We’re on a safari right now. Any married couple knows well the dilemma of who to visit and when for the holidays. And so imagine this: Between Laura and I, our immediate family is spread out across 7 different cities. Planning holidays, we’re beginning to see, will be a logistical nightmare. And so when we agreed to spend Christmas with Laura’s parents last year, we envisioned a snowy Christmas in Boston. But then her parents moved to Rwanda, and somehow South Africa became the obvious meeting point.

As a traveler, I’m lucky to have spent the holidays in some truly incredible places. I’ve celebrated Christmas in five cities in the United States. I’ve broken bread with loved ones on Christmas Day in Bethlehem. I learned the power of community when I spent my first Christmas away from family first in Chile and then the next year in Ecuador. Laura and I celebrated our first Christmas as a married couple on a honeymoon in New Zealand. And today we’re reunited with family we haven’t seen for a while on a stunning safari in South Africa.

The point is this: From New Mexico to New Zealand, the holidays are a magical time of year. The customs are so unique, but one thing remains constant: Love matters. We feel it when we travel from near and far to be with family and loved ones today. Or many a traveler is experiencing the incredible power of community with hostel mates or hosts who were strangers mere hours before. But for one brief moment, the world slows down, and reveals the beauty that exists in its best of moments.

Our community on this blog is growing. And so wherever you are, whoever you are with, we wish you the very happiest of holidays and time spent with good people. Thanks for joining us on this adventure. We’re so damn thankful to have just a couple minutes of your attention each week.

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