Thursday, December 18, 2014

I (Won't Be) Home for Christmas

When my partner moved here, we decided that it was too expensive to fly both of us back from Africa to spend the holidays with our families. Additionally, with combined family spread all over the US, it likely wouldn’t be the relaxing, snow-filled, memory-maker we imagined. As a signal to the new era of Us, we decided to stay here and explore South Africa as a couple. It will be the trip of a lifetime! We crowed. By September, the tickets were booked.

Now that it is upon us, though, I’m struggling. It just doesn’t feel the same. It’s 95 degrees. I’m dusty. And tired. Although the air gets more humid every day, the rains refuse to fall. My brown garden withers under the protracted heat. The idea of a crisp snowfall and a hearty fireplace feels alien and unattainably awesome. I am slathering on sunscreen and trying very hard not to sweat. We both hope that Capetown is cooler.

But then I remember my favorite quote by Thornton Wilder: “The test of an adventure is that when you're in the middle of it, you say to yourself "Oh now I've got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home. And the sign that something's wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure.”

Upon further reflection, I"m taking my discomfort as a sign that I’m doing something right. In the year of Tropical Christmas, I’m out having lots of adventure - even if feeling a tiny bit homesick. I'm grateful for the change and the discomfort. (That’s not to say there’s no Christmas cheer here at all. Unlike Bob Geldof’s idiotic song, yes they do know it’s Christmas here. With the largest evangelical Christian population in the world, it’s kind of a big deal.)

So, where ever you are this Christmas, remember that adventures happen in all forms. Being uncomfortable is good for you...and Santa will find you, wherever you are.

Here’s to an adventurous 2015!

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