Many things have changed this year to say the least. For once, I don’t have to worry about finals or working weird retail hours during the holidays! I cannot convey how great of a feeling this is – unless you’ve recently graduated college too, you wouldn’t understand.
This time last year (and the past 3 years in college), work and school kept me busy 7 days a week. I could hardly find time to buy gifts or simply enjoy the little things that come with the holidays. I was occupied checking for final grades, picking my classes for the next semester, and trying to make a dollar. But the more you hustle, the more your future self will appreciate what you’re doing now…right?
In my 22 years of life, this is the first time I can remember being able to enjoy this time of year. I’ve been able to make time for seasonal activities like seeing Christmas lights, baking cookies, getting gift shopping done early, etc. It’s quit the delightful experience when you can slow down and smell the chestnuts roasting!
This Thanksgiving was my first one I’ve spent at home in 4 years. Often times, the holiday breaks were the only time I could get enough time to travel somewhere decent during the semester – so I did as any college student would do and planned vacations instead of reserving time to study!
The last 2 years, I’ve been sailing on Thanksgiving cruises – and let me tell you, it’s quit the feast (plus no dishes). The year before, we went to Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.
Thanksgiving 2017– Royal Caribbean, Harmony of the Seas cruise to Haiti, St. Thomas, and the Bahamas with the family.
Traveling with my mom’s side of family, I did a lot of exciting things:
- Ride down the world’s longest zip line over a body of water in Haiti
- Eat really good tacos in at Greengo’s, a local place in St. Thomas
- Realize my abilities to rock climb after a few drinks are not bad
- Met some great people that I still hang out with to this day ( This is your shout out Andrew & Jon )
- The best place to bar hop is a cruise
Thanksgiving 2016 – Carnival The Dream cruise with my friend to Jamaica, Mexico, and Grand Cayman.
This was the first Thanksgiving I ditched my family for a holiday in the sun. It was weird and had felt like I skipped over Thanksgiving when I got back home.
- This was my first cruise and I discovered how dangerous it is to have unlimited access to food 24/7 – the Thanksgiving meal was never ending!
- Swam with sea turtles amongst other fish
- Won a margarita chugging contest at Margaritaville in Jamaica
- Ate my body weight in pizza
- Got cornrows on half my head by locals
- Made a new friend in the karaoke bar (hey Maddie)
Thanksgiving 2015 – Silver Dollar City, Branson, Missouri with family.
After caravanning cross country with my Dad’s side of the family, we made it to the cute little Christmas town of Branson, Missouri.
- Drove out to Oklahoma to visit the family farms before heading to this classic theme park
- Saw how cute Silver Dollar City can be covered in Christmas lights
- Experienced Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner & show
- Actually did some Black Friday shopping this year at local outlets
I got so use to planning to get away that I forgot how nice it was to stay home for the holidays sometimes.
You forget about the little things: Coordinating who makes what for the big meal, picking out an outfit to wear in your living room all day, watching the Macy’s Day Parade, snacking on finger foods, 12 days of Christmas, etc.
Traveling during the holidays is an attractive idea for many reasons though. When you’re staying in a hotel or on a cruise ship, everything is done for you or at your convenience – the dishes, the cooking, the cleaning, rooms service, and many unique experiences/activities.
This year I’ll enjoy doing these things myself as I suppose I’m overdue!
As many trips as I plan in a year, I’m glad I get to spend this year’s holidays in the comfort of my own home. Like they say – there’s no place like home for the holidays!