Stoke My Fire | The 7 Thanksgiving Lessons I Learned From Living In a Village
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The 7 Thanksgiving Lessons I Learned From Living In a Village


As we celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend, it’s always a great time to reconnect with family, share some food and some laughs.Its also time to remind ourselves of what’s really important in life.

The pace of life in our village is much slower than in the city where we lived use to live. With this comes a whole new set of challenges as well as opportunities to learn from a new culture and a different way of life. 

Being away from our family back home and missing them, makes us appreciate the connections we have made in the village that much more.


Here is what living in a village has taught us about Thanksgiving

1. Abundance is Not What you Have, it is What you Share

We’ve witnessed the incredible generosity of the Balinese people in our village. They don’t have much, but what they do have, they are willing to share with others, and for me this speaks volumes about abundance.

2. Put The Needs of  Others First

It’s so easy to get caught up in our own dramas and our own unmet wants, but this me-first attitude doesn’t really get you too far in the village. Religious Ceremonies, weddings, and village upkeep keep the people here  focused on maintaining harmony with God, with the community,and with nature, and not on themselves. In the end, I think they are happier because of it.

3. Counting on Others is Not a Sign of Weakness.

The fact is, in our daily lives we depend on a lot of  people in a lot of different ways. This is not a weakness. This is just a clear illustration of the interconnectedness and interdependence humans have with one another. In the village you learn you can depend on others, and in turn you learn the value of being dependable.

4. There is Great Joy That Comes From Working Together

Whether its building a structure, or decorating someone’s house for a wedding, there’s a great emphasis on working together to achieve common goals. Everyone rallies together and gets stuff down at an amazing rate. It’s a joy to be part of.

5.  Let Go of  Your Expectations

Expectations can be killer, especially when it comes to happiness. When you live in a totally different environment with totally different ways of being, you have to be flexible or you’ll snap. Letting Go of these expectations, and just going with the natural flow of life, is quite possibility the best thing anyone can learn when travelling.

6.  Life is Sacred.

Everyday presents opportunities to give  Thanks. The more we give thanks, the more we appreciate what we have, and the more content we feel with our lives. Giving offerings of thanks to God is an intricate part of Balinese life, and gives life a sacredness that maybe we have lost a little of in the west. Its not too late to get it back.

7. We all want the same things

The more time I spend with people from all different parts of the world, the more I see the thread that connects us all. Love, Happiness, Health and Meaning are things we all want for ourselves and our loved ones. We are all a lot more alike then we might think. When you take the time to discover who people really are, you begin to see them not as the “other” but as part of a bigger family that is Human.


I wouldn’t trade the life my wife and I are creating here in Bali for anything, and I am truly thankful for all Bali and it’s beautiful people have taught me this far.

May You all Have a Blessed Thanksgiving Weekend,

Stay Stoked, Stay Thankful!!

  • N.
    Posted at 16:22h, 23 November Reply

    Brandon, I am a long time friend of your Mom, Laura….I am so pleased that both you and your wife have found such a wonderful place to live. You look truly happy. You are both doing such good work and I wish only good things for you. Thank you for your Thanksgiving Weekend message….Dawn, in Oakville…

    • Brandon Nadeau
      Posted at 14:28h, 25 November Reply

      I really appreciate your kind words and support Dawn! The Balinese people are truly wonderful people and we feel blessed that this island has received us as well as it has. So happy the Thanksgiving message resonated with you, and yes I do plan to write a post about our rescue dogs soon. Can’t wait to show everyone our awesome dogs! God Bless!

  • N.R."Dawn" Drummond
    Posted at 14:54h, 24 November Reply

    my last message cut off my name….and….would love to see the “rescue dogs” Dawn in Oakville

  • Michelle Young
    Posted at 19:47h, 24 November Reply

    What a beautiful and inspirational read. Thank you for your insight.

    • Brandon Nadeau
      Posted at 14:32h, 25 November Reply

      So happy you got something out of the post, and I hope you and your family had an amazing Thanksgiving. How are your daughters doing ? It’s insane to think I’ll be 30 next year, and that they are young adults now, seems like just yesterday we were all playing in your backyard 🙂 All the best and God Bless!

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