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Thanksgiving is for Travel, not Family

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First trip to Paris, Thanksgiving 2007

For the last seven years I have spent Thanksgiving outside of the US, part of this has been as a consequence of me not living in the country and partly because I made a conscious decision to use the Thanksgiving holiday as one for travel or one for hosting visitors from the States. Thanksgiving, the little sister to its big sister holiday, Christmas, is a short 30 days (depending on the year) before all of the gifts, mistletoe and being merry with family. A time when sitting in front of the fire with family while watching the younger members unwrap gifts is one not to be missed. A time when many of us return to our hometowns, not just for family, but also to catch up with friends who are strewn across the US and the world. Christmas is a holiday that I always spend with family, no matter the distance or cost. In my 29 Christmas’ past, I have only spent two away from family and I assure you, it will NOT happen again.

Thanksgiving, however, is a different story. A holiday whose celebration can be questionable in the eyes of some, is one that I feel is best spent traveling. My Thanksgiving hiatus started back in 2007, when I was living in the US and decided to use my Thanksgiving time off from work, coupled with a few vacation days to take my first trip to Europe without my family. I actually think it was the first time that I left the country alone. I remember being very nervous, even though I knew that my cousin would be waiting at Heathrow airport when I landed. I just thought I would be so bored on such a long plane ride alone. It turned out to be a great trip during which I visited London, and Paris and Madrid for the first time. Subsequently, I have spent Thanksgiving in Kusatsu, Japan (hosted my mom and sister), London, Benin, Rome (hosted my best friend), Florence (hosted my sister and her friend and we made a road trip of it), Iceland and finally this year’s Thanksgiving will be spent in Copenhagen.

Thanksgiving is a great time to travel because, while tickets are more expensive than usual the price hike is nowhere near what you see during Christmas/New Year’s. For those of us who have limited vacation time at work, you can use the free day off to add to other days and stretch out a vacation, and most importantly, you will have Christmas to spend with your friends and family. So with Thanksgiving a short two weeks away do some quick research and book a flight today!

As far as where to go, go somewhere close enough that you can spend at least four days on the ground, you want to be able to explore but also be able to relax. So I wouldn’t recommend any travel over ten hours, depending on how many days you can get off from work. The Caribbean and Central America are always good choices, if you want warm weather. I personally enjoy Europe in the fall, Paris, London, Barcelona, Rome, Florence, so many options, plus there is a significant drop in the number of tourists.

Here are a few links to get you started:

http://www.tripzard.com/ – answer a few questions and this site will spit out a list of places to visit, pretty cool.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/erinlarosa/what-kind-of-vacation-should-you-take – who doesn’t love a good buzzfeed quiz!?

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/01/10/travel/2014-places-to-go.html – a solid list!

Are you traveling for Thanksgiving? Where will you be headed?

Thanksgiving 2008 in Japan, my mom cooked for everyone!

Thanksgiving 2008 in Japan, my mom cooked for everyone!

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Thanksgiving  in Benin 2010

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