steps in San Francisco smooth and easy, ran and won 10k races with me and taught me valuable tricks with the ladies.

  • Diana, thank you for valuable introductions.
  • Audrius, Vilius, Manfredas, thanks for taking me for lunch at your amazing companies.
  • Virgilija, Martin, thanks for amazing dinner and a boat trip in the Bay.
SF Lithuanians celebrating Annual Fall ball - thanksgiving day

SF Lithuanians 2014

MY BLOG READERS. I got over 3,000 visitors from over 40 countries who spent almost 2 minutes on average reading my blog on the first month.

First month of blogging at nark.us  results

Unique visitors at my blog nark.us

40 of them became my subscribers. I’ll be sharing the most personal experiences with them and meeting up at different places around the world.

Want to join them?

How about you, what do you feel thankful about?

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