Thanksgiving weekend also means the start of Christmas. We are pretty diligent about not listening to Christmas music or putting up decorations before turkey day is over. However, I’ve grown increasingly sad with how stores are pushing the consumerism of Christmas. Do stores really need to be open on Thanksgiving Day?
In 2015, REI started the#OptOutside movement and it spread like wildfire. Their message was simple: Use Black Friday as a day outside. They put their money where their mouth was, closing all 149 of their stores, processing no online sales, and paying employees to take the day off and go outside.
At Currently Wandering, we fully embraced this idea as well! We already disliked the idea of spending an entire day centered around food. We were far from family and I had no desire to cook a turkey in our Airstream oven. Instead we took #OptOutside to the next level and spent 3 days backpacking at FDR State Park in Georgia over the holiday.
“We knew we wanted a Thanksgiving that was less about food and more about spending time together, and backpacking as a family does the trick.
Its hard to describe the feeling of accomplishment, satisfaction and pure happiness after two days out on the trails with our family. We did 7.8 miles over three days so it wasn’t hard, just lots of time unplugged with each other.”
It worked so well that we’ve decided to do it again! This year we are in California and plan to camp on Channel Islands National Park. We have a kayaking/snorkel trip booked , day hikes picked out, recipes planned, and books ready to read.
On this holiday of Thanksgiving, we have much to be grateful for. We love our family, our faith, and our friends. We also feel very grateful for this opportunity to travel, to restructure and re-prioritize our activities and circumstances in pursuit of a simpler life.
I hope that along with family time & eating yummy food you’ll consider “Going Out With Us” on Black Friday! Make sure to visit REI’s #OptOutside page and create your own graphic to share on social media.