Where were you for Christmas?

How a Christmas gap year can be brilliant

Christmas and the New Year is always a strange time to be backpacking and travelling. It's often hot and sweaty with a group of complete strangers and a lot of gappers find it quite hard to be away from home from at this time of year. But it's cool. We're here to tell you you're not alone. In fact, we're here to tell you that Christmas and New Year on your gap year can be brilliant...

We asked the gapyear.com community where they were for Christmas and New Year and they're here to show you that you can have the best time abroad around the festive period.

If you're still worried about being away from home then jump on the message boards and see who's abroad for Christmas. Who knows, maybe you'll have a real gap year Christmas!

So, where were you for Christmas?

Monica with her group of friends at Christmas

Hdsimmons was in Nepal trekking on Christmas Day. She said:

"In 2009 I did went trekking to Everest Base Camp over Christmas and New Year. On Christmas Day we trekked from Tengboche to Dingboche through the snow. Arriving at the Tea House and we treated ourselves to pizza just so it would differentiate the day from the lentils and garlic soup of every other day. We even had a late night until 9.30pm!

"By New Year we were on our way back from Base Camp and spent the night in Phakding. There'd been heavy snowfall the night before so the days trekking has taken 3 times longer than it was supposed to. We had a party in our tea house and even guests at some of the neighbouring tea houses came to join us. We played charades with the porters, then got taught Nepali dance moves, which we had perfected by the end of the night after a handful of beers!"

In 2010 *nikki180188* was in Raglan and Waitomo in New Zealand for Christmas Day. Her experience was:

"Woke up in Raglan to some guy preaching about parking illegally but how he'd be nice 'just this once' because it was Christmas morning. Surely he had something better to be doing? Had Christmas dinner sat in Waitomo Caves carpark with two other families - weird, but a great day."

Rosz pulling off the beard in Australia

Fingfang highlighted the fact that you don't even have to be abroad on Christmas Day to have a different experience!

"When I was 14 we'd been hiking a couple of weeks before Xmas and found a nice little cave in Settle, Yorkshire, with a great view. My dad decided it would be different to spend Xmas day there.

"Xmas day came, freezing cold, rain, wind and we're all sat in a cave next to a single travel lantern eating turkey sandwiches and flask of hot chocolate.

"Christmas dinner on Boxing Day that year was amazing!"

Pocketrocket82 had a life-changing Christmas in Koh Chang.

"After 28 years of associating Christmas and New Year's Eve with freezing cold, snow and winter jackets something changed and I found myself buying new flip flops as my old ones fell apart and matching fake Ray Bans to the colour of my santa hat on Koh Chang - one of my favourite Thai islands.

Pocketrocket82 enjoying Christmas in the sun

"It didn't seem right to start with. It's not supposed to be that hot when you're getting ready to tuck into your massive Christmas dinner. I gave in in the end and loved every minute of it, especially when my then boyfriend and now husband to be dragged me out of bed at sunrise on Christmas Day to pop the question. We both had the time of our lives chilling out on a tropical beach in December and having several engagement parties in our little backpacker hut. Oh, and that bottle of cheap champagne we sipped on on December 31st tasted like nothing ever tasted before."

Further Information

If you want to read about a Christmas like no other then read Macca's blog. He tells you about his Christmas day in Australia.

And if you're getting ready for the festive period then read our feature on what is the best travel kit to get for Christmas or the New Year.

About the Author: Macca Sherifi

Macca Sherifi

Macca is gapyear.com's travel editor and writes on a myriad of topics, giving the best travel advice in an easy-to-read style that he would describe as 'cutesy'. His two passions are travelling and writing, which is lucky, because he's a travel writer. Macca travelled for 20 months non-stop, never settling in one place for more than a week or two, living to travel and travelling to live. In his spare time, he reads about travelling, thinks about travelling, and then travels. If that fails he still harbours hopes of being a professional rugby player...