Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays: seeing family, eating well, and a valid/pre-approved excuse to just lounge around (no, I do not hit the stores!). However, it also happens to be a perfect setup for someone who likes to travel the world… The hard part about leaving the U.S. for Thanksgiving is not being with family on this date: It is hard on such a special day to not be with the family who is the source of many of the thanks I give.
However, it is also the perfect opportunity to travel for U.S. folks because you have two paid holiday days to mix with a few paid vacation days to create extra time for travel abroad. Also, it is a great time to travel because it is off-season (at least in the northern hemisphere): prices are lower and crowds are smaller without being the dead of winter.
So what makes it easier to skip being with the family on Thanksgiving? Here are three things that help me.
So the hard part is always telling my family that I am opting to travel on Thanksgiving. They have always been very supportive though I know there is a level of disappointment (actually, I feel that too). Here are three things that help me with this:
- Fortunately, I think they know me well enough to expect that it could happen after it happened the first time in 2003… It does not catch anyone by surprise and that is of some help. Also, I do it only when there is just a great opportunity I cannot pass up. I do not just dream up a trip for Thanksgiving as I always assume I will be with family so, when I do travel, it it is only because of something that falls on my lap, so to speak.
- It helps a lot that they know we will soon be together for Christmas so it is not prolonging not seeing other too long. Also, my Christmas visits are not a short visit: usually I spend at minimum 8 days and, depending on the year and where I spent Thanksgiving, up to 2 weeks.
- Finally, I try to visit them some time in the fall to sort of make up for it and to shorten the time between seeing them in the summer and seeing them at Christmas. Cutting short the gap of not seeing each other helps some though it does not fully make up for not being together on this holiday.
This approach has allowed me to have Thanksgiving dinner in Buenos Aires, Bologna, and Trinidad & Tobago so it has been fruitful! Be it with steak and fries, or a Caribbean dish – Thanksgiving meal happens!
This Thanksgiving I am thankful for many things but the opportunity to travel and share the experiences is one thing I am thankful for. I am also very thankful for visitors and loyal readers to this travel site who keep me wanting to explore and share more of this world!