- The Thumbnail Traveler
- Welcome to the online blog for traveler/writer/photographer Steven Barber. Come in. Relax. Take off your shoes and socks -- or any other article of clothing, this is the internet. Have a look around. I hope to intrigue, amuse, entertain, and maybe provoke you just a little. I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
"Thanksgiving Day. Let all give humble, hearty, and sincere thanks now, but the turkeys"
- Mark Twain
In the next few days, millions of Americans will hit the road, the skies, and the rails to travel distances both short and vast to celebrate, in their own ways, the holiday of Thanksgiving. Steeped in tradition, everyone has their own way of celebrating -- or refusing to celebrate -- depending upon their own lot in life. Increasingly many of them are rushing to the stores to try to grab a perceived discount on a product, an effect of the increasingly insidious commercial practice of "Black Friday", which encourages Americans to forsake family in favor of rampant consumerism.
For those of us not rushing to the nearby WalMart, there are traffic jams, airport delays, long lines and insanity at the supermarket as you realize -- at the last minute -- that you forgot that one essential ingredient for the cranberry sauce. The tv set is tuned to a football game as soon as Uncle Bob arrives, and the men gather in the family room, while the women flee, probably in an enduring bastion of sexism, to the kitchen.
If I seem like I'm anti-Thanksgiving, I'm not. I love the holiday and love those things about it which make it a solid, important time to reflect and give thanks. (You may thank the God of your choice, or the people around you, or simply circumstances. You may also be highly resentful and spend your day being angry with the world. YMMV*)
But Thanksgiving is also a time of travel. According to AAA - the American Automobile Association -- more than 46 millions Americans will go more than 50 miles to celebrate the holiday. That's a lot of travel. And with gasoline prices down significantly, more people are looking to hit the road than in many of the recent years.
(The weather, particularly in the midwest and East Coast is promised to be brutal. Stay warm and safe, and be VERY careful on the road!)
CNN's 10 Ways to Survive Holiday Travel
This year, for me, has been a spectacular one in terms of travel. Both business and leisure. Road trips, flights and even a boat or two mixed in. In part, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the opportunity to do so. According to a recently published Skift report on the travel habits of Americans, 63% of my countrymen haven't done so in the last year. That's terribly sad. Travel is truly an important and influential way to educate and expand yourself, and for so many people to be missing the chance is a tragedy.
TRAVEL HABITS OF AMERICANS
So, on this holiday, in which many millions of my fellow Americans, will shunt themselves fifty or more miles in search of family, turkey and "getting away from it all", I wish you, my friends, a wonderful day of giving thanks, surrounding yourself with love, or at the very least appreciating that you still are alive and have the opportunity to change things in the year ahead.
Whether you're on the road, in the air, gathering with friends or family or just your own quiet time on a beach somewhere, Happy (American) Thanksgiving
(*Your Mileage May Vary.)