The Nomads’ Christmas


It’s already Christmas Night here in Athens and many of you are just now rolling out of bed to see what Santa left under the tree. We’ve had a wonderful day, filled with good food, favorite music, twinkling lights, and great conversations. Just like home.

We make ourselves feel at home anywhere with only a few key ingredients: flowers, candles, music, books, and food. Then we add our family and friends – and if we can’t see them in person, we can always email, phone, or Skype.

Our Christmas plans started when we first outlined our RTW back in July. We knew we’d be traveling over the holidays, and decided we wanted to be somewhere chilly but not cold … and in a country that celebrated Christmas. So we chose Greece.

I started looking on the internet for an apartment … and knew it the minute I laid eyes on the little Athens studio. The selling point was that it had a working fireplace – a true rarity in a short-term apartment. Woohoo! Those of you who know James (aka “Pyro”) can confirm that he loves to tend a fire – campfire, fireplace fire, trash fire. You get the picture. There’s nothing that screams Christmas like a fireplace!

James at Fireplace

And although the apartment came complete with firewood, James has been out all week scrounging additional scraps of wood for our Christmas fire. In his opinion you can never have too much firewood. Too bad we haven’t managed to find marshmallows!

Our decorations are super simple. We gathered local greenery, picked up bitter oranges dropped from the trees on our street, and liberated some nandina berries from a vacant lot. Combine these ingredients with candles and a few strings of white lights … and we have Christmas.


We plan to Skype with family and friends later. Right now we’re watching Home Alone on Youtube on the iPad (in 10-minute segments) and eating microwave popcorn. It’s our first popcorn in 3 months – don’t ask what we paid! Not bad for a couple of Nomads!

We wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Peace and Love,



We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at

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