I didn’t know what to expect from my first Christmas overseas. I’ve always spent it the way a lot of people do, at home with family, so I was worried that I would feel homesick.
Christmas Eve felt unusual because I was at work during the evening and a lot of the students were going to school the following day. The excitement of Christmas wasn’t really there, and in England I would’ve been completely surrounded by it at that point. It was the first time I explicitly noticed that we were right in the middle of the Christmas period, but in a country that doesn’t celebrate it as a major holiday.
I was expecting to feel the same on Christmas Day, a little bit strange and feeling the distance from home, so I was really surprised to feel so happy and content. Matty and I spent the morning together, and then a bunch of friends came over to ours before we all headed out for a traditional dinner at 4pm. We went for a couple of drinks afterwards and I went home feeling really satisfied.
Having so many people around me made me proud of the life I’ve built here. I feel settled and I think being happy at Christmas made me realise it. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t have loved to spend it with family, but it’s nice to find out through experience that when family aren’t an option, it doesn’t automatically make it an inferior experience.
Now that my first Christmas away from home is over, I’m ready to put my new year’s resolutions in place!