A Travellers Christmas: Kim From So Many Places A Travellers Christmas: Kim From So Many Places
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.
It’s the middle of December and we are in Buenos Aires. It is incredibly hot and the sun beats down on the city relentlessly. My northern-hemisphere brain can’t believe that Christmas is in two weeks. It feels like the dog-days of July.
In Buenos Aires you have to work hard to spot a Christmas tree. There aren’t holiday decorations scattered about, no lights strung on houses, no ice skating rinks or hot chocolate peddling or even storefront Christmas displays. Christmas carols aren’t blasting from anybody’s speakers. Christmas does happen here, but it certainly isn’t the over-the-top-beat-you-about-the-head show of consumerism that it is back in the U.S.
Because I love all things Christmas, this makes me incredibly sad.
My husband and I have been traveling for seven months now. It’s been seven months since we’ve seen our families, our dogs, and our friends. We’re homesick, plain and simple. We wish more than anything that we could be home for Christmas. We really feel like we need it this year.
But a Christmas at home is not in the cards for us. Instead, we are headed to India. Yes, chaotic, populated, beautiful India is our next stop and I plan to drive a motorized rickshaw down the whole continent, but that’s another story. If Buenos Aires is to Christmas what m&ms are to world-class chocolate than India is to Christmas what Andy Kaufman is to a 15th-century monastery (and now I’ve just confirmed that I will never write problems for standardized tests).
In other words, if there is any place less-Christmasy than Buenos Aires it is most definitely India.
But here is how the stars aligned to make our Christmas special.
Our flight to India was to leave Rio de Janeiro on Christmas Eve. We’d fly to Frankfurt, endure a 9-hour layover on Christmas Day, and then head on to India.
But a few weeks ago we received an email from the airline. Our flight to Germany had been cancelled and rescheduled two days earlier than our original flight. Would we accept this change? Suddenly we were facing two days of cold and snow and Christmas markets in Germany. HELL YES!
Then I got an email from our friend Ali who lives in Freiburg. Would we like to catch a train from Frankfurt out to their place to spend the holidays with them? Now we would have a cold, snowy, Christmas-market-y Christmas filled with warm food and wine and friends. DOUBLE HELL YES!
So this is how we have come to spend our first Christmas abroad in Germany. It isn’t home, but it’s a pretty good alternative, and it will most definitely be a memorable Christmas.
We may even write home about it.
In May 2012, Kim and her husband sold their stuff, left their jobs, and set out on a trip around the world. Kim tells the stories from their travels on her blog: www.so-many-places.com.