Surviving your first Christmas abroad

The run-up to Christmas can be the hardest time to be away from home. The Christmas quiz at your old local, Mum’s turkey feast and repeats of classic films on the TV seem a million miles away. For those facing their first Christmas abroad, we’ve put together a survival guide to help you make the most of the celebrations in your new hometown…


Christmas Parol

In with the new

This by no means requires bidding farewell to the old – it’s just one Christmas spent away, after all. But welcoming in new traditions is a great way to help you feel right at home and develop creature comforts in your adopted city. This could be anything from a Secret Santa with your new group of friends to a new quiz at your new local (we won’t tell, we promise), to embracing the local culture and finding a new favourite traditional delicacy to make your own on Christmas Eve.


Friendsgiving 2.0

Americans don’t have a monopoly when it comes appreciating their friends during holidays. This Christmas, spend your holiday with the family you’ve chosen for yourself in your new city, and use the time to create new traditions.


Give your loved ones back home some face time

Whether you’re using WhatsApp, FaceTime or Skype, getting to see your friends and family (at least on screen) on Christmas Day is a fundamental part of the festivities. Pick a time that suits both sides of the world and slot a video call in your diary – you won’t regret it.


Prioritise the post

To avoid disappointment, check the last guaranteed postal dates in your home city for parcels and letters and ensure your presents are wrapped and packed in good time. This can be earlier than anticipated, so online orders and potential backup plans are never a bad idea.



This might sound like a bit of a misnomer, but one of the best ways to forget your homesickness is to stay on the move. Living in Asia, a world of beauty awaits you on your doorstep – from pristine beaches to historic temples and much more. So, why not book a trip away to somewhere in the region – or even arrange a staycation in your current one.


Make the most of festive events in your city

Christmas is celebrated in varying degrees around the region. Whether it takes the shape of a Christmas market, pantomime, ice skating or the faint sound of Christmas classics playing through shopping mall speakers, festive cheer can be found lurking behind most corners at this time of year.