This isn’t the first time I spent Christmas away from my family. I lived in Germany for a year and didn’t fly home for Christmas then. The difference with that was the fact I was living with a family, this time I’m riding solo. Some friends I made in Wellington all got together in their flat for Christmas to have a little backpacker party. That always seems like a popular idea for people spending the holidays abroad.
Personally, I’ve never been a big Christmas person or even one to celebrate New Years. There is always this big build up and pressure on making the holidays awesome but it never turns out as awesome as you were planning. I’m not trying to be a Grinch here but that’s the fact. So instead of trying to find so kind of celebration going on, I went on a little adventure.
I decided to leave Wellington and ended up in Nelson on Christmas. Nelson is a beach town at the top of the South Island. It’s a popular place for people to stop by before heading into Abel Tasman Nation Park.
I was staying at Prince Albert Backpackers. It was a really nice hostel. The open courtyard made for a good social atmosphere. Before long I was talking to a bunch of people. For Christmas the hostel organized a little trip to a nearby park/swimming hole. Since it was a gorgeous 25-degree day, it was a great place to spend the afternoon. The guys from the hostel got a game of soccer going pretty much immediately and the rest of us just relaxed in the shade chatting. After the afternoon in the park, it was time to head back to the hostel for the BBQ dinner. Yum!
It was exactly what I was expecting from a Kiwi Christmas. Having the holidays in the middle of summer is a weird feeling. No one really decorates their homes like they do back home and the hot sunny weather is the exact opposite of what I’m accustomed to in Canada. But it was a really fun Christmas. Just because you’re not with family, and in fact with people you had just met a day earlier, doesn’t mean it would be any less fun.
Merry Christmas from Zealand!