Celebrating Christmas in Ireland

So far, I’ve yet to miss having a Christmas with my family. In 2002 my mother moved back to Irelandwith my siblings (two brothers, one sister) while I stayed on in Australia and for several years I made the long journey back home for some Yuletide turkey and bacon. I did this for years until I too eventually moved back. I'm sure everyone has seen images of an Australian Christmas: trips to the beach, drinking from ice-cold cans, shark attacks. Why would someone give that up to travel 24 hours in cramped airplane seating?

Because Christmas without my family just wouldn't be the same.

And so with many air-miles under my belt and with so many people preparing for the trip home I thought I’d share some handy travelling tips that I’ve learned:

1. Carry a spare t-shirt in your carry-on bag. This will have multiple uses past simply showing everyone what witty slogan you’re happy to have brandished across your chest. It can serve as an eye-mask if you try to sleep under the glaring halogens of an airport, it can act as a pillow if you’re trying to sleep in the cramped plastic of airport chairs and it can...act as a t-shirt. That’s right, you might need a spare one, either because of how you’re going to sweat running from one terminal to another to catch your connecting flight or just because you’ll drop that gelatinous donut on yourself as you nod-off due to jet lag.

2. Bring headphones. Even if you’re not bringing a music player (why would you when everyone has them on their phones, right? *cue fifty angry emails from people who don’t*) you might want to use them on the plane so you’re not stuck using the in-flight headphones that feel like a rabbit rubbing up and down on your ears. Also, if you keep them in while walking around it makes it a lot easier to eavesdrop on people.

3. Charge. No, not like a cavalry. I mean your phone or iPod or iPad. Gone are the days when we all had Nokia phones that’d last the amount of time it takes to climb the Himalayas. Instead we are increasingly under the dominance of androids and iPhones with their calendars and cameras and music players and email and Facebook and LACK OF BATTERY POWER.

Cough. Sorry.

So every time you see an electrical outlet that you can plug your charger into, plug away my friend. Who knows if there’ll be one on the next leg of your journey. Then how will you share pictures of cats to your cousins and frenemies and people you met at a table quiz five years ago? I ask you.

From everyone at The Gathering Dublin we’d like to wish you the safest of journeys this Christmas and if you’re coming back to Irelandin 2013, why, check out what we’ve got on. Slán abhaile!