The lead-up to any holiday is exciting, the lead-up to a trip home when you live overseas is something else entirely.
On one hand, you’re super excited to be heading back into familiar territory, to have the chance to talk properly to people who have known you your whole life and understand your subtle nuances … and just the opportunity, to put it simply… to feel less isolated.
On the other hand, you’re just going home. You’ve been there before – many times. You grew up there. It can hardly be called a holiday, right?
Fasching is big in Europe. You may have also heard of it as ‘Carnival’ and every place seems to have a slightly different name and slightly different traditions going on. Are we chasing away winter, or binging before Easter? I can’t really get a straight answer but what’s clear is that it starts on the 11th of November (at 11 minutes past 11) and continues until midnight on Shrove Tuesday (or pancake Tuesday if you’re like me).
The news that my brother would be suddenly and very surprisingly dropping in to visit for a weekend, quickly led to some distressing thoughts about what on earth we would do while he was with us. Because while an Austrian winter wonderland is a sight to behold, it actually wasn’t that cold, and there was no snow in the valley. The nearby lakes weren’t frozen and the mountains were merely specked with patches of dirty snow.