The Ultimate Guide on How to Spend the Holidays Overseas
Traveling is fun and amazing and all the positive wonderful adjectives you can think of to fill in the blank. There are a few times, however, where it can feel lonely and the winter holidays are one. It's in these times that you can start to feel homesick and isolated, especially if you are traveling alone. Images of gathered families and cozy homes can leave you feeling less than fearless on your journey. So I've come up with a few ideas on how to turn your holidays aboard into something special that will last a life time.
Go somewhere really special. I don't mean go somewhere where all the tourists go. I mean go somewhere you've always wanted to see. Be in a city you love, where good memories instantly lift you spirits. Where ever you end up look into local events that are going on during that time. Check out the city's website to see what's planned. Many christian/western countries will have events and markets that can be fun to attend. Think Christmas markets in Germany or Prague!
Look up Expat Communities. Some of the bigger cities around the world have expat communities that organize events during holidays. From dinners, meet ups and white elephants, these groups can be a great way to meet other people who are in similar situations as you. Sites like InterNations and expat.com help connect expats in a verity of cities around the world. You can also search online for the city that you'll be in, just make sure that the site is reputable.
Plan a fun Activity. If there's no local expat group or you'd rather spend the time alone, it's a great idea to plan something to do on the holiday it's self. Whether it's doing something touristy like sight seeing, going to see a movie, taking your self out to a nice dinner or wandering through the quieter streets (which depending where you are could be really nice. It's always fun to see a busy city go quite for a day.), see if there are any group trips or excisions you can take part in. Visit a local tourist office to see what the options are. If you're in a warmer climate spend the day at the beach and make all your friends and family back home jealous. No matter what you do it's a good idea to have something planed.
Volunteer. What better way to spend a day then by giving back? Get to know a city on a deeper level by helping some of it's more vulnerable citizens. It will help you feel better and possibly change perceptions about your home country.
The holidays can be tough when away from family but there are things you can do to enjoy the day and your time while overseas. The key is to remember you're doing something extraordinary. Enjoy it!
Let me know what you do during the holiday season while abroad in the comments below!