A Traveler’s Survival Guide to Spending Christmas at Home

For all of us travel addicts, expats and other adventurers, going back home for Christmas can feel like a soft blow in the middle of an exciting life. Sure, Christmas with the family is great and we have all missed home cooked food prepared with love by our relatives, but the holidays can also be stressful and put a lot of pressure on shoulders much more used to heavy backpacks. To make it all run a bit more smoothly, here are a few tips on how to make the best of your holidays back home!

1. Before you book your tickets: make a list of the things you truly missed

If you are feeling the apprehension way ahead and are struggling to get yourself to even buy the tickets back home, here is an idea that might help you: make a list of all the things, people, habits that you miss back home. It will warm your heart to the place you thought you had not missed, and may even get you really excited about going back! Before you know it, you will be booking your tickets (hopefully when they are still at a decent price) all the while dreaming of your homeland specialties and the mornings with the family by the fire.

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2. Before you go home: brace yourself for questions on your life “when you are so far away”

After being away for a while, you can only expect your relatives and loved ones to be curious about what exactly you have been up to all this time, so far away from home and from them. The problem is that it is really hard to “tell” months of your life like you would tell what you did the previous weekend. To avoid this situation and create a potentially very enjoyable family moment, why not make a photo montage with your favourite pictures of the place where you live, the cities you have visited, your new office, or anything relevant that you would like to show and that everyone back home would love to see. In addition to making it easier for you to communicate your excitement about your adventurous life, it will also really make those close to you feel more involved in your life when they may feel a bit out of it the rest of the year.

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3. While you are there: booze up the whole family with typical alcohols from your trips

This tip is the ultimate two-in-one: alcoholic specialties from the countries you have visited or lived in are not only an effortless but great present, they are also the perfect occasion to loosen the atmosphere by trying them all together (maybe once all the underage nephews and nieces are in bed already).  It is also a good occasion to teach everyone how to say “cheers” in several languages, share a few stories (maybe keep the embarrassing ones for your friends though) and explain some surprising traditions you have heard of during your travels. Just make sure that everything is drank with moderation and that at the end of the evening your uncle who had the best stories all night does not decide to drive back home after finishing the Greek Rakomelo you just got him.

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4. Before you go back: turn your homecoming into an adventure

There is one last thing to do which might change the boredom you have been feeling about your hometown and your region that you think you know too well. Usually when you live in a place for long, you don’t really take the time to play tourist and visit the area like you would during a trip. Chances are, you missed out on a lot! Go alone or take your parents on a ride, and be a tourist in your own country and city, visit museums or go on hikes in places you have never visited before and see the place you called home with a brand new pair of eyes. You never know what you might find!

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