A Solitary But Memorable Christmas in Sydney
A Solitary But Memorable Christmas in Sydney
How I spent a Christmas alone in my first year at Sydney

A Solitary But Memorable Christmas in Sydney

It’s been a few years since I moved to Sydney and I still remember the first Christmas season I spent in the Harbour City.  New to the city, the fleetness of everything was mind- blowing. It still does. The city is not what I remembered it to be. The concrete jungles keep popping up. Only a few places from the past remain unchanged, like a  memento of the time that has gone by. I didn't know many people in Sydney then. With nothing to do the whole  day, I was all by myself. Luckily , a friend of mine gifted me a voucher for a Christmas Day Cruise and I for one wasn’t going to let that go to waste.


Being new to Sydney, the first thing that struck me about the Christmas season was the heat. Like literally! I knew Australia had summer during Christmas but who would have thought it was going to be this humid. The sun was scorching and everyone was venturing out to escape the heat. The beaches were full and people were busy with their barbecues or beers by the beach.


It was also my first time seeing surfing Santas. I was walking by the beach when I chanced upon a bunch of red figures surfing. On a closer look I realised those were people wearing Santa costumes. On the shore, I found another bunch of surf santas chugging down beers. Looking at them I wondered how they managed to surf wearing these suits. 


It was almost time for my cruise. And I started walking towards the wharf from where I was supposed to board.  The entire cruise turned out to be a treat. Being my first time experiencing the cruising and dining experience, I still remember how excited I felt then. The voyage began with the boarding the boat at the wharf. On departure, I strolled the outer decks and felt the wind brushing against my face. With picturesque views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House and reserved tables for all the guests, the whole experience was tastefully relaxing. 


The cruise lasted around three hours amidst which I was served a Christmas banquet and unlimited drinks. Set against the striking background of Sydney Harbour, the whole experience felt like something straight out of a glossy magazine cover. And I took a couple of pictures to remind my future self of the experience.


And eventually my little adventure on board this Christmas Day cruise in Sydney came to an end. I kept walking through the crowded streets filled with people who were still caught up in their Christmas shopping. The last minute prawn-runs or perhaps they are out of beer. Or so I’d like to think. As the day neared the end, the crowds kept getting thicker and the city was illuminated by the Christmas lights. The crowd had all sorts of people. A couple perhaps celebrating their first Christmas together; a family just cherishing their time with each other; and a few of them alone just like me, away from their homes, trying to get through Christmas amidst their personal solitude. 


As I walked past the decorations that lit the way to my cramped apartment, memories of a distant home came flooding — of childhood, and the carefree evenings spent by the fireside with people at home. Perhaps this is nostalgia — the longing for a place you cannot go back to.


It’s been a few years since I moved to Sydney, and now I’ve a home to go back to — a different one — with different people. And yet whenever I see the Christmas lights,  the first thing I remember is my solitary Christmas in Sydney!