Moving to a new country always comes with unexpected challenges. If you’re from the northern hemisphere, one thing you have to get used to is that Christmas is not white. Never has been, never will be. Everybody knows this, but most people manage to forget it, until it hits them: downunder, the seasons are 180° reversed from everywhere north of the equator.
There’s a downside and an upside to this. The downside is that if you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself going nuts on turkey, ham, roast pud and brandy butter on a perfect 25°C (77°F) summer’s day. And if you think that’s mad, you wait till you see what it’s like in Australia, where it’s even hotter!
That’s pretty much it for the downside: the weather’s nice. Life could be worse. It’s easily adjusted for, as well. Lots of kiwis leave the sweltering formality of turkey-round-the-table for the stuff that New Zealand does best: beaches, barbeques, boats and baches.
Baches? That’s right. Sounds like “batches”. Nobody knows why we call them that. In other countries they’re called cottages or holiday houses. Some people say it’s short for “bachelor pad”. But that’s just silly! Anyway, there are lots of them, and most of their owners make them available to rent, and that’s what a lot of us do. There are tons and tons of really awesome little seaside communities full of them.
So round here, Christmas comes about a week or so after the primary schools break up for summer. That gives us a few days to get our shopping done, prep Santa’s little helpers and ready ourselves for the big day. And then we hit the beach. Recommended!
On a more serious note, remember that if you are thinking of spreading your wings and seeking new horizons, the holiday break affords the perfect opportunity to do so make the momve. First, you’ll have time to get your CV and your visa application ready to rock. Second, lots of companies hire new staff in the new year. So when you come back from vacation you want to hit the ground running. You’ll have a big advantage over those who left it till the last minute.