Travel, the best way to start the New Year
November has barely begun. The tops of the trees are already half bare and the roads and paths have swaths of golden leaves swirling over them. Today was the first day that had a real nip in the air, everyone had their coats and gloves on, and it seems like the world has quietly started preparing for the festive months ahead.
Not me. This time of year I start thinking about New Years Eve and what place in the world I want to be in on the first day of 2017. For the past three years I’ve made it my mission to be somewhere new and memorable every NYE, and I intend to keep this new tradition of mine for as long as I can. For me it really adds to the sense of celebration and excitement for all the possibilities for the new year by being in a place I’ve never been before, experiencing something really unique.
Come to think about it, doing this is actually my way of ensuring that I don’t forget what I really want from life. It reminds me, not of my ‘new years’ resolution, but my new life resolution, which I made to myself after my fateful year abroad in 2013. That is; to keep travelling. Keep wandering. To stay free and just GO, and never stop exploring.
Whoa. That was an epiphany moment! Pretty good stuff, eh?
So where have I been so far? Well, for NYE of 2013/14 I was two-thirds of the way through my year abroad and heard about the Hogmany Festival in Scotland. It’s a 3 day celebration starting with a old-worldly Norse-like torchlight procession through Edinburgh and bonfire party and fireworks on NYE Eve. Then NYE itself brings a massive outdoor street party to the heart of the city, with music and dancing (and some costumes!) in the freezing night air, culminating in a fireworks display from Edinbugh Castle itself. If you’re then brave and mad enough, you can join the Dooker Parade before plunging yourself into the freezing Firth of Forth river on NY Day.
It sounded amazing and I made it my mission to get myself there and to have the time of my life, because it was by far the most momentous year of my life so far and I needed to end it on a high.
It was the best. New Years. Ever. All of you, put it on your bucket list, NOW. Its not to be missed.
By the time NYE of 2014/15 had come around, I had already relocated to my new home in London and spent the new year here. Sadly, it was a little underwhelming after the previous years’ success, and because I never got to see the fireworks (it was the first year they decided to start charging for the view). But at least I wasn’t back in Perth having the same old NYE I’ve had for the past 30 years. I was somewhere new, I had achieved a heck of a lot, and it was time to embrace my new hometown and new friends. It was still fun, and still memorable.
By the NYE of 2015/2016 I had really settled in the UK with a permanent job and my own place. My middle sister had come to visit from Australia and so we booked ourselves a girls trip to Paris. Unfortunately the horrible tragedy of the terrorist attacks happened just a couple of months before we went there. So the party in Paris was a bit subdued and there weren’t fireworks, but there was lasers streaming off the top of the Eiffel Tower, and it was a pinch-myself moment to be on The Champs-Elysees watching the countdown displayed on the Arc de Triomphe amongst the crowds of merry-goers. So often I had watched the live telecast on TV of Paris bringing in the new year, and this time I was right there with them!
This brings me to my plans for NYE 2016/17. I’m happy to announce that I’ve just bought tickets and accommodation for AMSTERDAM. Oh yes, it will be cold, but I think it will be beautiful. I’m not aiming for a big party this year, but at least a bit of firework action with a warm cup of hot chocolate. And boy oh boy, if it’s cold enough to snow it would be perfect!
I’m ever on the lookout for new and exciting NYE destinations, so make sure you share if you know of any!