As Christmas approaches, we don't have visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads. No, we Island Runaways are dreaming of islands, of course! And one island that peaked Zickie's and my interest this time of year? Christmas Island.
(Christmas Island, Photo by DIBP, Flickr)
While we had both heard of Easter Island, Christmas Island was a new one for us. First of all, where's this tropical paradise located? In the Indian Ocean, it turns out. Although this island is a territory of Australia, it's relatively close to Indonesia. On a map you'll see it's not all that far south from Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, only about 303 miles or 488 kilometers.
How, I wondered, did it get the name Christmas Island? Apparently, way back in 1643, the Royal Mary, which was a ship belonging to the East India Company, sailed past this isle on Christmas day. In honor of the holiday, Captain William Mynors christened it Christmas Island.
(Christmas Island license plate, photo by Jerry "Woody," Flickr)
In some ways, photos of Christmas Island remind us of gorgeous tropical vacation paradises featured in Caribbean island travel brochures. But despite its gloriously beautiful beaches, this remote place is not just another pretty rock. This land mass, with a population of just over 2000, is also known for its ubiquitous red crab.
(The famous red crab of Christmas Island, John Tann, Flickr)
In fact, this tropical destination has been called "the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean," due to the incredible diversity of its flora and fauna. Images of the island itself look spectacular. Christmas Island is definitely one spot that has not been ruined by overdevelopment. Perhaps one day we'll all be longing to vacation on Christmas Island, rather than Bali or St. Lucia or Jamaica...
(Little girl on Christmas Island, Calvin Smith, Flickr)
Although at this point in our lives Zickie and I don't have any plans to travel to Christmas Island, you never know what adventures life holds. We certainly enjoyed finding it on a map and sharing some pictures from other photographers with you. I imagine that spending Christmas there in the Indian Ocean, far away from the mainland, would be an intriguingly peaceful experience.
To all our Island Runaways friends who celebrate Christmas, we hope that you're almost ready for this special holiday! Is there an island anywhere in the world that you dream of visiting this time of year? If so, let us know. We love hearing from you, our fellow island lovers, about the island destinations you've experienced...or hope to see one day in the future.