For an expat, going home for Christmas can be like speed-dating, everything goes by so fast. Before you even know it, it is already time to leave and when you look back, you are not really sure what happened and you kind of just decide it was "fun."
Flying home to Aruba from the Netherlands feels like the best thing in the world. The biggest different around this time, is definitely the tropical weather in Aruba and the cold ‘depressing’ weather in the Netherlands. Although, I love the overpopulated Christmas markets in the Netherlands, and secretly the cold and Christmas lights in the different streets. I long for Aruba, where at family gatherings I get to eat dishes I have missed so much and being able to refuel energy from the sun.
During Christmas, the Netherlands is at its most beautiful and romantic state and The Hague becomes a
place broken by the sky. The cold, short foggy days are accompanied by jubilant songs like “All I want for Christmas is you,” while during the long, clear nights, the hard beating festival songs follows you down the streets. The darkness is held at bay by hundreds of lights, breaking the city great blackness so close above and a sublime orangey-yellow glow so tightly around you.
Whenever I decide to go back home, I make sure to plan this ahead and book the tickets months before. I am sure I am not the only one, who once they decide to go, your internet history only consists of airline websites or cheaptickets.com. There is no place on earth like being home for Christmas. The main difference I have noticed is that since Aruba is a small island it turns out to be an “island gathering” rather than just spending it at home with family. Everyone, young and old seems to be infected by the wonderment and excitement of this holiday.
As an expat, however, I don’t get the opportunity to really enjoy the atmosphere that much. Because Christmas at home is like a trip home at any other time of the year, but then on a speed button. Everything just happens so fast. From the moment you arrive at the airport it feels like you are chasing a deadline. You sort of plan ahead and think about different activities you would like do and people you have to visit, not counting family. Also keeping in mind a day consists of 24 hours, which to be honest is never enough! Yet, whenever I go I make sure to cherish every second of it.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blogpost are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of Phryme Magazine.