The most wonderful time for a trip

No matter how many miles you’ve clocked up over the years, there’s nothing quite like getting off a plane in a different season than the one you took off in just hours earlier. The welcoming rush of hot air when the cabin doors are opened in warmer climes. That all too familiar cold as you come home from far off places in the middle of winter. We’ve become so used to flying all over the world, we hardly stop and think about the marvel of it anymore.

But the one travel experience that throws us Europeans most is celebrating Christmas in summer. We’re used to carrying Christmas trees through snowy streets. Or even through pouring rain, but we’re definitely not accustomed to sipping cocktails in the sun with Jingle Bells playing in the background. And when we think of a white Christmas, we don’t typically think of white sandy beaches. So when we do find ourselves in the tropics during the holidays, we sometimes need some readjusting. But how easy it is to forget about longstanding Christmas traditions in places like Miami, Cape Town or Bali.

Who needs Christmas trees anyway when you’ve got palm trees? You can still be driving home for Christmas with the top down on the Miami South Beach strip. Especially when your home away from home is the ever so stylish Standard Spa hotel. Decorated with whitewashed walls and sandblasted plywood, the Standard Spa feels like one big beautiful beach house. The rooms either have private verandas, gardens or outdoor bathtubs. And the pool overlooking the Biscayne Bay has yet to meet its match.

Some 12,000 kilometers to the southeast, the unmistakable silhouette of Table Mountain rises tall above Cape Town. There are countless reasons to make your way down to the Mother City, but the exquisite cuisine tops many a list. Start your day with the best breakfast in town at Manna Epicure, have lunch in the wine lands at wonderful Babylonstoren and finish with dinner at the famous Test Kitchen – if you manage to get a reservation, that is. If you’re a foodie, then trust us when we say that all you want for Christmas, is this.

Yet another world away, hidden deep in the Balinese jungle there’s a place that looks nothing like Christmas. But check into the Alila Ubud and any thoughts of crackling fireplaces and Christmas jumpers will instantly vanish into thin tropical air. When was the last time you spent the holidays surrounded by monkeys? Or drinking fresh coconut juice by one of the most spectacular infinity pools on the planet? So go ahead and make this year’s New Year’s resolution to break with tradition next year. The world just has way too much to offer to stick to what you know.

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