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How to survive spending Christmas away from home

Kat Trinh

Tue Dec 24 2013


FOR the first time in my life, I will not be with my family and closest friends for Christmas, for New Year’s, or for the entire holiday season at all. And to be honest, I’m scared. By Kat Trinh. 

My parents used to tell me that what you do on the first day of New Year (for us Asians it is Lunar New Year, and it hold the same significance as Christmas) will influence your luck for the whole year, and that is why we always spent that festive moments with our loved ones.

There is nothing that screams “family” better than holidays. There will be Christmas presents, festive decorations everywhere in the house and on the streets, “lucky money” being passed around… and it is always the best excuse to visit and catch up with someone you haven’t met for so long.

It is when you feel all warm and fuzzy just because you are home with everything familiar, it has become a tradition and it is something very important in my heart.

Back to where I am now, I have plenty of persuasive reasons to not be back home for Christmas. The airplane tickets are way too expensive; I will only be in Melbourne for a year so why waste time heading home; I want to experience something different. But even then when I realised nearly all of my friends in Melbourne have been departing one by one back to their home countries, and the friends and family back home have started preparing their plan for the holiday; I can’t help but feeling lonely and homesick.

The vision of spending the holiday alone sobbing while chatting through Skype with family miles and miles away is not pleasing and easy. Not to mention most part-time jobs will require extra shifts on Christmas, so when you reach the house you probably are too exhausted to enjoy anything festive at all.

However, look at the bright side, there are always perks even in the worst situation. As for me, since this is the first time in everything, the excitement of being in something completely new and different is really great. A Christmas where you can go to the beach can only be found in Australia! And the sale, Boxing Day, the decorations in the City… and of course the new people you have just met here are no less than awesome. I guess it only depends on us, how we cope with the loneliness, how we embrace the new experience and all that.

It is true that there is no place like home. But there is no place like where you are right now either. So fellow international students not heading home this holiday season, don’t be sad because you are not alone, and let’s rock it in a way you have never done before!

How do you survive spending Christmas away from home? Share in the comments box below!