I’m not big on Thanksgiving. In fact, I’d rather lie low, stay off of Facebook (to avoid all those damn photos of family gatherings and food), and order sushi. I find it a very brown holiday. Brown turkey. Brown dressing. Brown, brown, brown.

Growing up, most of my life we lived far from extended family, so I don’t have many memories — if any — of gathering ’round the table to share a meal. What I do recall is eating turkey bologna with my parents on the tailgate of a rental station wagon somewhere in Colorado when I was about five. It was windy, and the meal was subpar, and yet, I loved the non-traditionalness of it.

Fast Forward to Today

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I have never in my life hosted a Thanksgiving meal. Nor cooked a turkey. It’s a record I hope to maintain throughout my lifetime. Over my adult life, my Thanksgivings have consisted of:

  • Staying home and treating it like a normal day
  • Scouring neighborhoods looking for any restaurant that was open
  • Dining at Waffle House
  • Shopping early Black Friday sales in San Francisco
  • Camping in the desert

I kinda pride myself on finding something interesting to do, as well as making myself scarce should someone take pity on me and invite me to their family gathering. They mean well, but the only thing worse than dining and sharing family drama with my own family is sharing it with someone else’s.

 

My Plans for This Year

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Tomorrow, I’m packing up and heading to Death Valley to camp with my Italy buddy, Debbie, and her friends. It’s my first trip to Death Valley (or any desert further away than Anza Borrego). The travel writer in me is already crafting topics in my head and thinking about the photos I want to take. I’m ready to hike and get sweaty and sandy and enjoy a refreshing beer in a zero-humidity environment (you need fewer to get drunk when you’re dehydrated, I have found).

Whether my parents realized it or not, they set a precedent with that road trip on Thanksgiving for me. Anyone can cook a turkey and host a blowout meal. It takes real guts to go somewhere else and do something different.

Oh, and don’t worry about me. The camping crew is planning on roasting a turkey on a rotisserie. I’ll never escape eating turkey, it seems!