This Christmas will be my third year away from home. The past two were spent in the snowy, cold and very festive Whistler in Canada. This year will be a huge contrast to 2015 and 2016, as our current home is in Northern New Zealand, the warmest part of the country, also known as “the winterless North”.
Christmas 2017 will be spent on the beach (probably) or at the very least in a bikini in my garden.
Despite Christmas being the worst time of the year to be away from home, the past two Christmas’s having been spent in the ‘snowglobe’ that is Whistler, made missing home a lot easier. Because Christmas there looks like it does in the movies, with snow up to your waist, fluffy hats and scarves to keep warm, steaming mugs of coffee on our balcony and Christmas movies on repeat in the living room.
In Whistler, Christmas felt as right as it could be without my family around.
This year, will be a hell of a lot different as it’s currently 8pm and 22 degrees and I’m sitting on my deck writing this article because it’s way too warm inside the house. It does not feel like Christmas.
Even though the town where we live is decorated with Christmas cheer and the hotel I work in has gone “all out” with a massive tree and a huge gingerbread house, still when I hear a Christmas song on the radio, it feels wrong. I haven’t even watched ‘Love Actually’ yet! It’s a strange feeling not being as hyped up as I usually am for Christmas. Maybe that’s to do with living in a warm country, maybe it’s because I’m getting older. P.S we don’t have a Christmas tree (sinful I know).
But, I have Christmas and St Stephens Day off, despite working in the hotel industry, so, I’m very lucky. It will be a balmy 25 degrees on Christmas day and despite being away from my family I’m tanned, happy and healthy.
This Christmas we’ll cook ourselves a big feed, with all the trimmings, watch some Christmas movies, maybe go to the beach for a swim and then finish the night with an expensive bottle of wine on the deck watching the stars. It could be better, of course. I could be with my family but I’ll make sure to Skype them and after seeing them, yes, I’ll probably feel sad for a little bit.
But, this is the life we have chosen. In the future, we will have lots of Christmases at home. For now, we’re on our adventure trying to experience everything in this world we possibly can. That takes sacrifice.
So, here’s to spending Christmas on the other side of the world – 13 hours in the future.