Escape From Christmas
Like any reasonable person, I hate Christmas. Or rather, I just can’t stand the tired & tacky Christmas traditions of tinsel, songs on repeat and the pools of vomit that decorate British pavements throughout the month of December.
All considered, is it any really wonder that I’m so determined to escape the “season of goodwill” this year? No! And if you have any sense (and enough time off from work) then you too should look into doing exactly the same.
In case you need any ideas of exactly where to go, then here are our 5 best places in the world to escape from Christmas;
India’s traveller hub is at its peak during December and January with perfect weather and an ensemble of free spirits, freaks and holiday makers. Yes prices do spike a bit over the period but India is still on the whole, very cheap. Here you can spend Christmas learning Yoga or finding yourself in one of the States many spiritual retreats. You can also find great souvenirs at the Arpora night market which will make great, late, unforgettable Christmas gifts for your friends and family when you go back home.
For those who still need at least a little bit of Christmas in their December, there are actually a large number of Christian churches in Goa on account of its Portuguese colonial ties.
Following Donald Trump’s pledge to repeal every single one of President Obama’s Executive Order’s, it looks like Myanmar may be in for a fresh round of sanctioning in the New Year. This Christmas could therefore be your last chance to visit without incurring the hassle obtaining a Visa or been unable to use your bank cards. Myanmar only opened its doors to tourism in the last decade so is still something of an unchartered adventure for real backpackers.
What could be better than spending New Year at the Bagan Temple Complex? Whilst the folks back home will be sat around watching Indiana Jones re-runs in a stuffy, flatulent room, you will be living your Dr Jones fantasies deep inside the steaming, Burmese jungles. Myanmar is also predominantly Buddhist and was historically closed off from the pesky influence of creeping westernisation so don’t expect to find any trace of Christmas anywhere unless you foolishly pack a Santa hat. Myanmar is perhaps the ultimate escape from Christmas.
3. Israel & Palestine
Christmas in the Holy Land anyone? Despite its significance in Christian tradition the country is predominantly Jewish so you will hardly know its Christmas at all. This means that the transport links and other infrastructure remains operational throughout the period. For those who do need a Christmas fix, then attending midnight mass in Bethlehem may be one of the most moving experiences a pilgrim can ever dream off. You can also follow this by acquiring a tin of spray paint and writing your festive message to the world on the 20 foot high separation wall (its allowed).
The weather in the region remains lovely and warm and we are told that Hummus actually goes really well with Turkey. Also be sure to spend New Year in Tel Aviv which will be an experience you will never forget and yet one you probably won’t remember too well at all if you do it properly.
Israel is also within easy reaching distance of Jordan so you can tag an expedition to the ancient stone city of Petra onto your journey!
Ok so this is less an escape from Christmas and more diving straight into its epicentre but at least it’s doing it for real! Whilst meeting Santa may not be on the top of your list, Lapland truly is a winter wonderland of pristine white snow, crisp clear skies and fur tree forests. It will feel like stepping right into a Christmas card and if your really lucky you may also witness the majesty of the Northern lights.
Split between Finland and Norway Lapland can be accessed from either side. Prices do substantially rise at this time of the year but it is a truly unforgettable festive experience.
Get here before they build the wall! Mexico is a devout Christian country so whilst Christmas will be very high on the agenda, Latin American Christmas is not one we in the West would recognise at all so it remains an Escape from Christmas as you know it. Although you’ll see Nativity scenes and possibly even synthetic snow, there will be lots of cultural flavor. From street vendors offering native food to music blaring through the streets, you’ll leave feeling like you’ve never experienced similar to this. Christmas in Mexico is something you really have to see for yourself to understand the unique fusion offered.
Mexico is a big country so take your pick or where precisely you want to know. Acapulco & Cancun remain tourist mecca’s though Montego Bay would be our pick. The weather is across the country is warm and sunny and Mexican cuisine is also the best in the world and far better than your aunties Brussels sprouts.
6. Christmas Island
Despite its festive name this place as about as far as its possible to escape from Christmas. Located deep in the Southern Hemisphere it will the peak of summer so forget chilly nights and snowy skies. Its also more or less uninhabited so is in many ways an escape from everything. Think you can handle the solitude? Then head to Christmas Island!
See you in the New Year guys for our list of best January getaways!