Spending The Holiday Season in the Southern Hemisphere
February 2, 2016|Posted in: Australia
“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…” was definitely not an appropriate song to sing this holiday season.
After leaving Griffith once I’d completed my farm work, I decided to head straight back to Sydney. I wanted/needed the city, the beaches and something more than the one street and 5 shops that rural Australia had offered to me for those 3 months.
I arrived in the city on the 3rd of November and met up with Kim. This made the whole moving to the city much less stressful. I was glad I knew someone there and we both decided that we would at least be staying in Sydney until at least the end of January so we decided to look for a place together.
We managed to find a place in Randwick (in the Eastern suburbs) within a few days and with that a job hunt ensued. I can’t even explain how exhausting it was trying to find a job. I was being a little picky, but even so, I was either too qualified for simple roles or no one gets back to you…ever. 4 weeks passed, and finally I manage to secure a temporary role at a large international company in the CBD. Thank f*ck.
Within weeks, the holiday season was upon us. But, it didn’t feel the same. At home, in December I’d be constantly listening to xmas tunes, singing along to some Michael Buble whilst baking mince pies and catching up with friends over copious drinks and food stuffs. And the Christmas jumpers. I love a good Christmas jumper. But, how can you justify those things when its 36 degrees outside, and you feel like every time you move, you’ll melt.
The week of Christmas saw a lot of people come from Griffith, so it was great to catch up with everyone. The weather leading up that week had been pretty horrendous and I was doubting whether or not Australia would deliver the sunshine. Thankfully, the weather held and we awoke to a beautiful Christmas day.
Kim and I opened our presents in bed with some bucksfizz and we slowly made our way to Coogee beach, our chosen destination for the day. We arrived with ciders in hand and awaited everyone else to get there. Around 12pm the place began to pack out, and space was filling up fast, but the tunes were blasting, sun shining and drinks started flowing. It was a surreal day, but I spent it with some amazing people and it is definitely a day I won’t forget. It really made me think that even though I was nearly 17000km away from home, the people that you are surrounded with make everything so much easier, and they in turn become your family. Even if it is a rather dysfunctional one!
So after a beautiful Christmas day, we decided that we’d celebrate Boxing Day by getting dressed up and going to the races at Randwick Race Course. They do an International Passport holders day so we didn’t have to pay an entry fee. The weather wasn’t so good, but I managed to win $75 on my first bet!
I worked between Christmas and New Year, but on New Year’s Eve I treated myself to a day off. I wanted a lie in so that I could at least be awake for midnight and beyond.
We’d already bought our New Year’s ticket for Luna Park as I knew we didn’t want to camp out for a view of the fireworks. So we relaxed in the day (watched The Walking Dead…ahem) and slowly got ready. We went for casual dress which was nice, and the weather held up once again. We met a few people on the north shore at Clark Park, which had spectacular views of the harbour bridge, and was actually not packed with people! After some pre-drinks, we made our way to Luna Park at around 8ish. It was a nice atmosphere, not busy but the ride queues were very long! We queued for one ride for around 45 minutes… which would have been fine at Thorpe Park, but it was for a ride that lasted all of 5 seconds.
The drinks were a reasonable price and the queues weren’t very long. The view for the fireworks was great, although it’s probably better on the other side of the bridge. However, the night was brilliant and ended in a bit of a rave in the Big Top tent.
We made it home by 4am, and I was up and ready for New Years Day. Not hungover, I was raring to get to the beach. And we’d planed to attend an event at Gordon’s Bay where everyone was going to bring inflatables and just, well, float! It was a great way to spend the day, relaxing in the sea and just chilling out in the sun with everyone. And seeing some of the floatation devices people had purchased was great. From unicorns to actual blow up beds.
So all in all, the holiday season was different. It hasn’t felt like it’s happened, just feels like we had a few mini holidays around Sydney. Did I miss home? Very much so. I miss spending time with my family, being able to cook food and celebrate but this was once in a lifetime experience. And I sure didn’t mind missing out on the cold miserable weather that the UK has to offer.
(Featured image credit to @holliepockets)
Amy is the founder of thewanderlustadventures.com. Currently residing in Reading, UK with a love of adventure travel, writing and photography - she pretty much writes about whatever the hell she wants!