Thanksgiving Away: Eight Savory International Escapes

Thanksgiving is always one of the busiest travel times of the year -- and no surprise, as we race home to gobble up three servings of legendary homemade punkin' pie. Next week, I'll be part of the holiday rush heading to see the family (and enjoy my brother's take on our grandma's classic).

While I prefer to be home, I know not everyone will be stuffing their face with turkey and, well, stuffing. If your Thanksgiving plans aren't around a table, a new Switchfly survey shows you're not alone: lots of Americans will forgo traditional festivities to take short jaunts out of the country.

So, where are they heading?

Mostly places warm and exotic, of course. On average, international travelers will spend between four to six days soaking up the sun and sand abroad before heading home.

Here are the top eight places Americans are escaping to for the holiday. And if you're not heading south for the season, consider spicing up your family's traditional smorgasbord with a few new international flavors suggested below.

Top Eight International Thanksgiving Travel Destinations

As compiled by Switchfly

A Globally Inspired Thanksgiving Menu

Apรฉritifs 

  • Pinot Noir: Argentine Pinots tend to be fuller than their American counterparts. The 2014 Schroeder Estate vintage, out of Patagonia, will pair well with a Thanksgiving meal -- and it won't break the bank, retailing around $20 a bottle. 
  • Red Stripe Lager: For your beer-loving guests, Jamaica's national beer is light enough to leave room for turkey seconds (or thirds, or fourths).

Mains & Sides

Source:  Wordpress

Source: Wordpress

  • Jamaican Jerk Chicken: There's a reason jerk stands pop up on virtually every Jamaican beach. Your Thanksgiving guests won't be disappointed with this as an alternative to traditional turkey. 
  • Pรฃo de Queijo: If there's anything Americans love, it's cheese and bread -- so these simple, savory cheesy Brazilian rolls will go over well. 
  • Wasakaka Sauce: To spice up your main course, wasakaka is a popular Dominican topper made from citrus, parsley, garlic, and chili peppers. It pairs best with chicken. 
  • Gandules: Known commonly as pigeon peas, this easy side dish appears at Caribbean holiday meals in places like the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. For a delicious appetizer, whip up this Escabeche Pigeon Pea Crostini recipe. 

Desserts & Pousse-Cafรฉ

  • Brigadeiros: These chocolate truffles are a celebratory staple in Brazil -- and they're as pretty as they are delicious. 
  • Pumpkin Flan: This recipe by Wendy Polisi puts a Thanksgiving spin on the traditional Mexican dessert.
  • Cafe de Oila: Mexico's signature cinnamon-infused treat is a perfect caffeine fix after a big meal.

"Back From Vacation"

Hi, everyone. Remember that time I disappeared for a good three and a half months with no warning, and no out-of-office letting you know when I'd be back (gasp!)?

Yeah, I'm sorry about that. The summer filled up fast, and sadly blogging fell by the wayside.

  • The exciting news is I've spent lots of time thinking about how to make Thirty Somewhere bigger and better, and I have new tricks up my sleeve for the coming months.
  • The bad news is I missed spending the past few months with you, hearing what you've been up to and sharing stories of my own. Let's try to make up for that, right now. What's new? Here's my rundown:

We celebrated America, in one of America's greatest cities, with cocktails, one of America's greatest pastimes. 

Spending Chicago's sticky-sweet Fourth of July evening at  Drumbar , next to the all-American, all-lit-up red, white and blue  John Hancock Center . 

Spending Chicago's sticky-sweet Fourth of July evening at Drumbar, next to the all-American, all-lit-up red, white and blue John Hancock Center

I certainly miss this (slight) tan.

I certainly miss this (slight) tan.

We wet our German whistles celebrating Oktoberfest... with lots and lots of Chicago-brewed beer.

Spending my birthday weekend enjoying an epic  boy band medley at  Revolution Brewery's Oktoberfest . 

Spending my birthday weekend enjoying an epic  boy band medley at Revolution Brewery's Oktoberfest

Seriously, check out  Revolution's Oktoberfest  if you happen to be in Chicago that weekend next year. We had eight tickets to refill those giant beer glasses over just a three-hour period, plus food, plus fantastic entertainment -- both musically, and from our fellow exubert attendees. It's a good time.

Seriously, check out Revolution's Oktoberfest if you happen to be in Chicago that weekend next year. We had eight tickets to refill those giant beer glasses over just a three-hour period, plus food, plus fantastic entertainment -- both musically, and from our fellow exubert attendees. It's a good time.

We commemorated our #BasicBia love for Starbucks, pre-#RedCup "fiasco," with pretty on-point Halloween costumes.

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A former colleague makes the most fantastic cookies. Every time they're around, the resounding review is, "OMG. This cookie doesn't just look good; it tastes AMAZING." I can vouch, after eating at least a third myself. Check out her creations, and put in your orders, at  For Sweet's Sake .

A former colleague makes the most fantastic cookies. Every time they're around, the resounding review is, "OMG. This cookie doesn't just look good; it tastes AMAZING." I can vouch, after eating at least a third myself. Check out her creations, and put in your orders, at For Sweet's Sake.

And now that we look back, if it seems like we've been nesting here in Chicago, you're on the right track...

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We're nesting in the NEW HOME we finally locked down last August!

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A GIGANTIC thanks to the BEST REALTOR in Chicago,  Gwen Stark ! Not only did she help us find our dream home, but she kicked off our closing celebration with the cutest champagne toast possible. FIND HER if you're looking to buy!

A GIGANTIC thanks to the BEST REALTOR in Chicago, Gwen Stark! Not only did she help us find our dream home, but she kicked off our closing celebration with the cutest champagne toast possible. FIND HER if you're looking to buy!

We have a ways to go, but we're slowly making this place our home. I'm excited to finally have wall space for all the vacation art we've bought over the years!

We have a ways to go, but we're slowly making this place our home. I'm excited to finally have wall space for all the vacation art we've bought over the years!

Honestly, for those of you who were part of our condo purchase roller coaster, you probably understand why we didn't have much time to travel, or to blog -- or to do anything really, beyond pushing to seal that deal.

We're so glad we're finally settled in our very first home, picking out paint colors, scoping out new furniture and hosting our best friends for any excuse to throw a party. While we've been checking out West Elm more than the West Indies lately, we're finally ready to scratch that insatiable travel itch again. 

And that means you can expect a lot more fun and exciting updates on Thirty Somewhere! Plus, I'll be pulling in travel tips from fellow wanderlusters who've logged a lot more miles than me. Get ready for lots of fun ahead. Buckle up for the ride!

Weekly Wanderlust

Here in Chicago, we're still digging out from the city's fifth worst blizzard on record, so driving a convertible in Cuba sounds pretty darn good right now. 

Below check out the first weekly roundup of the latest buzzworthy places, trips and things to try.