14 December 2013

Going Home for the Holidays?

Ah, yes. That time of year when the annual dilemma rears its head. Holiday travel. When I was in my 20s it always meant going home. And because I was young and underemployed my travel budget always meant taking the cheaper forms of transportation, usually the bus. This often resulted in some tale to tell upon arrival like the kindness of the stranger who helped me with my bags or the really cool guy I chatted with all the way through Manitoba. But, let's face it, holiday travel isn't always fun. There was also that year I got flung out of the toilet when the bus took a rather sharp turn and the year someone tried to steal my bag, etc.

Bonfire Night - Edinburgh
The expat lifestyle means that going home for Christmas is again the annual dilemma. Living so far away tho there are more miles to cover and, the real killer, a 6.5 hour time difference. Well, you only need to do that a few times before it loses its appeal. Especially as you get older and sitting for long periods becomes uncomfortable, and you need to pee more often, and sleep deprivation makes you emotionally volatile.

Moon and Minarets
Of course, we could travel elsewhere. To places that are not home but do require less time confined to a plane. One year we did go to Edinburgh for Hogmanay (whee!) and another year to Istanbul (awe-some!) but then there are the years, more common now, when we decide to just stay put.

Yes, I admit the allure of travel has become somewhat tarnished for me but I will also tell you this. The closer to Christmas Day or New Year's Eve you get as you travel, the more palpable the excitement. People often seem to have a little extra patience, a few more smiles get sent your way, and lots are chattier. I know it's not all nostalgia and good cheer but you have to admit there is something 'in the air.'

For all of you who have made the decision to make the journey home this year here's a little something...

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