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December 14, 2013

Holidays and Travel Tales

In a few short hours, I will be headed to the airport to catch a flight headed to Turkey. This is the third time I will be flying on my own, and the first that I am actually excited for the travel. I will get on the plane with the knowledge that in 12 or so hours, I will grab my luggage, and walk through a set of doors into the arms of my family. Though the four months I have been away flew by, I miss them, and it is going to be so wonderful to see them again.

I am hoping that I will get to have a white Christmas this year. The last time I lived in a country with snow was seven years ago, in Romania. I remember that there was a huge storm on Christmas Eve, and the wind that howled through the compound sounded like trumpeting elephants. Another year, my brother and I were given red and blue wooden sleds—we wanted to go play with them immediately, and eventually we persuaded our parents to pull us around on them, as there were no hills to go down on our own.

Christmas in South Africa was always fun because at the moment, it is summer there. We never had to worry about bad weather, storms, or icy roads. My plane leaves Boston tonight, and I am concerned that the storm that is supposedly coming in tonight will interfere with the take-off. A positive about traveling from a place that can have excessively snowy weather is that people know how to deal with it. Had there been a freak winter storm in Senegal, where the weather never drops below 60 degrees, everybody would be stuck in travel.

Though we have had Christmas in different countries with different weather and traditions, our Christmases have always followed the same formula. When we were little, my brother and I were up at four AM, pacing the floor of my bedroom plotting ways to get my parents out of bed so we could go see what ‘Santa’ brought us. Now that we are older, we sleep a bit later, but we still experience Christmas morning jitters.


Every other year, my grandma from England joins us, and we have had a couple Christmases in Texas. Mostly, our Christmas mornings are shared with family, but for quite a few years now, we have had company for Christmas dinner. This year, my grandma is coming to Turkey, as well as a teacher friend from Senegal, and her brother. It is going to be a full house.

Going home will be great, and I can only wonder what coming back here will be like. Am I going home now? Will I be coming home then? I guess I will have to wait and see.

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