Gobble on the go

Junior breaks holiday tradition with travel


submitted photo

Junior Grace Hickey enjoys Thanksgiving in San Francisco, CA.

Story by Grace Hickey, staff writer

When confronted with the topic of Thanksgiving, most people nostalgically tell the tales of memorable family football games and Grandma’s turkey stuffing that is just to die for. It seems that everyone treats this food filled holiday as an annual family reunion where the only abnormality experienced is that the gathering place changed from one aunt’s house to another.

My Thanksgiving agenda used to be similar to that of the cookie cutter teenager’s: quarreling with siblings over the last drumstick and watching football while lying incapacitated on the couch from scarfing down way too much pecan pie, and I relished every minute of it.

Four years ago, however, the dynamic of my perfect family feast was altered drastically after my grandfather passed, leading my family to discover that the traditional holiday atmosphere did not become us anymore. Instead, we traded carved turkey for the inflatable ones at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Other than the occasional cashier in Times Square wishing us a Happy Thanksgiving, there seemed to be no familiar festive sentiment that had been ubiquitous in my earlier years. I was in a foreign place with no trace of my extended family or their signature cranberry sauce.

At first, I hated being away from home for the holidays. I was a traditionalist who treasured the idea of a perfect kinship-based Turkey Day. However, as our travels progressed, my views on my family’s new, unconventional way of spending Thanksgiving grew on me, and I began to look forward to our annual fall adventures.

This wasn’t just due to the fact that I was able to amp up my social media pages with snaps of my varying escapades (although that was definitely a bonus), but more so attributed to the fact that I gradually discovered that it didn’t matter where I was as long as I had my family with me. Whether it be with all 77 of my cousins (that is not an exaggeration by the way) or just my parents and sister, the quality of my holiday experiences did not lessen in any way.
Now, instead of dreading leaving my home for Thanksgiving, now I excitedly anticipate the journeys each November brings.