imageIt’s easy to forget when you’re living in 30-40 degree heat that Christmas is a-coming and that it’s already nearly November! But I had a huge reminder last week when I spotted the first box of mince pies in the supermarket – needless to say, I squealed with excitement! Anyone who has read this blog for a while will know I absolutely love Christmas – everything about it, from the decorations, to the music, from buying and wrapping presents for people to the alcohol and food, oh god the food. So the fact that I’ll be missing a traditional Christmas at home with my family this year and will be spending it in sunny Australia is pretty strange. This will be the first Christmas I have spent away from my family, and with so many friends booking flights home, you can tell there’s many who can’t cope with the separation over the holiday period. This Christmas, I actually have no idea where I will be, I’m currently organising my regional work and am due to leave and start it over the coming weeks. My three months will take me through to January or February which means I could be spending this Christmas in the outback somewhere in Australia with another family altogether. A strange prospect, but one I am actually quite excited for – I love the idea of experiencing Christmas as others do – it will be another amazing experience to add to my collection.

Christmas while travelling solo can be a scary prospect – it’s that whole being thousands of miles away from all you loved ones, those home comforts, and everything that is traditionally Christmas for us Brits. I’m talking about looking outside and seeing frost on the ground, or at least feeling a chill in the air, about the moment the smell of roast beef wafts up the stairs and draws your out of your bed, when you get to see the smile on your dad’s face as he opens his present, or when everyone starts arguing over what to watch on TV. Or that moment in the mid-afternoon when everyone’s eyes are drooping and someone is snoring in the corner. Christmas is special, there’s no doubt about it, and it can be hard when you have to spend that first Christmas away from everything you know – but it can also give you the freedom and the opportunity to start new traditions, to try something different. I love to push my limits every single day, to take more chances and to try new things because I think each time I do this it grows me as a person. By staying out in Oz over Christmas, I not only save a fortune on flights, but I also get the chance to see how others live and to see if I am capable of creating another little family in time for it to feel like home, or at least a good substitute.imageI’ve already spent Christmas Day on the beach in Mauritius with family eating curry before, so the heat shouldn’t really be a factor, but when it comes to Christmas it does feel strange to have a warm or hot day for it. Let’s be honest, Christmas is never that cold in the UK, but we associate it with wrapping up in scarves and gloves for a brisk Christmas Day walk to let your turkey go down. We love the idea of a snowy and cold Christmas, and every year I know we all pray for it to happen – no matter how old we are. Immersed in the heat and humidity of Darwin, I thought it strange when I was contacted by Igluski to write for them – but ever since then I can’t stop thinking about being cold. It didn’t help when a friend flew to her next destination and left me with a bag of clothes including the comfiest and softest set of sweatpants and a hoodie – I didn’t realise quite how much I miss wearing snuggly things like this until I tried them on – it was like wearing a cloud! I love the sun and the heat, but there’s definitely times I miss being snuggled up in bed with an actual duvet and a mug of hot chocolate – more for the cosiness of it all. I keep fantasising about winter holidays and love the idea of learning to ski or snowboard – I was actually supposed to go on a skiing trip when I was in Sydney but it was going to cut into my money for the east coast so I put it on hold for a while. But it hasn’t stopped me longing to try…

I think my ultimate wintery holiday would best spent one of two ways – either I would head to a ski slope somewhere in Romania or somewhere equally beautiful in Eastern Europe, an area I’m real,y excited to explore, where we would stay in a fabulous ski resort. I’d learn to ski and snowboard, make snow angels and drink hot chocolate in warm clothes, then the nights would be spent drinking wine in a hot tub under the stars – that would be my favourite part. The stars always seem the clearest in colder places and I bet they would be stunning to see. Either before or after the skiing, we could go off exploring the country, visit castles and the countryside nearby – meet the locals and learn about the country. But then there is also the other option – which I would love equally – of going to a festival like Snowbombing and getting the chance to party the weekend away to all my favourite DJs in these stunning surroundings while getting the opportunity to learn to ski and snowboard during the day – a perfect festival/holiday balance. I guess it would all depend on who I ended up going with… I better start planning the guest list! To book your ultimate ski break – click here.

Have you spent Christmas away from your family? Tell me about your experiences. Have you been on a skiing holiday – what is your favourite skiing destination and why?

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This was a collaboration with Igluski.com