This morning when I looked out the window I saw – snow! I really didn’t know if I should laugh or cry at this white, actually rather Christmassy view. I used to love snow and always just had to take a long walk every time it was snowing with those huge flakes. It’s a very special feeling, being outside in a totally white world. Wherever you look, you only see white. And when it’s snowing in that special way, with those big, dry, fluffy flakes that slowly falls to the earth, it has some kind of insulating effect so everything gets totally quiet. Except for the sound of the flakes, you can actually hear when they crash into each other and when they land on the ground.
This can be a really magical moment, as long as you can be with it and not start to think about the result of this nature phenomenon. Like how difficult it will be to drive to the shop. And, “will they be ready with the snow plows? And if this continues, will it make the tree branches so heavy that they’ll break and fall on the telephone wires again and cut out the phones? Well, nowadays we always have the mobile phones and Skype…
Wouldn’t it be much nicer to be in Southern Spain or someplace else instead? As the world traveler I am at times, do I really have to put up with this”?
Anyway, I started to think about all the Christmases that we had spent traveling abroad. I realized we’d had been celebrating Christmas both in warmer climates as well as in places with similar weather to what we’re used to from home.Here’s what I came up with, places where we have had the privilege to experience a different way of celebrating this holiday seasons (well, not always very different)
Mallorca – this was like a Swedish summer although you didn’t want to go swimming in the Mediterranean at this time of the year.
Sri Lanka – actually one of my most memorable Christmases ever, without any traces of Christmas, absolutely fabulous, love this country!
Grand Canaria, the Canary Islands – Magnus actually moved here with his parents when he was a child. GC is very European but climate wise more like Africa so there’s no problem spending the holiday on the beach
Bethlehem, Israel – On Christmas Eve it is something really special!
Austria – huge amounts of snow and the skiing was absolutely fantastic, best skiing ever! Also extremely romantic with horse sledge rides and snow covered “chalets”.
Canada – very similar to Sweden, both the weather and the Christmas celebration, except for the fact that you open your presents on the 25 (in Sweden we do it on the 24th)!
France – We spend some time in Provence one year and this time we had a Christmas tree decorated with Provencal patterned ribbons, lavender bags and whatever typically French we found. We had the market just outside our apartment balcony and man, the food you could buy there. French food in fantastic in general but at Christmas (we don’t eat the typical oysters and foie gras though).
Spain – This is like our second home so we have spent several Christmas holidays here (whole winter seasons, actually). We always go to the most Southern part which is the warmest and, as we see it, where people are more relaxed then in northern Europe. The climate is great in the winter (unless you want to do lots of swimming in the sea), the culture is interesting and you get to practice one of the worlds biggest languages. And it’s close to Africa!
England – When we spent the winter in England (why you may ask, but we did have some good reasons) we actually celebrated 3 totally different Christmases in 2 days. First the Swedish way on the 24th. The next day some friends invited us to come along to a “Christmas dinner” at a big Hare Krishna place (bought by George Harrison, the Beatle and given to them) where our friends were invited for special reasons. The same evening, we celebrated again with our friends, but this time in “the proper” English way.
Wow, thinking about this really puts me in my world traveler mood and makes me want to go away. It’s a bit short notice now though so I think I’ll start planning for next year. Or I start by thinking about what I would like my life to look like in a year.
What are you doing this holiday season? Any traveling plans? If not maybe it’s time to start planning for next year. Start imagining where you would like to go? What would you like your perfect holiday season to look like?
In a whole year, you’ll have lots of time to plan your dream trip and have all things fall into places. Why not let a Christmas trip next year be the start for your long term journey, and maybe, for your new life?