The last two weeks have flown by and now it’s just 1 more sleep until we leave!
I enjoyed a lovely Christmas day spent with Jake’s family. We had a delicious roast lamb dinner, mountains of chocolate and lots of delicious beer. Unfortunately Australian television is extremely lacking even on Christmas, so we passed the time playing MarioKart and other games. I managed a quick Skype home to wish a Merry Christmas to most of my family but otherwise relaxed with my surrogate Australian one 😜
Christmas in Australia is pretty odd, and after wondering why for a long time I realised the only real difference between Xmas here and Xmas at home is the weather. It’s been beautiful, hot and sunny here which is of course wonderful. However you just can’t get in the Christmassy mood, despite the abundant Christmas markets, decorations and availability of traditional Christmas treats. You don’t really want mulled wine and a heavy fruit cake when the temperature outside is pushing 32°C… it all feels kinda forced here. Regardless, we had a good time, but it did make me wistful for a Christmas at home in England (I’ve missed two now!).
I worked the three days after Christmas which were pretty nightmarish. Boxing day was surprisingly quiet because people were obviously shopping all day and not eating out. However the 27th and 28th were mad, and my final shift lasted 12 hours and I was so exhausted. Luckily the public holiday rate of $47 an hour got me through! 🙂
Although I found the climate here doesn’t lend towards the most authentic Christmas experience, I wasn’t complaining about how it altered New Years. New Years Eve is generally an outrageously over hyped night that always costs way more than you might expect and is a huge let down. Plus on top of all that, in England it’s miserably cold. You’re expected to stand outside for hours waiting for some fireworks at midnight all while freezing your ass off. Well there’s none of that in Australia. Imagine hanging out all night in a bar drinking in the barmy heat outside, then walking five minutes for some great fireworks, then rushing back to the bar. No dramas. Jake and I spent New Years with his family, including his sister and niece, and then after leaving them enjoyed some drinks with my old work colleagues. It turned out to be an inexpensive and super fun night. Definitely my second best New Years to date 😆
Since then, Jake and I have been trying our best to see everyone one last time before we leave. Oh and also packing. As far as organising goes, we’re pretty much sorted. We booked Jake’s flight to the UK from Japan, the last major flight we needed to buy, and it only set us back £250. With all the extra payments we’re receiving just before we leave, like our rental deposit, Christmas money and extra paychecks, our total savings have turned out to be a couple of grand more than we expected (which is awesome!). I’ve been researching prices for each country and forecast budgets for each that lead me to believe that money won’t be a problem. But I’d hate to jinx it so I shall say no more! 😅
So all that’s left to do is finish packing up the room and to pack our rucksacks. Our flight to New Zealand leaves at 8:45am tomorrow so tonight we’ll stay over at Jake’s mum’s so we can spend our last night with her. People keep asking us if we’re excited and to be honest it hasn’t really hit us that we’re leaving yet. This is mainly because our first destination is fairly tame – NZ isn’t so different from Australia. If we were headed straight into Myanmar or the Philippines then we’d probably feel different. New Zealand will be a good warm up – a trial run to make sure all our preparations go smoothly.
And just one last thing I’d like to say, once I’m back on the road travelling again, the frequency of posting will definitely increase, to hopefully round two posts a week. So look forward to lots of awesome entries from yours truly!
And for now, farewell Australia! I’m certain I’ll be back one day ☺