Remember how yesterday I tortured you with a story about 21-year old me + a boy + Christmas, and then turned it into a marketing lesson?
Well, with this Christmas drawing near, and no over-sized, bear-like, tattooed boyfriends to buy thoughtful gifts for, I already feel myself tensing up about the whole thing. Not because I'm single, but because holidays are always a weird time for me.
Typically, I give myself the gift of travel, so that way it never feels like I'm missing out. You might be surrounded by family and have a stocking with your name on it, but I'll be surrounded by palm trees and have a mojito with MY name on it.
It's a way of feeling…not so alone.
Like I'm choosing to spend the holidays by myself.
Pathetic rationalization, but a rationalization nonetheless.
Last year was Chile (when I first arrived).
The year before that was Costa Rica.
The year before that was Hawaii.
The year before that was London.
One time, I actually ate Thanksgiving dinner on a plane seated in between two male prostitutes on our way to Panama. That was a fun trip.–
This year, however, I'm faced with a strange situation.
…I actually have somewhere to go.
Since coming to Chile last year at Christmas time (and staying), I've made a family here out of friends. And, as it turns out, one of those friends has Chilean relatives in the far south of Chile. And so, as it seems, I'll be traveling to the far south of Chile this year to spend the holiday with them.
Surrounded by people.
And jingle bells.
And all that stuff that everyone loves.
And you know what?
It's freaking me out.
I'm not even sure why. The pressure, perhaps, of having to have a happy face on, when really all I want to do is be silent? The mental challenge of being eloquent and graceful while communicating in a second language with a bunch of strangers? The fact that I'm breaking my own tradition? A secret stubbornness that makes me want to be alone?
So, of course, I decided that if I was going to do this whole family thing in the south of Chile…then I might as well really take some time to travel the south of Chile.
And then I'll sort of feel all vindicated-like, sneaking in some travel time for myself.–
Whoever said you can't have your cake and eat it, too…LIED.
So first, I'll be heading south to the town of Frutillar, near Puerto Montt, with world-renowned international wedding photographer Kyle Hepp. (This is the same chick I recently went to Paris with, if you recall. She's also being featured in Chris Guillebeau's upcoming book as an unconventional entrepreneur.)
It appears there's a large body of water nearby. I shall pack my fins.
However. It also appears that there isn't much of an internet connection. And you know us online business people–we go a little batty when the nearest wifi signal is…not so near.
And that's when it hit me.
It'll be the perfect time to work on a new program.
And with that, I should probably start hunting down some mistletoe.
If I'm going to be in this family setting, I should at least be prepared for a good looking cousin. Of course, Chileans probably don't have that tradition, so the moment he notices some slutty little gringa trying to dangle an obnoxiously large, smelly leaf above his head while pouting her lips and moving closer, he will most likely run out of the room screaming shit I don't understand.
But somehow, still probably beats Thanksgiving with male prostitutes.
Win some, lose some.
You know how it is.