29 Days

There are 29 school days between now and Christmas break and all the expats are making travel plans. 29 school days is actually a lot, but if we talk about it often enough maybe it will feel closer. Some of my coworkers booked their flights home as soon as the calendar was finalized in September. Others, such as myself, waited.

Waited for what, you ask? Thanks for asking, but I’m not sure.

My original plan was to travel around Australia and New Zealand because I’m so much closer than I ever would be from just about anywhere else. A little bit of research about a month ago told me that the flights were way more expensive than I’d anticipated. Maybe that would not have been the case had I looked into it earlier, but I didn’t.

Then there was the plan of my parents and brother coming to visit me, but Mum wasn’t exactly keen. I have not provided her with a complimentary description of Malaysia, and while we would travel rather than stay in Seremban, of course, Malaysia is really far away from America’s East Coast. It’s just not worth a 10-day trip because at least 4 days are eaten up by travel.

My sister is working as an au pair in Spain until the end of June and Mum and Dad decided it would be much easier to visit Spain over Christmas. (And Mum likes creature comforts and hygiene more than anyone I’ve ever met, so she probably wouldn’t do terribly well in Malaysia.) The family Bri is working for has given her the whole school break off, too! It’s convenient that my siblings and I, currently in three different countries, have the same school break. After discussion and a look at flight options, I decided that Christmas in Spain was the way to go.

Last night I booked my flights so I’m officially going to Spain with my family for Christmas! I am so excited to see them and spend time with them, but also a little nervous. I think it’s going to be extremely difficult to say goodbye and come back to Seremban, especially considering I wouldn’t call myself happy here.

Ironically enough, I’d been talking about going to Australia for Christmas before I even arrived in Malaysia and it’s summer there now, as it is here all the time. What don’t I have with me? Winter clothes. Back home, three-quarters of my wardrobe was winter things and I have exactly zero of them. I don’t even have a pair of closed-toe shoes! Or a long-sleeved shirt! Everything I left at home is in boxes in Mum and Dad’s basement, so one day Mum and I will go through my things via FaceTime and she’ll pack a bag for me. I’ll do some quick shopping here to obtain warm things to get me through travel and one day because I land about 8 hours earlier than my family.

Never thought that lack of winter clothes would be a problem for this Montreal-born, upstate-New-York-raised girl. Goes to show you what I know! Note to self: Next trip around the world, squeeze in a pair of flats and a sweatshirt.

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