Home for Christmas

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tomorrow I'm heading home for Christmas, on a quick 4-day break from work. I always go home for Christmas. ALWAYS. In fact when I first conceived of this trip I thought I'd do it in two legs - Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, then home for a break and some downtime at Christmas, then back out for India, China, SEA (that's how we savvy RTW types refer to South East Asia), and South America. It seemed like a good idea to build in a break from traveling - an escape hatch of sorts. Also, it would be nice to have an extended break at home during the holidays since I haven't had more than 4 days off at Christmas since I was in school in about 1990. Then I examined the costs of this plan and quickly decided maybe 2009 would be the first time I wouldn't be home for Christmas.

Since that time I've been trying to get used to the idea, and I'm starting to make peace with it. My sister and brother-in-law missed Christmas at home a few years ago; their excuse was the birth of their first child, my niece, on Christmas Eve. They survived fine (all three of them), and I imagine the new baby thing was distracting enough that Christmas was a mere footnote that week. Similarly, I suspect that when next December rolls around I'll be so far removed from my "normal" life that the whole Christmas season won't have nearly the all-pervasive impact that it has here in snowy, urban western Canada. Or at least I hope so.

I sort of plan to be in Africa around the holidays next year, and I can't imagine anywhere less Christmas-y. I also sort of plan to connect with an old friend who is now living in Uganda, but it seems awkward to basically invite myself over for Christmas. Perhaps I'll get lucky and he'll see this post and pick up on my not-so-subtle hint. If that doesn't work out, I may go on safari over the holidays. It might also be kind of neat to see how people in a place so very different celebrate something so very familiar.

I suppose being away for Christmas is just another aspect of being away in general - part of committing myself wholly to this adventure. I'm sure there will be some bouts of homesickness in my future, and not just around the holidays. I have no idea how I'll react to that. For now I'll just enjoy seeing family, unwrapping exciting travel-related packages, eating my weight in Christmas baking, turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and wondering what next Christmas will bring.

I guess if I really want to, there's nothing stopping me from booking a flight from Kampala to Calgary next December. It's only money.*



*Note to family: DO NOT count on this!

1 Comment:

Gillian said...

Merry Christmas Pam. Enjoy your time at home, you're right, next year will be very different and fabulous in a different way!

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