6 mins

Christmas far from home...

Christmas means different things to people around the world. Check out what blogger Alastair Humphreys experienced on his six Christmases away from home

Christmas in Jordan (www.alastairhumphreys,com)

When I think "Christmas", I think of all the usual stuff. Turkeys and Christmas jumpers and the frosty swim in the river. What I should have said is that I think of all the usual British stuff. For Christmas means different things to different people across the world.

I have been away travelling six times on Christmas Day. And, to be honest, I do not like it. Unlike the rest of the year, Christmas is a time when I want home, normality and predictable routine. I phone home and feel guilty that I am not there with my family. I know though that some people like to be away at Christmas time, and that our adventures sometimes just find us in funny parts of the world at Christmas.

So here are my six overseas Christmas experiences. I'd love to hear your own thoughts on Christmas away in the comments section below or on the myWanderlust forum.

1. Christmas in the sky

Christmas Day is often a cheap day to take a flight. Flying cattle class to Cape Town and eating plastic turkey with plastic cutlery probably won't rank as my best ever Christmas Day...

2. Christmas where there is no Christmas

I spent Christmas Day in Jordan, a Muslim country, where Christmas is no big deal. A Santa hat and Petra kept me cheerful though.

3. Christmas barbecue

Suncream has no place on Christmas day. Far from home, in Africa, a kind family of strangers welcomed me to their Christmas barbecue. Barbecued chicken (we couldn't find turkey) and a swim in a warm swimming pool were as close as I could get to my normal Christmas. It was lovely though to be welcomed into another family for the day.

4. Christmas at sea

Christmas Eve saw us battling a fierce storm on a tiny yacht on the Pacific. It was stressful and exhausting. Waking on Christmas morning to calm seas as the storm had passed was one of the best Christmas presents I have ever received.

5. Christmas in Japan

Like most things in Japan, this was surreal. Saccharine Christmas songs play in the shopping centres and Kentucky Fried Chicken is the preferred celebratory meal. On the plus side, there was lots of snow.

6. Hawaii

Kauai is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. Snorkelling, sunshine and Hawaii’s wonderful blend of Western and Japanese food: of all the Christmas alternatives to good old home, this is the pick of the bunch.

This time last year I thought I'd be enjoying a white Christmas right now – hauling a sledge across Antarctica to the South Pole. But alas, instead I'm dragging a sledge through the scorching desert in Oman on an entirely different expedition.

What are you planning, for this year and for next? Tell us below or on the myWanderlust forum.

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