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New Year's Eve Abroad

New Year's Eve AbroadPublished: 07 December 2017

Author: Shilpa Ganatra

If I had it my way, I'd be on holiday every New Year's Eve...and not only because it's my favourite state of being. Being a suburbanite, going out to party for New Year's Eve became a pain early on; the stress of getting back to base loomed in the background all night, especially after one transport-less New Year's Eve in London left a two-hour long walk in my lasting memory, trumping the fireworks or the fun, or whatever it was we did that night.

It was a little later that I had a eureka moment: even if I had a naff New Year's abroad, it would still be a better experience than a good New Year's at home, which would inevitably blend into the other New Year’s I had spent at home.

So I looked into booking a NYE trip. First thing that struck: it wasn't cheap. Being the holiday season, prices were inflated - especially around the States, where limited by the small amount of annual leave, everyone seems to take their holidays en masse. That means a festive season trip needs forethought and investment, but to me it's a worthy spend.

Both times I've been away it's tested my idea of whether a naff New Year's abroad is better. The first was spent in a luxury all-inclusive in Cuba, where my pal and I got into the holiday spirit and befriended a Brazilian lady who was there solo. Good idea at the time; four hours later when the language barrier turned out to be a painful issue, and the quantity of sparkling wine consumed made it even worse, maybe not so much.

The second was in a cute surfing village in Costa Rica called Montezuma. The street party the locals had planned was out in full force - unfortunately this was the exact day that my pal fell ill with a fever and couldn't make it out of bed. I tried to enjoy the atmosphere on my own, well aware that I was Montezuma's equivalent of the Brazilian lady, but here, everyone had better judgement than to alter their group dynamic just before the clock struck twelve. So I went back to the two-star hotel, tried to read but found the room light wasn't bright enough, worked up my resilience enough to go back out and watch everyone else have a good time, then gave up and went to bed for the night.

The thing is they're both nights my pals and I reminisce over today. Spending such premium time and uncovering these weird experiences together are part of what bond us now. And more than anything, they're New Year's Eves that are actually markedly different.
And that, to me, is what holidays are about: the making of memories.

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