Brucini started seriously travelling after attempting to move to Queenstown, New Zealand, in 1996.Inspired by drunkenly meeting a world of travelers on a Kiwi Experience bus, he changed his plans and roamed the world for a year. ...Find out more!
It’s natural to feel homesick and lonely at Christmas if you are on the road away from family and loved ones. But it can also be a great time to make the most of where ever you are. Or even get somewhere to make the most of festive season in someone elses country.
Here are some tips to making the most of the festive season as a backpacker.
Go Somewhere That Doesn’t Celebrate Christmas
The easiest way to not feel like you are missing on something traditional is to be somewhere that doesn’t celebrate the Christmas tradition. Where better than somewhere with a heap more Gods and religious birthdays than the Western Christian countries - like India! The predominant religion in India is Hindi although the commercial realities of Christmas are unfortunately becoming increasingly mainstream amongst the middle classes, it is still conveniently possible to completely avoid thinking about (what you think) you are missing.
Before Christmas meet charitable locals
There’s nothing wrong with indulging the festive charity of others. Maybe you even have to work on a friend, acquaintance, or even a stranger to take you in and feed you with their family. This is much easier if you are a working holiday maker, say, and are mixing with people with families in the city you are living and working in. My family has variously taken in overseas friends of mine for a Christmas dinner and given presents. We might not normally go out and feed the poor on Christmas Day but at least we felt better about ourselves by being nice to a German backpacker. So Christmas represents the best time to take advantage of other peoples good cheer. Idea for the day: ingratiate yourself until others feel pity.
Do A Tour
Use the principle that if you feel a certain way there’s bound to be someone else in the room feeling the same way. Normally this would be on some sort of tour. You’d expect everyone else on the trip are just like you, except for the few who have to travel at this time because of time constraints. Often these tours incorporate Christmas and New Years. Sorted.
If you’re in the UK, check out a range of Christmas Backpacker Tours on offer. There’s probably something similar near you.
Stay at a Hostel that has organised Christmas celebrations
Many hostels insist that when you book in right before Christmas you must stay for a few days. Often this is because the Management wants a day off too and doesn’t want to get up early on Boxing Day to check you out . The good operators and especially those with bars on-site see a commercial opportunity for a big party. So get yourself somewhere that you know is going to bring lonesome homesick waifs like yourself together.
Spend Christmas Day in public places
An example of this is celebrating Christmas on Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. Many Australian families celebrate Christmas with barbeques away from their own homes at the beach. It might sound strange but imagine calling your family in the cold northern hemisphere from the beach in your swim gear. Thousands of other fellow travellers will be in the same situation as you and usually its a big party on one of the worlds most famous beaches. Avoid getting too pissed and going for a swim - drowning really would spoil your Christmas.