This Christmas was a little different however. For the first time, I woke up knowing that there would be no snow. In fact, I was hoping it’d be warm enough to wear shorts. As I was spending the fall and winter in Europe, I had ventured down to the northeast coast of Africa to a country called Tunisia.
While the stability of the country seemed to be up and down I had checked in before visiting to know that the situation was safe. The only African country I had visited previously was Kenya so I was thrilled to get back onto the continent.
Now, it wasn’t exactly ‘hot’ during my visit but certainly warm enough that I wasn’t bundling up like I would have had I been back in Canada.
This was also my first time in an Arabic speaking country. Not only is the spoken language different but the alphabet is not the same as English so getting around meant patience and focus. That being said, Tunisia was at one time owned by a France so most people also speak French so I could pull on my very basic French vocabulary when in a jam. Failing that, the odd place you could find English speakers that would help you figure things out too.
This photo was taken Christmas morning and I remember it fondly. I couldn’t believe that in December, and Christmas of all days, I was laying in the sand, seeing the waves roll in, soaking up the sun and watching camels walk up and down the beach. Wow.
Although being in a predominantly Muslim country I decided to keep in the spirit of the holiday and wear red and white.
While I most certainly missed my family that day, I’d have to say I would love to experience Christmas abroad again. The things I love about Christmas aside, in Tunisia there were no busy malls, no snowstorms, no stress.
As the weather in the northern hemisphere gets warmer, the Mediterranean is kicking into high season. Beaches will fill up, bed and breakfasts that had closed their shutters for the low season will dust off their doorsteps and the water will heat up, all that’s missing is you to jump into it!
Last year saw me visiting everywhere from Bulgaria and Tunisia to Croatia, Portugal, Spain and Italy. Next up in that region I want to try and get to Malta, one of my last European countries and a place I have heard so many amazing things about.
Where do you think you’d like explore in the Mediterranean? Is Tunisia on your list? Let me know in the comments below. And, if you have a photo like the one above, I’d LOVE to see it.