Safe travelling and Happy New Year

Merry ChristmasChristmas and the New Year holidays are not without challenges for travellersAs I write, deadly winter weather is bringing deadly ice storms, flooding and tornadoes to the mid-United States and southeast Canada. Almost a million are without power. Flash floods are causing havoc in southwest France, and storms in the UK have also caused casualties and disrupted travel plans. In many countries, people are piling their families into car and driving perilously long distances to celebrate with loved ones.

Christmas baublesRoad travel safety is at its most tested at this time of year, including here in Australia where it’s a hot Christmas season. As much as I love our beachy summer traditions Down Under, I hanker for the white northern hemisphere Christmas. Despite the heat, we will be having a flaming’ pudding on Christmas Day!

Xmas puddingI hope everyone travels safely and has a peaceful, inspired start to 2014. I sometimes wish it was Christmas more than once a year. Not for the garish, soulless consumerism, but for the healing thoughtfulness and compassion this season engenders. Our divided world needs more of it.

Christmas ApplesThank you so much for reading Taste for Travel in 2013. I’ve enjoyed the feedback and your many comments. Thank you also, to Kelly and Tom for their technical support, and to other contributors who have helped shaped the blog this year. I’m really looking forward to sharing more travellers’ tales. I’ll get my skates back on in January with lots of new stories, starting with Los Angeles, Naples and Singapore. Meanwhile, I will unplug. And I hope you will too. Happy New Year!

*Images courtesy of TravMedia. Thank you!

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