Spending Christmas overseas
With Christmas fast approaching (err, it's less than a week away!) I've been thinking about my Christmas' spent overseas.
Like many others, my Christmas' are always spent with family. It's a nice tradition, even if we didn't necessarily believe in the purpose of it all. So the first time I found myself overseas for Christmas was a little sad, and home-sickening.
The first time I was in Indonesia with my best friend. We decided to not ignore the fact that it was Christmas, we were only 19 after all! So we went out and bought a mini Christmas tree, decorations and presents for each other! To this day, it's still one of my favourite Christmas'.
One year later I was travelling solo in Europe. I was lucky enough to be staying with my French family in Paris during Christmas. They absolutely spoiled me and I got to experience a true French Christmas. Funnily enough my boyfriends family were in Paris on Christmas too (minus my boyfriend sadly), so I invited them to dine with us Christmas Eve.
But wait, it gets better! Not only did we experience a beautiful French Christmas, but we also trotted off to Disneyland Paris on Christmas day. It was absolutely magical, fake snow and all!
So, if you ever find yourself overseas for Christmas, make the most of it! Here are my 3 tips.
Stay With a Local
There's nothing better than experiencing how the locals do it! Surprisingly, there are many different ways you can stay with a local in a new and exciting country. CouchSurfing is not only affordable but the best way to get involved! AirBnB is a good backup – just make sure the owner is happy to give you some tips about experiencing a local Christmas. Or the fail safe way, ask friends if they know anyone willing to offer a bed, or be your Christmas guide.
Take Part in the Christmas Festivities
Whether you're in Europe or South America, there will be festivities happening! Wander around Christmas markets warming your body with mulled wine, and Christmas spirt. Go ice skating, even if you fall on your butt more times than socially acceptable. Watch the festivities play out with locals putting on plays or singing carols. Whatever it is, get amongst it. And don't forget to people watch!
Create Your Home-Away-From-Home
If the idea of being away from home during Christmas is particularly sad, there's nothing stopping you celebrating like you would at home! Go buy a Christmas tree, decorations and fair lights. It doesn't matter if you have a hotel room to yourself or you're sharing a dorm with 10 others, no one wants to be the Grinch!