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Five places I’d like to visit in December

With the exception of when I was living in Cuernavaca, Mexico, I’ve never actually traveled during the month of December (flying home from Hawaii on December 1 and day trips to nearby places do not count). When I studied abroad in college, it was always during either the spring or summer and my vacations and smaller trips have always happened during the rest of the year. I think some of the reason for this is that I don’t want to have to wait until the very end of the year to go on a trip; however, I know that the five destinations I listed below would probably be extremely magical in December.

-Christmas markets (anywhere in Europe)
I “like” the Visit Bruges page on Facebook and so for the past couple of weeks I have been “teased” with the incredible images of the Christmas market that is now taking place in the city’s Markt. Although I always enjoy visiting new places (i.e. I’d love to go to a Christmas market in Prague or a city in Germany), if someone said, here’s a free plane ticket and accommodations to see Bruges during the holidays, I certainly wouldn’t turn it down. Pittsburgh is featuring its own Christmas market for the second year in a row, but it’s still in infancy I’d say.

Five places I'd like to visit in December


-Taos, New Mexico
This New Mexican town seems to put on the best Christmas festivities. Featuring everything from a street being lit up withΒ luminariasΒ (paper lanterns) and nightly posadas, ceremonial reenactments of Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging, it’s a place I would love to experience firsthand. I’ve also never been to New Mexico before so that would be another added plus.

Five places I'd like to visit in December
http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/best-places-to-spend-christmas/20

-Quebec City, Quebec
I really enjoyed my visit to Montreal this summer; however, Montreal is still an extremely large city. Quebec City is much smaller than it’s province neighbor and also from what I’ve read has a larger and more intimate historic area, (i.e. think cobblestone streets that make one feel as if he has been transported back in time). Although I’m sure the winter cold would be brutal, I’m ready to brave it for the Christmas season.

Five places I'd like to visit in December
http://www.quebecregion.com/en/what-to-do/activities-attractions/ideas/holiday-season

-Somewhere in the Scandinavian region to see the Northern Lights
As a child I adored the American Girl dolls and while I did not get the Kirsten doll until I was an adult, I still had read all of the Swedish doll’s books. As such I’ve always been fascinated by the cultural traditions surrounding St. Lucia Day which is a festival of lights. This holiday is celebrated in Sweden, Norway, and the Swedish speaking parts of Finland in honor of St. Lucia, one of the earliest Christian martyrs. So that paired with seeing the Northern Lights (an occurrence I’ve read is much better to view during the cold, winter months) would be incredible I think.

Five places I'd like to visit in December
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/aurora-borealis-northern-lights-in-residence-photographer-836138

-Bali
Even though winter is still not for a couple of weeks, Pittsburgh has already had some bitter cold temperatures along with snow (yes, snow-one would think we’re in New England or far out west). Although Christmas is always paired with cold weather (open fires) and winter wonderlands, I can’t say that I wouldn’t mind experiencing Christmas one year in blissfully warm weather, complete with trips to outdoor pools and the beach. We’ll see.

Five places I'd like to visit in December
https://travel.virginaustralia.com/destination/bali

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Renuka
    December 2, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Wow! Your Christmas holiday plans sound so exciting and interesting! Would love to join you. πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Julie Tulba
      December 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      Well, in my dreams πŸ™‚ Hopefully one Christmas season I can get one of these places checked off!

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    December 2, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I know people doing 4 out of 5 of those this December πŸ™‚ Just make sure you time a trip to Bali with the holidays and not with the end of the Australian School year when they have schoolies…

    • Reply
      Julie Tulba
      December 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      I’m curious, which of the five is not being done?? Noted about Bali πŸ˜‰ I remember you and another Aussie blogger mentioning that Bali can be horrendous with the spring breakers (I’m guessing that’s synonymous with schoolies lol).

    • Reply
      Rebecca
      December 3, 2013 at 8:36 am

      I don’t know anyone planning on New Mexico this December. Schoolies is the end of the school year so lots of 17 and 18 year olds fresh out of high school – spring break is another issue

    • Reply
      Julie Tulba
      December 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      Interesting about the Aussie English. Here spring break can refer to grade school (beginning years) up until college although “usually” the most outlandish spring break behavior is generally related to the college students.

      That’s so neat though that you know people doing almost all of my December dream destinations πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Laura
    December 2, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Pittsburgh is miserably cold and grey right now! I was in Budapest a couple weeks ago and JUST missed their Christmas market – for some reason they pushed it back to start the last week of November this year πŸ™ I want to see the Northern Lights so badly!

    • Reply
      Julie Tulba
      December 3, 2013 at 2:59 am

      I hope the sun will come out every day and actually stay but no go πŸ™ I hope this is not a sign on how dark and dismal the winter season is going to be!

      So sorry to hear about the Budapest Christmas market. Completely different but the federal government reopened the day we left Oahu, I missed seeing the USS Arizona by that much. The way how things work out sometimes, gah!

      Yes, the Northern Lights looks like one of those phenomenon you need to see to believe πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Jo Ann M.
    December 2, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    I have often thought I would like to go to London to experience a Dickens’ Christmas, but Montreal and Bruges sound great as well!

    Seeing the Northern Lights would be a dream come true!

    • Reply
      Julie Tulba
      December 3, 2013 at 3:01 am

      I hadn’t even thought of Dickens but even going further, Christmas in a quaint English village would seem magical! Christmas anywhere is magical but I do believe there are some destinations in the world where it’s magical times 10.

  • Reply
    Jenn T.
    December 6, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    All of those places sounds great for December. It will be weird for us not being in Boston for the holiday season but Costa Rica has its own traditions that we’re going to try to get into, like making tamales. We’ve already seen some Christmas trees (they actually grow them here- not the kinds we’re used to, but still Christmasy). There’s something to be said about spending the holidays in cold places like Boston or Quebec City though. Nothing like cozying up by the fire with some hot chocolate. Enjoy!

    • Reply
      Julie Tulba
      December 8, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      I’m sure going from Boston to Costa Rica during the winter holidays is quite the change although Christmas tamales sound wonderful too though! But I definitely agree-Christmas is synonymous with cold weather and all the neat activities that come with it!

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