The following is a guest post from Adrianne Redding. Adrianne is currently studying Political Science at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

Last year I didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. I have a good excuse though, I promise.

I spent last fall in Northern Ireland, and for Thanksgiving Break a group of girls went to London. It was a pretty big deal that we American students were able to convince our Irish professors to give us Thanksgiving Break, and we were absolutely beside ourselves that not only did we get the break, we got to spend it in London.

London for four days was an amazing opportunity. It was wonderful, really. Everybody should visit London before they die. But as I wandered through the Tube and through narrow streets, I felt very alone. I spent most of the trip separate from the other girls because we all had different things we wanted to see. While that was a good opportunity to catch up on some “alone time,” Thanksgiving Day was difficult to spend away from my family.

It was on that trip when I realized something important: People matter more than anything.

Yeah, it’s said all the time. And as a Christian, I’m supposed to already believe that anyway. But my Thanksgiving away from home, all alone in a huge, foreign city was when I realized that places don’t matter very much when compared to people.

I love traveling. I adore London. That is a really special place to me. But I didn’t have anyone to share it with, and that fact sucked a lot of joy away that I could have shared with a close friend or family member.

It was Thanksgiving Day 2010, spent roaming the streets of Southwark, London, by myself while trying to find a Tube stop, when I really stopped and realized how thankful I am to have a loving family and good friends, and how I would trade any place to be with those people.