Christmas is a time for family, eating, drinking and generally being merry; so my first Christmas in Australia with no family and new friends was one of mixed feelings. I had left the UK in August and arrived in Sydney full of excitement; new job was in place and the apartment was all set. The next few months were all about finding the best place to shop and travelling to every beach we could find on the map!
Then strikes Christmas; the lead up to the big day I was bragging to my family and friends back home how warm it was, how I was going to “throw a shrimp on the barbie” for my Christmas day lunch and build sandcastles, but when Christmas Eve arrived a sad cloud seemed to be hovering right above me.
Watching Christmas movies on Christmas Eve is not quite the same when the temperature outside is hot enough to fry an egg and trimming up the apartment just didn’t seem right; I stuck to a small fibre optic tree for my decoration. Being awoken on Christmas day by the sun beaming through the window, now that was a strange feeling, though not altogether a bad one, just very different!
Luckily my parents had sent over a parcel packed full of goodies for me. No matter how old you are, you always need presents to open at Christmas. Now here’s the thing with mailing overseas: the chocolates they sent had been taken out by border control and the lovely ornament they packed had broken. Not sounding too great so far don’t you think!
Beach bag packed, I headed down to Australia’s most famous beach: Bondi. Trying to find a spot for my towel was a hard task, but force in numbers and there was quite a few of us Pomes, and we found a great spot on the Bondi Icebergs side of the beach. I rang my parents and close friends to wish them a Happy Christmas. Even though I woke them up because of the time difference, they didn’t mind. Then I did some serious beach strutting in my Santa hat!
The day was made fun by the great new friends I had with me but to be completely honest it was just like any other day. That evening I had round two of the Happy Christmas phone calls; as they had now woken up in the UK and I spend the rest of the evening chatting with friends, mainly talking about past Christmas’s back home.
So not quite the Christmas I signed up for when leaving for Oz, but it was an experience. The next Christmas I decided that we ought to travel and keep busy, so I booked a car hire and set off on a great journey across the lands, from West to East, that’s another post!
After 4 Christmas in Australia, I decided to move back to the UK. I made the journey home at the start of December and as my plane touched down in Manchester I could see the snow. It was fantastic and ever since that moment I have been a lover of snow over sand! Travelling is brilliant, meeting new people and learning new cultures, but in the end there is no place like home.