The Joys and Thrills of Winter Travel
I’m back from my short hiatus and blasting Christmas music as the snow falls outside. It is full on festive celebration time! This is the first time I’ve finished a degree in December and I have to say, it’s much more amazing than finishing in April. It kind of feels like the world is celebrating with you with all the holiday cheer floating around.
Speaking of snow falling, winter has been my favourite season for many years now and still continues to be. Moving around and living in different places in the past three years, I’ve come to believe that you have to be in a place where snow falls readily to fully appreciate the season in all its glory. When the snow falls, everything is transformed, and it is just so magical. The sounds that you hear change, the lighting outside changes, and coming home to a cozy house/apartment is just so comforting. Have you ever noticed how everything around you is silenced or muted when the snow falls? Noticed how the skies glow warm when snow is on its way? You get to wrap yourself in cozy, soft, and warm blankets, and sip that cup of hot chocolate while gushing over photos of polar bears and penguins. (Okay, I may be one of the few that engage in that last activity.) It’s like nature’s way of telling you to slow down and bathe in the warmth that can be found in the little things of life.
Anyways, how does all this winter loving relate to this blog? Well, first off, it’s my (and nakanit’s) blog, so I can talk about whatever I want. Haha. But more seriously, I want to brandish the joys and thrills of winter travel. Living in the northern hemisphere, I know way too many people who just loathe the winter season and even more so winter travel. Most people here fly south to somewhere hot during their Christmas holidays to escape our frigid cold weather. However, I think that if you can get past the coldness, and embrace the season, there is so much joy and fun that can be found in winter travel. So bring along your mitts, tuques, scarves and long johns as I unravel the joys and thrills of winter travel!
A celebration of light
Many cultures around the world combat the short amount of daylight that persists in places where winter prevails by holding festivals of light. This is often also accompanied by some snow/ice sculpture competition or display. These are great events to go out to and spend some quality time with loved ones. They also only happen during the winter season. How can you refuse being surrounded by sparkling lights and natural works of art?
To give you an idea of what I am talking about, in case you somehow have no idea of what I am talking about:
- Snow and Ice Festival in Sapporo, Japan
- Luminaria in Edmonton, Canada
- Nabana no Sato Winter Illumination in Mie, Japan
- Enchant Christmas Light Maze and Market in Vancouver, Canada
- And so many more all around the world…
Christmas festivals and markets
Along the same lines as the light festivals, did you know that many places in the world hold Christmas markets and festivals? That might be a bit more obvious, but do you know about German Christmas markets?? I didn’t until I spent one of my Christmas holidays travelling in Europe. German Christmas markets in Germany are so lively, festive, and delicious. They really bring the joy and festiveness of the season home.
- Winter Wonderland in London, UK
- German Christmas Markets in Germany and Vancouver
I used to be on the fence about the winter season. It wasn’t until I learned how to snowboard that I really began to love and embrace the winter. Now, I both snowboard and ski and couldn’t see myself stopping any time soon. The contrasting serenity and adrenaline rush that I always feel never ceases to draw me back to those slopes time and time again. Those cozy chalets and evenings spent around the fireplace with games and friends have also created some lasting memories for me.
Every time winter is on the horizon, I am thinking of and planning the next ski trip I could take. I’ve snowboarded all over Western Canada, in the French and Swiss Alps, and will now be heading to Japan this winter. Each ski resort and country brings its own charm and unique set up to explore. While Canadian resorts have a rustic, low-key charm, the European resorts are high tech and elegant. Enjoying a winter sport opens up this completely different world for exploration. I look forward to exploring more and more ski destinations around the world. Fall in love with a winter sport and I promise you will never look at winter or winter travel the same way again. 😀
If you’re not exactly the adrenaline-inducing sport type, there is still a wide range of fun outdoor activities for you to participate in that can open up different environments for exploration. Try dog-sledding, snow-shoeing, tobogganing, or cross-country skiing. Engage in a winter activity that will bring you out to play in the snow and enjoy the great outdoors. You will find the joy you had as a child awaiting for the first snow again.
A place covered in greenery is so different from a place covered in snow. A snowy landscape is so beautiful to behold. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I will let the photos do the talking here…
See? You wouldn’t be able to see and experience all of these unique festivals, activities, and scenery if you never travel in the winter. So put on your cozy sweators and embrace this season with me!
I hope everyone is having a good time preparing for/celebrating the holidays! If anyone shares the same sentiments as I on winter travel, please do share. Otherwise, look out for more posts to come on the topic of winter travel as I highlight some of the best parts of the trips I’ve done during this beautiful season.