Travelling at Christmas - DO IT!
Updated: Apr 30
Being away from home at Christmas can be tough.
However, central to the concept of ‘home’ are feelings of being comfortable, relaxed and spending time around people you love. All things you can experience whilst travelling!
From personal experience; being away from home over the festive period is not always difficult. It can be wonderfully new and exciting.
Picture the scene:
You wake up in a hostel room of 10 people, 5 of those you have spent the past week backpacking with. You know one week is a long time to spend with backpacking friends and you’ll feel very close with them.
You exchange the secret Santa gifts your friends orchestrated and organised a few days ago (on a shoe-string of £5 per person, because you’re on a budget!) and you’ll be overwhelmed that your friend Bas (a Dutch guy) has written “I.O.U a jaegerbomb and bottle of Chang” on the back of a napkin and given it to you, unwrapped without a card.
You’ll chuckle about how ‘resourceful’ the gift is. You’re response is one of ear to ear smiles because you know that it’s the act of giving that’s important. And Jaegerbombs cost a fortune compared to that local spirit you've been drinking until now!
All 10 of your hostel room mates decide (as you all nurse hangovers from the night before) that it’s a great idea to go down to the hostel bar and order breakfast together to celebrate Christmas and finalise plans to go to the beach for the day.
You get to the beach and your extended family of backpackers grows as you bump into Jack; a friend of Sarah’s from the last hostel she stayed at. Jack has a group of 10 friends he’s with who you’ll be introduced to throughout the day.
The sun will eventually set on the horizon and your bottles of cheap beer will be emptying fast. Jack’s housemate suggests you all head to their house for a garden party into the evening and that there’s a Chinese takeaway you can all fill your bellies with food a few doors down from them. It’s the perfect plan.
Just before you leave for Jack’s house, you decide to let mum and dad know you’re having the best day at the beach. Now that they’re waking up in their timezone on Christmas morning it’s the perfect time to call. You decide a video call would be best and you have been saving 500mb of data on your cheap phone plan to do so.
Jack’s friend Sarah (who you’ve since become best friends with) hangs over your shoulder wishing your parents a “HAPPY CHRISTMAS!” and explains to your parents that although you're missing them, you’re having the best time with your new friends and drunkenly states about how “you never want to come home”.
You proceed to Jack’s place, fill your belly with tasty Chinese food, and enjoy your new friends’ company long into the evening.
Christmas was spent away from home but you had a great time and you learned lots about yourself.
When you get home from your travels, you explain to your family the joy of a different style Christmas and about how you should all go away together next year!