They say Christmas is the most magical time of the year, and this can be even truer when you’re overseas and exploring other cultures’ winter traditions for the first time. But homesickness can affect the best of us, especially at a time when most people are getting together with their families, so here are some tips to keep in touch and keep your spirits up at the holidays overseas.
Schedule Time to Talk
With smartphones in almost everyone’s pocket and video conferencing software like FaceTime and Skype freely available, it’s never been easier to see a friendly face at Christmas, but if you’re far afield the time difference can make it hard to catch each other at an opportune moment. Work out the best times to talk in advance and plan around it.
Combine Souvenirs and Seasonal Gifts
You can save yourself time and money by giving the souvenirs you pick up on your travels as Christmas gifts. You can send a letter along with them if you’re in an area where normal telecoms are unavailable or unreliable. TNT can do international next day delivery so even last-minute finds can be there in time for the 25th.
Learn About Local Traditions in Advance
Different countries have their own local yuletide traditions, and it’s worth knowing enough about them in advance so that you can take part in the unique festivities or at least avoid making any faux pas with the locals.
Celebrate with Other Foreigners
Some countries also have areas with their own traditions, or don’t celebrate winter festivities at all, but have prominent expat populations if you’re looking for something more traditional to warm your heart this Christmas. Buddy up with others in the area, or just at your own accommodation, to throw a holiday party your own way for a slice of home away from home.
Occupy Yourself on the Big Day
Whether it means bringing over your own traditions, or trying something completely new, you should have something to occupy your time come Christmas Day, embracing the place that you are rather than dwelling on where you aren’t. If Christmas isn’t a major holiday where you are, many businesses will be open so there should always be something to do.