Merry Christmas to all of our readers…Its Christmas Day today in Tasmania…

Finally, we were able to take a picture early in the evening of a high-speed train decorated with Christmas light. We’d hope for a nighttime train for a better shot. However, each time we heard a train coming in the dark, we quickly ran outside with the camera only to find that particular train wasn’t decorated. We’re pleased with this photo.

This marks the fifth Christmas since our departure from Minnesota on October 31, 2012. Each one has been unique in its own way, especially when living outside the US. There isn’t any snow. It’s usually warm and has even been hot in some locations. 

The penguin mascot, this gigantic penguin, is decorated for Christmas.

Over these years of world travel its made no sense to decorate a Christmas tree or our vacation home when we’d be required to purchase everything when we’d have to leave it all behind.

Only a few homes in penguin have elaborate Christmas decorations as this festive display.

To our great surprise, we were not disappointed in any of that. Having long ago let go of owning “stuff” we’ve both acquired a perspective of what really matters to us. And, it has nothing to do with owning furnishings, pots and pans, flat screen TVs and Christmas decorations. 

More elaborate Christmas ornaments on a local house.

It has everything to do with embracing our surroundings, learning about varying cultures throughout the world, while taking time to stop to notice the song of a bird, a blooming flower or an expansive ocean view.

We are in awe of this elaborate display in Penguin.

Last night, Christmas Eve in this part of the world, we sat outside on the veranda in the front of the house sipping wine. We discussed how we don’t miss having an elaborately decorated home with twinkling lights, a variety of Santa displays, exquisitely wrapped gifts under the tree and the smell of cookies and other holiday treats baking in the oven.

Wild red flowers, perfect for the holiday season.

All we’re missing is being with people we love. In a mere 154 days, a little more than five months we’ll all be together again. There’s no making up for lost time, but there is such a thing as making new times together. To that end, we eagerly and enthusiastically look forward to our visit to the United States.

Decorated penguin outside a store in town.

As we waved to passersby last night, in cars, yelling out “Merry Christmas” or walking along the sidewalk in front of our vacation home, we were reminded of the warmth and friendliness of people of Penguin, Tasmania and Australia. 

St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in Penguin.

Even the conductor signalled and shouted “Merry Christmas” as the train went by. There are few places we’ve visited over these past four years that have been quite like this. We couldn’t love Penguin more!

Uniting Church in Penguin.

Today, we’ll walk in the neighborhood as we’ve done many days since arriving in Penguin three weeks ago today. During each walk we’ve found something new and interesting, only adding to our joy of spending this precious six weeks in this special little town.

This penguin house has been decorated indoors, making it difficult to take pictures at night through the window. Nonetheless, it was quite an exhibition.

May each of you who celebrate, wherever you may be, have a Merry Christmas filled with companionship, a world of wonders and an abundance of love. 

Another view of above display.  Breathtaking!

Photo from one year ago today, December 25, 2016:

A year ago today our power was out. We went for a walk in Pacific Harbor, Fiji to see this small boat heading down the Qaraniqio River.  For more details, please click here.