Thankful for fun travels this Thanksgiving

Megan McKay, Staff writer

American Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather around and celebrate each other. However, in my family we celebrate Thanksgiving a little differently. Having parents who get little time off due to their jobs, the holiday is a great time to make the most of long weekends. As a result, our Thanksgiving tradition has become a time to explore new destinations. With my older siblings and myself in the past years we have never celebrated the day in our hometown of Indianapolis. In the past, we have spent the day in places like Turkey (ironically), Germany and in Nashville and New York. This year for Thanksgiving my mom and I spent about half the holiday in Chicago with our extended family, before the rest of it was celebrated on a 8 hour flight to London, England. Not being on call meant my mom and I had the whole weekend to pack in as much fun as we could and decided to spend it in London. We had an amazing time and specifically stayed in Covent Garden which is a surreal atmosphere just on the West End. The area was buzzing from the restaurants, Christmas markets, shopping and pubs. A special part of the area is the location of the Peloton live studio where some of the most famous instructors put on live classes. I called this experience ‘Disneyland for fitness adults.’ The atmosphere was incredible, there was so much energy and kindness spread throughout the whole studio.Being the Peloton enthusiast my mom is, she spent the weekend training with her favorite instructors, and bonding with them. I was fortunate to get in with her for one of the live classes which was a blast. It was also a challenging workout to substitute for the tens of thousands of steps we were walking while touring and shopping. Visiting the classic monuments is always a must when in central London from Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Kensington Palace. For Black Friday we shopped in one of the most famous department stores in the world, Harrods.We also made it to a pub in time to watch USA vs. England face off against each other in the FIFA World Cup. Despite the game ending in a tie, standing in the jammed packed corner pub was memorable.You certainly cannot visit London without seeing a play as well and visiting the theater district. One of the highlights of the weekend was seeing the musical “Moulin Rouge.” The play was fantastic and was one of the coolest shows I have seen. The music and singing was phenomenal.Although we didn’t get an official Thanksgiving meal, I’m incredibly thankful for the experience and that’s what the holiday is about. My mom said when deciding to travel, “You only live once so I’d rather do something I want to do now before it’s too late.” I was so grateful for the experience we had and was especially ‘thankful’ that throughout it all the travels went smoothly.nThere are many Thanksgiving traditions within families. I know these experiences and traditions within our own family will last a lifetime.