An Exotic Thanksgiving

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I’ve spent many a Thanksgiving away from home – some of them in interesting locales creating a truly exotic Thanksgiving indeed.

Its the byproduct of having a career where getting away for long stretches of time isn’t always feasible.  Combining paid time off with scheduled holidays is a great way to stretch the time off budget a bit further.

I’ve always worked for firms where we’ve had both Thanksgiving and the Friday after off.  It’s made it easy, in some years, to take the prior three days plus bookend weekends.  With that, I can milk an entire 10 day vacation out only three days off.  In other years, things were too crazy for even that.  But I’ve at least been able to leave on Wednesday evening and return home on Sunday night (or early Monday morning).  That has allowed for 4-5 nights away (including travel time).

One of my favorite Thanksgivings was two years ago where I had perhaps the most exotic Thanksgiving possible – a pre-dawn hike to watch the sunrise at Borobudur.  I wrote about that adventure here at Jetsetter’s Homestead.  A non-traditional dinner was not so out of the ordinary for me.  ‘ve had many Thanksgiving feasts that did not involve the big bird – cassoulet in Paris, tempura in Tokyo, and last year a cicchetti and cocktail crawl in Venice.  Those adventures are ones I’ll treasure for a lifetime.

This year, however, I’m doing something that actually feels a bit like an exotic Thanksgiving for me – staying home!  This was actually a planned break from my normal travels although I may have planned it that way.  Today I’ll hopefully squeeze in a visit to the Captain (who recently started hospice care at age 101).  Then I’ll swing by the family dinner at my mom’s house (fried turkey and some of my favorite sides).  I’ll finish up with Friendsgiving this evening with a few of my close friends – cocktails and pumpkin cheesecake!

I’m looking forward to time with family and some quality time with friends.  They comprise the support network that helps keep things together for me when I’m on the road so much.  For them, I am thankful.  I’m also grateful for the extra time at home.  I will allow me to get my house decorated for Christmas (unlike last year).  It will give me time to finally dig into the mess of boxes from my old office that are congesting my dining room.  And yes, I will have time to watch the Gilmore Girls special episodes on Netflix – probably more than once.

And all this part of the nice 9 night stretch I’ve had at home this week.  It is a welcome respite before I start another chain of travel that may not hand me another week at home before spring.  The quality time away from hotels and airports – well, that’s a truly exotic Thanksgiving indeed.

Happy Turkey Day!

About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last nineteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 48.5 US states. Once an "every week" road warrior, she now only travels around 100 days a year. She resides in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and playing with her Border Collie/Great Pyreness mix puppy Harley Quinn.

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