26 Dec

A Travellers Christmas: Dustin From Skinny Backpacker

Some travellers love Christmas
 and lament that they can’t be home. Others enjoy the escape from the consumerism and endless carolling (put me in that camp!) and some look for the quirky that happens when other cultures interpret Christmas in their own land. I asked some traveller friends to share how they see and spend Christmas on the road; it’s like a peek into Christmas Around The World.

You can see all the ‘A Travellers Christmas’ posts here.

I’m not much of a person for celebrations, and I’m not religious, so the idea of spending the holiday season away from the typical western “Christmas” was one I was really looking forward to before I started traveling.  The idea that we would all spend all of this time and money to buy things for people just because you had to never really seemed right with me.  The feeling had only gotten stronger over time.  This is what xmas was to me, but finally I think I’ve found out what it really means.

When I left Canada to start traveling a little over 3 years ago, things were bound to be different, and they were.  Because of my travel lifestyle, the last 4 years have seen me experiencing xmas on four different continents, and with different people each time.  I wrote about the experience last year in the aptly titled “4 Xmas – 4 Continents

In 2008, it was back in Canada, with my Mom and family.  Think cold, snow, and an xmas tree, almost the stereotype you saw when you grew up watching cartoons and movies set in the season.  In 2009, it was hiking mountain ridges with a pair of friends I had been traveling with for a month in New Zealand.  There was some snow up on the mountain, and we even threw a couple of snowballs even though it was summer in the southern hemisphere.  In 2010, it was in the far south of Argentina, hiking with my Dad, and in 2011, it was in Chiang Mai, Thailand sharing the day with a girlfriend.

This year, I find myself back in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and with 10 days before xmas, no solid plans for what to do or where to spend it.  You see, it could be about spending the time on a new continent, a way to keep the streak alive for the predictable and easy “5 Xmas – 5 Continents” post.  It could also be about spending it in another national park, as the last three have been experienced like that.  It could even be about spending it in another country, as yet another checkbox in the never-ending column of “things I’ve done.”

What makes things different this year is that I don’t have a good friend or family member close by to share it with.  Whether you are into the religion or not, the holiday season is really about spending time with your loved ones.  Maybe it’s just taken me this long to realize it.  One of the trickier aspects of travel, and one that has creeped up on me this year.


Travelling around the world for the past 3 years, Dustin has stepped foot on every continent, photographing the journey along the way.  He shares his images and stories from his adventures on the aptly titled “Skinny Backpacker” when he’s not devouring and critiquing ice cream.

When not directly feeding his insatiable travel / ice cream habits, you can probably find him writing about the technology of travel to help you get more from your experience over at Too Many Adapters.

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