Karin-Marijke Vis and Coen Wubbels Landcruising Adventure are on the road with their yellow Land Cruiser for 12 years now. We asked them, how they celebrate Christmas.
Christmas far away from home
Our Christmas is planned as much as the rest of our journey: not. We are not religious and therefore Christmas has always rather been an occasion of getting together with friends or family rather than celebrating Jesus' birth. For the first three years on our journey we happened to be in the Netherlands. We then started our journey in South America and in the southern hemisphere it's summer in December, so it made more sense to travel during that time than to return to the Netherlands.
We've had all kinds of Christmases: One year we spent it with dozens of overlanders at Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the world (Argentina), a second year we spent it with one overlanding couple in Chile, admiring fireworks from the beach. We spent Christmas with family in Bolivia, camped in Suriname's savanna with friends, and shared a pot luck Christmas dinner with a bunch of travelers in Ecuador.
But let me tell you the story of one Christmas that stood out: We were camped on a beautiful palm-lined beach in Alagoas, northeast Brazil. We had driven into a coconut plantation and thought we had the world to ourselves. On December 24, we had just retired inside the Land Cruiser when we heard a motorbike approaching, honking its horn as it stopped in front of the car. Coen got out and greeted the man.
"Here you go, from your neighbors in that house at the far end," he said. "They wish you a merry Christmas." And he drove off. The plastic bag contained fruits and a bottle with cold champagne, and a lovely Christmas card from total strangers! We sat outside, on the bumper of the Land Cruiser and drank the champagne from our stainless steel cups (as we have no glasses) taking in a moment of perfect beauty and contentment.
We walked up to the house a couple of days later to thank them for that thoughtful gesture. It was the beginning of a special friendship with us spending many hours at their home, and sharing a wonderful New Year's Eve together.
This year? It is very likely that the two of us will be tinkering away on the Land Cruiser as we're remodeling it…