Painted Hills Oregon

Dear Life. Thank you.

Have you ever taken five minutes to just look around and feel grateful? Have you really soaked it all in, taken a good look at your surroundings and then let even the things you pass by every day surprise you by their beauty?

I’ve been inspired to do so by Kim from So Many Places. She began sitting down weekly with this idea in mind, then writing down her thoughts and posting them on her blog. She asks others to join her in a declaration of gratitude, so below is mine, written on a walk in Sisters, Oregon as I sat looking at the Three Sisters Mountains.

Dear life,

Thank you for the snowy mountains, sapphire blue lakes and friendly people that make up the beautiful state I’m proud to call home: Oregon. Thank you for allowing me to love my home, and to love to leave it all the same.

Three Sisters Mountains from Black Butte.

Three Sisters Mountains from Black Butte.

Thank you for coffee in the brisk morning of a sunshine day, for the men and women who pick the cherries and those who roast them to perfection. Thank you for an abundance of healthy food on the table each day, for the farmers who continue to provide it and for the childhood I had growing up in a wheat field. Thank you for deliciously handcrafted beer, and for the people whose talents with mixing hops and grain and water make a taste so memorable I often crave it from the other side of the world.

Thank you for the best friends a girl could ever ask for, who never seem too far away even when we’re oceans apart. Thank you for a supportive, laughing family of a caliber all it’s own, who never fail to change and grow and live life to the fullest. And thank you for sweet, cuddly puppies to come home to, ones with the power to warm my heart even after months away.

Most of all, dear life, thank you for giving me the gift of travel, for without such a splendid gift I might not have realized I have so much to be thankful for.



Picture of a Puggle

My dog, Elvis.

What are you grateful for? What do you miss about home when you’re away?

If you’re feeling particularly inspired to write a Dear Life post of your own, or just want to read more, check out posts from Kim and readers around the world here.

Dear Life. Thank you.

Related MissAdventures


  1. Anna says:

    I live this. I also feel that travel has made me appreciate and be more thankful for what I have back home. An unexpected outcome of my trip but one that I’m happy about.

    • jessicajhill says:

      It’s funny how sometimes we have to leave a place to really appreciate it. I think India especially can make us appreciate a lot of things about home!

  2. Vid says:


    That is a beautiful post. Very well said 🙂 Like you, Savi and I are thankful for all the travel experiences that we gain every year of our lives. Well, away from home, we obviously miss the precious time spent with family. And I, personally, also miss the delicious kebabs in India


    • jessicajhill says:

      Oh, I crave the food from India as well! Every time I get it here in The States it tastes delicious, but it’s missing the vibe of actually being in India. And they give you a fork. Who’d a thought?

  3. Nita says:

    Very heartwarming Jessica 🙂 Being grateful is the simplest and surest way to be happy. I’m too thankful for travel – we are so blessed to be able to enjoy its rewards.. Great job!

    • jessicajhill says:

      Thanks, Nita! You’re right – we are very lucky to be able to afford such opportunities. Travel has so many rewards, it’s hard to imagine a life without it.

  4. Gayle Nelson says:

    Thank you Jessica (and Kim) for this positive idea. Rather than staying so busy with life’s day-to-day hustles and worries, I am going to start another journal (actual rather than virtual, as my artistic side needs to put pencil to paper) — this journal will help me reflect on what life has to offer – what my travels have shown me – how good people are – things outside of me… I will add photos and drawings and start here! I think this will be so beneficial to my well-being and those around me. Thank you for your gratefulness and sharing that positivity! We need to pass it on… Sincerely and with love, Gayle

    • jessicajhill says:

      What a great idea, Gayle! Not only will your handwritten journal help you appreciate all the experiences you’ve had in this life, but it will be a great keepsake to look back on in the future. I love that you’re going to add drawings and photos – it will be such a special scrapbook!

  5. click here says:

    Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a completely different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Great choice of colors!

  6. It's easy to thank Lagos Portugal for letting me call it home. Over my morning coffee on my balcony I watch to see what the farmers across the highway are up to that morning and if the cows are on the hill or in the valley. I hop off my bus into town and am surrounded by the prettiest ocean and fresh sea air. And this is where little ships launched the world into the Age of Discovery, my beach is next to a fortress. Every day is a obrigato!

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