When I set out for my trip around the world, I was searching for new experiences, filled with authentic local flare, far, far away from what I called “home.” But as the holidays set in, the vagabond in me felt something strange, something horrifying, and something that isn’t in my vagabonding blood. I felt…homesick. Where do you spend the holidays when the world is your home and how do you spend Christmas away from home?

Christmas away from home - Scott and Collette

Holidays are a time to spend with family, sitting around a table and chatting about life. Yes, that even includes time with crazy Uncle Lou. Even constant change gluttons can miss the holiday time.

Long-term travel isn’t just a survival of the fittest, but a survival to adapt. So how do you adapt to a holiday season without your family?

1. Rent an AirBnb

Christmas away from home - Baking

Staying at AirBnb’s is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture at a fraction of the cost of a hotel. You’ll have ample space and a proper kitchen to cook if you want some holiday cheer.

2. Host Your Own Holiday

Christmas away from home - Be with Friends

Just because you’re not at home doesn’t mean you can’t host a holiday. Put on your hosting hat and host a night for travelers just as you would at home. The only difference is, you’re in the country of your dreams with new friends.

3. Talk to Local Bars & Restaurants

Christmas away from home - Cooking

Head to your local bar and restaurant and see what everyone is doing for the holiday. Perhaps the restaurant would be interested in hosting you for a holiday with new traveling friends. Vagabonding is a time to be inventive and open to the world, plus if you’re bringing in multiple people to a restaurant, you might even score yourself a free drink or dinner.

4. Make a Hostel Your Holiday Home

Christmas away from home - Local restaurants

Hostels are a great way to meet likeminded vagabonders. If there is anyone that can feel your holiday pain, it’s a fellow traveler. Organize a holiday with your fellow hostel friends. Use the hostel kitchen, cook up something tasty, and pitch in for some holiday wine. Some hostels will even host holidays voluntarily so be on the lookout!

5. Use Technology to Connect

Christmas away from home - Skype with family

Take advantage of traveling in the age of technology by tuning into Christmas dinner via app. Just because you can’t be there to eat their delicious food, doesn’t mean you can’t be there for the heartwarming conversations. You can even ask your brother to pass the mashed potatoes for old time sake.

6. Check Something Off of Your Bucket List

Christmas away from home - Be adventurous

Remember why you set out for this epic journey around the world in the first place. You crave seeing new cultures, meeting new people, and seeing new sites. Book that flight to Machu Picchu or jump off of that mountain and quench your inner adventurer.

7. Do As The Locals Do

Christmas away from home - Do as the locals do

Call your home away from home just that and celebrate like the locals do. Is there a specific food or drink that is enjoyed on that specific holiday? Is there a song and dance performed to rejoice in the specialness of the day? Immerse yourself in the native culture, throw your usual jamboree out the window, and celebrate local style. Maybe it’s not the typical ham dinner, but your inner vagabonder wouldn’t want it any other way.

8. Find an Expat Club

Christmas away from home - Find other expats

Most cities have expat clubs and these clubs organize holiday events. Join your fellow expatriates in a night of celebration with fellow nomads. These clubs are created to keep your home country expats alive and connected on the road. They would welcome a fellow traveler with open arms on the road.

9. Have Friends and Family Join You

Christmas away from home - have friends and family join you

One of the major benefits of traveling around the world is that you’ll visit destinations that are not only on your bucket list, but are on the bucket lists of friends and family. Have Mom & Dad always wanted to visit Bali? Have them meet you there. Does your best friend have extra vacation days she’s dying to use? Meet up on the road and bring home to you!

10. Do Your Thing

Christmas away from home - Do whatever you want to do

Sure, you might be in southeast Asia with no way of finding a turkey, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the spend your christmas away from home like you would any normal holiday. Makeshift your holiday and create it the way your vagabond soul would want. Sub your sweet potatoes with some Pad Thai and you’ll be good to go.

Dear vagabond, remember why you traveled thousands of miles away from home. You wanted a changed of scenery, and that includes holidays as well. It wouldn’t be a trip through self-exploration if it was all American football and turkey, would it? So during this holiday seasons, embrace the unfamiliar and fully immerse yourself in new home.