A guest post contribution from writer, Kayleigh Herbertson….
If you’re travelling during the winter period, especially over Christmas and New Year then you have the potential to experience a huge seasonal event in an entirely different culture. This can create feelings of home-sickness for many but it’s also an amazing opportunity to experience the traditions far from home. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying two international Christmases, what did I learn from the trips?
Christmas on the Beach

Christmas 2009: Melbourne Australia

Fresh from graduating University, I took a working holiday in Australia and got to enjoy Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere. The clearest difference is the temperature, which isn’t surprising seeing as December is the middle of summer for Australia. Feeling the weather get hotter and hotter as the season of giving approaches is very enjoyable but also disconcerting. It can feel difficult to get into the seasonal mood because all those unconscious signs of Christmas approaching are gone, at least as far as the weather is concerned.
Bizarrely, the traditional idea of a “white Christmas” is still alive and well in Australia, with the imagery being happily plastered over cards and businesses during the season. This was the strangest thing for me to adapt to and, when questioned, most Australian’s admitted that it was a little odd, considering that snow was an impossibility, but they also felt it was traditional. Because of their Anglo roots, many Australian Christmas traditions are perfectly aligned with those in the UK, which can help ease the potential for homesickness.
In the Pool at Christmas Globocation
I stayed with friends during the festive season so I don’t have much advice regarding where to stay, however I will say that Melbourne offers a fantastically grand setting for Christmas decorations and celebrations. Australian cities are far more spacious than British counterparts, so walking around Melbourne during their winter festival was a beautiful and relaxing experience. Wandering around at night, enjoying the lights and decorations on the grand, wide streets was a very special experience.
I’m also not going to complain about spending Christmas day by the pool, that was certainly a big pro for spending winter in Oz! For me, the biggest challenge was the family disconnect. If you’re travelling during the Christmas holidays then get close to those around you. Make friends and be happy and willing to exchange gifts or you may find yourself feeling very lonely. I opened my gifts from my family in the morning and had to wait until the evening to even thank them. This was quite sad for me personally and I was glad that I had other people around me so I could enjoy the day.

Christmas 2011: Majorca

My winter trip to the Mediterranean was completely different from my Christmas experiences in Australia but it was still considerably warmer than I would have enjoyed in the UK. The weather is mild and rarely falls below 10 degrees celsius, plus that’s not too cold for someone like me to investigate the many beaches for a swim! Going for a dip on Christmas day is an amazing holiday tradition that I wouldn’t be tempted to repeat back in the UK…
My Majorca Christmas happened for a ,
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