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Coming Home For Christmas

This time last year we were gearing up to celebrate Christmas Argentinian style having just landed in Buenos Aires a few weeks prior – the first stop on what we thought would be a year long travel adventure. A lot has happened in that time and now this Christmas we are back home in the UK catching up with our loved ones here and preparing to jump into our freelance writing and social media management careers in the new year with the aim of being able to sustain our travels indefinitely.

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Back Home From Backpacking

It’s been rather strange being back, as would be expected after 12 months of non-stop travel through 13 different countries. Everything was familiar yet we were seeing things differently and behaving like tourists in our home towns where we’d lived for decades. Catching up with people has also felt quite odd at times because if they’ve been following our blog they know all about our escapades of epic hikes, near death experiences and terrible haircuts even though we haven’t seen many for over a year or specifically spoken about it.

The babies in the familyThe babies in the family

It has been quite an intense couple of weeks scooting around London, Nottingham and Yorkshire trying to fit in seeing everyone before the big day and one of us (Sarah) will admit to having a mini breakdown the first week that we were back. But overall we are loving being back in the UK. Meeting our new nephew, who was born whilst we were away, has just been an absolute delight and we’ve been stuffing our faces with cheese, yorkshire puddings and marmite – not all at once we should add! And we can’t wait to get stuck into the turkey and mince pies.

It’s Bloody Cold In England

Naturally the wet, cold and windy weather is terrible and is taking some getting used to, although we have managed to catch quite a few stunning sunsets so it hasn’t been all grey and damp weather wise. We’re not used to being indoors so much and so have been feeling quite cooped up but it’s too cold to be out for long, the radiators have been well and truly calling us! But although it has been a bit of a shock to the system to begin with things are starting to settle down a little now and beginning to feel more like the traditional Christmas we are used too.

Sarah in front of Christmas Tree Nothing like a pub and a pint!

Last year we celebrated Christmas day underneath sunshine and bright blue skies on a roof terrace with a swimming pool and a delicious BBQ, so it couldn’t really be any more different this year. There’s not a bikini or flip flop in sight! Also because we were away last Christmas and have no idea where we will be next year yet we’ve split up, each spending Christmas time with our respective sides of the family which feels really strange, but we have spent a year by each others side pretty much everyday so it’s okay. And we’ll be back together to see the New Year in.

An Unexpected Surprise

Last week we received an unexpected email in which the tenants we rent our house to handed in their 1 month notice to vacate. If you’ve been following our adventures you’ll know that we had made the decision to continue to rent the house out whilst we were back in the UK and were going to just be splitting our time between staying with family and friends. So from mid January we will be moving back into our house for a while.

James and Sarah - All snuggled up warm All snuggled up warm

At first we panicked a bit because being back in our house obviously comes with the added responsibility of paying the mortgage and the bills but after a few quick calculations of essential expenditure against funds we have left we can make it work. The aim of course, after all, is not to save up and set off without needing to work as we did this last year, but rather to build a sustainable business online that we can take with us anywhere in the world.

Family Time After Travelling

The added benefit of being in our own space will help with our creativity and focus whilst building our online business so it’s pretty perfect timing really. But we will of course have the freedom to stay with family and friends for extended periods also which is really important to us because we were so looking forward to spending quality time with our loved ones, rather than just a snatched weekend here and there as it was when we were working the intense location dependent jobs we had prior to quitting them to travel.

Chilling out with their cat after a belly full of cheese Chilling out with our cat after a belly full of cheese

And so between now and the new year we’ll be appreciating Christmas traditions at home, enjoying some winter walks and snuggling up with our families beside the christmas tree with a glass of baileys in hand watching christmas films. We hope you all have a fabulous time over the festivities wherever you are. We’d also like to thank you all so much for all your support on the blog this past year, we genuinely appreciate every read, like and comment from you guys – after all we’d just be writing to ourselves otherwise! Now where’s that mince pie…

Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sarah & James

What are your plans for Christmas this year? Are you home or abroad? Tell us about your family traditions?

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Sunday 25th of December 2016

Merry Christmas guys! Enjoy soaking up all the festive cheer in Blighty, hope you have a great one. What a nice surprise to have your house back for a while too. Andrew and I are excited to see what you get up to in 2017 :)

Sarah McAlister

Wednesday 11th of January 2017

Hi Amy - yeah it's this Saturday we move back in now, exciting times. Be good to have a base while we find some more work. We'll be following your adventures closely too :-) Sx