I’m sure there are many of you who will be in places where you will be in a position to travel home for Christmas whilst you’re studying abroad. However, if you’re like me and it was never even a possibility due to costs/the distance, then this post might help you.
Christmas was always going to be weird owing to the fact that it is Summer here in Australia. I was all prepared to not have my roast turkey dinner- I kind of enjoyed the novelty of a Christmas Day barbecue- but let’s not kid ourselves that it doesn’t suck being away from family during the festive period. It’s something that not many people will directly address, so I thought I’d have a crack at it.
I’ve dealt with bouts of homesickness since I moved here, which is natural, but it seemed to be heightened due to the time of year. Luckily, I found some ways to cope with it. For instance, I didn’t have a Christmas tree in the house that I share, so I became obsessed with the trees that were put up around the city and enjoyed the decorations more than I normally do (sorry to everyone for the spam).
Also, the 11 hour time difference is big enough that I could watch my little sister do her annual Christmas Eve performance on Skype when I woke up on Christmas morning, so there are ways of making up for not being there in person. My family also sent out my childhood stocking with a box of gifts, which made my day because it was had stuff like a chocolate orange, which is a tradition at home.
On another positive note, my boyfriend and I got to spend our first Christmas together. I found that being with his family helped me feel festive in the moments where I started feeling sorry for myself. It was a different experience entirely, featuring a wheel barrow of ice-cold beverages, and it made me appreciate how lucky I am that I could still share in my family’s festivities at home whilst celebrating in another hemisphere.
This ended up being longer than I planned, oops. What I’m trying to say, is that although it may feel odd being away from home for Christmas, you can find a way to embrace the festivities. Good company is key to this, because having people around will help you enjoy yourself more, and you’ll cherish the experience. I hope this helps those of you who are concerned that you’ll be in this boat one day!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on Facebook 🙂