The nature of the holiday season always gives me an obsessive cumpolsive urge to travel, since its the time of year when everyone has time off and either goes home or to some sunny destination for Christmas time. I, of course, was resisting the other voice in my head, which said “no, dont travel now, there is so much air traffic, airports are so busy, and bad weather is all over the northern hemisphere that traveling right now would be stupid.” However, the choice was much simpler than that for me, since I am completely broke and have no way of getting anywhere right now, so I stayed put in Vancouver. This has worked out great, since all my friends who have left have vacated their place to me, asking me to house-sit, feed plants or walk dogs and having access to 3 or 4 different refuges has been kind of special. However, I am so overcome by jealousy of everyone elses travels that I’ve spent alot of time traveling through other people’s pictures, reading blogs, and planning my own future travels.
I have been hearing so many horror stories about people’s traveling times over the last few days. Average delay times in JFK New York and Newark airports were reported at above 3 hours, storms all over the east coast have grounded Chicago and Boston bound planes, and worst of all, an attempted Christmas day terrorist attack from a Delta flight east-coast bound from Amsterdam could have ended fatally for hundreds, but miraculously, passengers extinguished the chemical bomb before it detonated.
Traveling any other time of the year somehow seems more efficient and safe, not only for the above reasons but also because of airfares; I could not make it back to Iceland for the holidays since flights were out of my affordability reach, over 110.000kr, about 600 Euros, when Ive paid only 56.000kr for the same flight other times of the year. A friend of mine paid $2,700 US to go from San Francisco to Cape town (its usually around $1500), and others have had to take 3 flight connections just to get from coast to coast when one, 5 hr flight usually suffices.
Going from Iceland to Canada or vice versa always makes me lose a day in transit, and the 8 hr jet lag takes a couple more to recover, so I’m generally too confused to know what day is actually christmas.It has also been nice to not have to do anything in preparation for Christmas; no packing, shopping, wrapping gifts; I have really just been able to enjoy the free time and stay put for once. Despite all these negative reprecussions of travelling, avoiding peak season is a good enough recipe for efficient travel and successfully enjoying the holidays. I can day dream about so many places I want to go and journeys I want to take, but it has been extremeley satisfying to not travel this christmas season. But, don’t get me wrong, I still look very much forward to my next travel experience, beginning Jan 11th, just after this Christmas hustle and bustle finally slows down.