Life on the Road: Away for the Holidays
[singlepic=1601,250,,,right]Traveling long term is a gift; the ability to see and experience new cultures, to step away from your own rat race, and slow down. However, when you’ve been on the road for a while and the holidays roll around, it’s easy to get the blues. You’re away from your own culture and traditions, and you miss your family and friends, so it’s easy to get a bit homesick. I spent my last Christmas Eve alone eating leftovers watching a movie; I was so lonely in Vietnam that I vowed to never be alone again during the Holidays.
If your career break travel happens to fall during the holidays, then consider what you can do to avoid the holiday blues.
When I first traveled around the world I actually planned out my itinerary with the holidays in mind. For me Christmas is all about family. Luckily I happened to have family living in Singapore so when I planned my itinerary, I planned to be in Singapore in December. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I could have made. The familiar food, customs, and humor of my family was just what I needed. Plus, they were able to introduce me to different Asian holiday customs in Singapore – so even though I had slowed down my travel to spend time with family, I was still experiencing new things in new cultures!
[singlepic=1603,200,,,left]If you find yourself far away from family and friends when the holidays strike, then consider trying to find other people from your country that are celebrating. I found myself in Sydney, Australia once during American Thanksgiving. I didn’t want to sit around my hotel room watching TV and going to McDonalds for dinner, so I went to the American consulate to ask them if they knew of any American based Thanksgiving celebrations going on in Sydney.
[singlepic=1602,200,,,right]They quickly gave me a paper with a list of the various Expat organizations observing the holiday with traditional dinners. Perfect! I contacted a few and soon found myself eating Turkey dinner surrounded by a bunch of Australians and Americans.
Contacting your country’s consulate or embassy is a great source of information for travelers – don’t forget to use them!
How have you dealt with the holiday blues while traveling?