Every year it’s the same. People asking “what are you doing for New year’s Eve?”. Everyone plan a big party, invite friends and/or family, might get drunk, eat plenty of expensive food and start all over again the next year.
The truth is never did something big on New Year’s Eve. When I was a child, we pretty much did nothing. We had a fancy dinner with my siblings then ended up watching TV or watching the fireworks through the window but that was it. Then I guess I wasn’t a cool teenager enough to be invited to big parties. So I might ended up once doing a small one with 2 or 3 friends and watched movies all night. Fun enough for me!
I’ve never had the feeling I was missing something though. I feel like it’s a day like others and don’t feel the need to do a big party and be wasted on that particular day. I’m fine doing absolutely nothing while the clock goes from 23:59 to 00:00.
Those past two years were different though. Because I was abroad.
New Year’s Eve 2016 – London, UK
For that particular one, I spent 2 days in London with a friend.
On the 31th, as we didn’t plan anything except watching the fireworks, we wandered through London for a few hours. We then ate in a little Londonien restaurant. When our bellies were full, it was time to go to Winter Wonderland. Such a magical place.
We had a ride in the ferris wheel where we had a impressive view of Hyde Park. Around 10 or 11pm, we started walking towards Buckingham Palace. It was absolutely freezing so while waiting, we walked around the palace several times. Work out for the year : done.
Then, it was time for the fireworks. 2017 was there.
Exhausted after our day, we started walking back, trying to find a strategic place so we could take an Uber. It took around 45 minutes to arrive and finally we were back to our Airbnb. Little anecdote: the bed was supposed to be for 2 people, it was actually a single one, yay! So we put the mattress (and our legs!) on the floor and tried to sleep the best we could.
After a not so comfy night, we went to see the annual parade on Trafalgar Square. Characters from books, movies were there. Music, cheers, good atmosphere as well. Without forgetting the british rain. The pouring rain I must say. We were absolutely soaked.
(pictures are really blurry and not good quality at all. This is due of both the weather and a not-so-good phone at the time. You’ll have to go and see the parade by yourself to have a better look.)
Our first lunch of 2017 was really healthy as we ate at a crowdy Mc Donald’s. I can’t remember if we ate sat down on the floor or outside in the rain. But it was epic I must say. Then, it was time to go back to Oxford. I had to drive my hostmum’s car as it was left in London for a few days so it was really practical as we didn’t have to take the bus then.
As we were soaked, my friend took off her shoes and her socks. She then put her socks on the dashboard so they can dry a bit. “Great idea” she thought. Half an hour later, I couldn’t see anything because of the steam on the windscreen so I gently asked my co-pilot to open her window. We were on the highway. One of her sock immediately flew off the car and landed somewhere between Oxford and London.
While I’m writing those lines, the sock remains lost. Please share this article to bring some joy to my friend’s life. Thank you.
New Year’s Eve 2017 – Dublin, Ireland
I was alone in a blue Fiat 500 parked at the airport during the countdown just before 2018. Pretty cool, huh? Let’s rewind.
My friend and I landed in Dublin on the 27th evening. After a good night sleep, we visited the city like tourists.
The following day, we started our roadtrip in the car we hired.
I drove during the whole roadtrip. I had never drove that much in a short time like that. But the feeling was so good. Some music, being with one of my best friend on the irish roads… what else?
I couldn’t asked for a better co-pilot. As I’m always hungry, my friend fed me while I was driving. Always healthy food, of course 😉 !
First stop : Cork
We didn’t plan much on that roadtrip. We just had our Airbnbs booked and while on the road, we stopped whenever and wherever we felt like it.
On the 31st we had plan to go to the Connemara National Park. We couldn’t stop singing the famous song “Les lacs du Connemara” by Michel Sardou on our way over there.
The weather was insane that day. Changing every minute. Rain, sun, clouds, hail, thunderstorm and lightening. We had all of it in an hour I would say. Epic journey on the Irish roads.
We headed back to Dublin, ate in a restaurant and went to the airport to drop off the car. As it was quite late, everything was closed and we couldn’t find where exactly we needed to drop it off. My friend went inside the airport to find someone while I was waiting in the car. Around 20 minutes later, it was 2018 and I was still alone in the car. Fortunately, she found a really kind guy who helped us find the right place.
We spent the night in the airport as our flights were at 6 am. As atypical it was, I think it was my best New Year’s Eve so far.
Now, I want to make a “pact” with myself : spend New Year’s Eve in a different country each time.This way, I make this day special in another way. My way.
The question now is where will I wake up on the 1st January 2019?
“I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.”
With love, Anaïs