Explorers Give Thanks!

National Geographic explorers kicked off their Thanksgiving celebrations by sharing with us some of the things they are grateful for. From chirping monkeys to the essential local burritto truck, our explorers continue to remind us to cherish the earth and celebrate the world around us.

“After frightening mishaps in small aircraft in remote places, accidents on tropical roadways and more near-crashes than I could ever count, after gear failures high in rainforest trees, dengue, swine flu, dysentery, and gun toting crazies deep in the woods, what I am more and more grateful for, what becomes more delicious every day, is still being able to walk, to see, and to smile.”—Mark Olson

“As I sat on a rocky point in the still of a high arctic night, I slowly dropped in two hydrophones to listen to the cacophony of vocalizations from hundreds of narwhals that had gathered in the bay. How thankful I was to listen in on all their conversations, sounds that still reverberate in my mind when I lie awake.”—Martin Nweeia

“I am grateful that the Kalmyk language and culture has survived and is being revitalized by its young people.”—K. David Harrison

“I am grateful for all of my fellow explorers, who push each of us to do more for the earth.”—Neil Losin

“I am grateful to work on some of the rarest fossils on the planet, teasing-out the chemical ghosts from their biological past, using 21st Century technology.”—Phillip Manning

“I am grateful that “our” capuchin monkeys greet us with welcoming calls, soft twitters and chirps, when we encounter them. This is usually in the early morning and sets us on a happy path for the day.”—Dorothy Fragazy

“Caucasian bee, who seeks nectar from my camera’s microphone, swirls around me to assess my intentions, and stings my fingertips as I draw my camera close to the hive – giving a sharp, humbling, adrenaline-filled reminder of what a small but powerful creature she is.”—Claire Bangser

“I’m grateful that there are penguins in the world and that more and more people care what happens to penguins. By leaving more forage fish in the water for penguins, penguins will eat better and the oceans that we all depend on will be healthier.”—Dee Boersma

“I am grateful for the beauty and inspiration of the dancing, changing lightscape of an Arctic dawn.—Tavi Murray

“I am grateful for the wonderful friends that I have in Madagascar that always welcome me into their homes during holidays away from my own family.”—Christopher Golden

“I’m grateful that I get to study treefrogs in one of the most biodiverse places on earth, the Guinean Forest Biodiversity Hotspot.”—Rayna Bell

“I am (surprisingly) grateful for the life-changing accident that sent me home from Nigeria in 2002, launching a new career in the field of mobile technology for conservation and development. I am also grateful to all the committed, talented, inspiring users of my FrontlineSMS platform who have reinforced my belief that people are inherently able to solve their own problems as long as they are trusted, given the right tools, and given the chance.”—Ken Banks

“I am grateful for the burrito truck that is always open after a long day of diving on the island of Bonaire. I am grateful for the little parrot that kept me company at night in the jungles of Honduras.”—Joshua Howard



Meet the Author
Amy Bucci is a web producer for National Geographic. Her projects mainly cover National Geographic explorers, grantees and initiatives.