*I know, I am VERY behind on blog posts – I do apologise!*
But in case anyone wondered what it’s like to celebrate Christmas in Australia.. thank you for reading!
I have never been the type of person to ever get homesick, and now even 4 months into my trip, I’ve still never experienced it. Sure, I definitely missed my own bed when I had food poisoning, I miss my pets more than anything, I’d love to give my parents a cuddle and I literally cannot wait to get drunk with my girls, but no part of me is ready to go back to the UK yet.
Before leaving, I knew I wouldn’t miss home too much, but thought that Christmas out of everything, would be the one time I would really miss my life in Surrey. To a degree, I was right, but I was also wrong. Christmas 2016 was one of the most surreal, unique and best Christmases I’ve ever had.
My plans for Christmas changed – big time. I’d packed my backpack up, said goodbye to friends in Perth, had my passport and boarding pass to Melbourne ready to go and it all of a sudden hit me that I did not want to leave. Not one bit.
I now love the challenge of visiting a new part of the world by yourself, arriving in a city ready to explore, meeting new people and seeing amazing things, but personally, I didn’t feel Christmas was the time I wanted to do that. I wanted to be with my family away from my actual family, and that for me, is Shamara.
*Sham, if you’re reading this, you know how I feel about you, but I need to say it again anyway. This girl is the best person I’ve ever met in my life. You are a gift to the world, you are the happiest person alive and you know me now better than I know me. I couldn’t have wished for a better person to celebrate Christmas in Australia with.*
So that’s what I did. I stayed put in Perth, we extended our stay in our amazing apartment and we bought 4 bottles of rosé to start the festive celebrations in 40 degree heat (naturally!) And it was the best decision I could’ve made.
Christmas in Australia is a unique one – and literally the total opposite to everything I’m used to. We both swapped our mulled wine nights in the pub for drinks on the beach, wore bikinis rather than Christmas jumpers, and revelled in the boiling heat instead of freezing in the cold. In the days leading up to the 25th, we saw a nativity play and carol concert in the city centre, both feeling amused that the Australians singing had actually never seen a ‘white christmas’, but still sang all the traditional songs, surrounded by snowflake decorations.
Our Christmas was redefined from the sparkly lights in the damp darkness, to all the decorations glistening in mid day heat, and actually being relived, for once, to feel the coldness of air con. It was all very bizarre.
But for me, it actually heightened the core importance of Christmas and stripped back the elements that I’d previously focused on too much. We didn’t have a Christmas tree, no decorations, we went without the copious amounts of presents, and had only bought small gifts for our families before leaving home. We didn’t spend the hundreds we usually do, fuss over the right food to have, worry if we’d sent every card we needed to – and it was refreshing, different, and nice to exit the comfort zone in quite a big way.
I think Australians are quite rightly seen as being very laid back, and their Christmas certainly reflects that. It’s less ‘hyped’ than it is in the U.K., and arguably not taken quite as seriously. Being in the shops, it is very evident that the money spent in the U.K. isn’t reciprocated in Australia, and everything just seems chilled and laid back. I like it!
On Chritsmas Eve, we headed to South Fremantle and the beach, where there was live music, copious amounts of food stalls and a very chilled, laid back atmosphere, which was just unbelievable. (Bit different to Christmas Eve 2015, where I spent the day being ridiculously hungover and doing my step dad’s last minute wrapping..)
I honestly couldn’t have been happier to be there with Sham on that day – drinking our wine, wearing our Santa hats and my Christmas pudding earrings, appreciating the band’s pretty epic covers and once again displaying our differences; Sham opting for healthy Moroccan food and I chose Dutch pancakes covered in sugar and Nutella…
We then spent the evening watching Christmas films in bed, slightly drunk, blasting Mariah Carey in the shower and feeling on top of the world!
Even at 21 and 23 years of age, we were still both awake by 8am on Christmas morning and feeling very excited to both have things to open from each other (Sham, you little star!) I woke up to a huge red bag, full to the brim of my favourite chocolate, and new perfume – day = made already! Obviously, I’d eaten half of it before even getting out of bed.. lol.
We both enjoyed breakfast and prosecco, being ladies of leisure and watching reality TV all morning, before heading to Cottesloe Beach, donning our Santa hats once again, bringing with us my huge box of shortbread, brie and crackers and a big bag of doritos, plus yet another bottle of rosé to have on the beach. What more would you actually want?
Returning to our apartment, that evening Sham became not just a legend anymore, but my actual hero. She cooked a roast bloody dinner, in a very small kitchen, with absolutely no help from me because I’m useless, and it rivalled a Toby Carvery – not even joking. So to end a pretty special day, we marvelled at the beauty of our dinner, had even more prosecco, watched even more trashy Christmas TV and FaceTimed our families. Everything was perfect.
I had the BEST day ever – we were drunk and deliriously happy. I’d ticked off spending a Christmas Day on the beach from my bucket list, and never felt deprived of anything, because of the company I had in Sham (love you long time, baby g) and hadn’t felt homesick for a second!
Boxing Day was spent eating junk food in bed, watching films, documentaries and Netflix, and only moving to get more snacks.
P E R F E C T I O N
If you fancy it, you should absolutely try out Christmas in Australia. It’s epic.
In the midst of our Christmas celebrations, I’d put New Years to the back of my mind, but as Christmas ended, my reality loomed. Sham and I were due to be separated and I still had no phone.. Looking back now, it’s hilarious to think how overdramatic I was about coming to the city I now call home!
I can’t wait to start sharing posts about my love affair with Sydney. As I write this, I am sat in the city centre, starting my new job in a few days, and feeling the happiest I ever been. Australia is as amazing as I always thought it would be and *cringe* my dreams have come true.
Thank you for reading!