If you've a travelling gene, every holiday is a chance to get away and Christmas is no exception. Now, if you're living in the UK or northern Europe, it's likely you’ve been waiting all year for that skiing or snowboarding holiday.
But, if you've needed thawing out since October and are dreaming of feeling the sun on your neck, you'll be teasing yourself with trekking somewhere warm - or just going 'random' and rocking up at departures with half-baked plan and a dream…
So, here are 5 reasons why you need travel, not Christmas.
Family time can be anytime
Christmas is the family moment. But why didn't you bother before? Couldn't find the time? Too busy? But now you're happy to saunter off home for a slap-up meal from Mum and six days of boozing, sleeping, wearing Christmas jumpers from your Nan/charity shop and suffering the family photos.
You need the truth
You work hard and do your best to love your job and modern life; but when it comes down to it, you are a mountain goat, a wanderer seeking nature's finest. Be it bounty from the sea (a shell you picked up when snorkelling), prizes and trophies (beer mats and bruises) or the ultimate reward, the discovery of uncharted territories (a beach/ piste/ peak not on the tourist guide), the truth is out there and only travelling will help reveal it.
You don't need presents, you need time.
Time is money, but life is time - and it's finite. I can only wince at uber positivity, but there is only one guaranteed go at this life (if there's another life waiting, great - and it better be on a beach somewhere), so sayings such as 'seize the day' have a real resonance with us wandering folk. There will always be enough time to work crazy hours to pay the bills, but never enough to visit every corner of the world…
The recession can wait
Don't feel guilty about not buying your way - with Christmas presents - out of a recession you didn't create. Your money will go into the travel industry, and into the coffers of firms providing adventure travel in New Zealand or kitesurfing holidays in Egypt, or wherever you choose to book. Look at it this way: You are paying for postage. You are the parcel arriving in a foreign destination. So unpack, check nothing's broken or lost on the way, and then distribute yourself as far and as wide as you can. Collect the stamps in your passport.
Christmas is for losers
Ok, as I don't fancy a fight with the jolly fella and his helpers - or the mother-in-law for that matter - Christmas isn't for losers. But to have never missed one, to have never walked away from the twinking lights, weeks of turkey inspired meals, tatty gifts that you'll quickly re-cycle into birthday presents, and eating yourself from buff into borderline obesity in 12 hrs is absolute proof that you've never lived.
Christmas is magical. But so is toasting your loved ones from your tent door (at 08:15 with the sting of salt still on your skin, fresh from the naked swim you just took in the ocean) with a mini can of beer you 'acquired' from the last hotel's re-supply trolley.
Happy Christmas to all the travellers, adventurers and wanderers living the dream. Me? I'm off home. Bah, humbug!