I tend to get a bit sappy every December. I love Christmas and its traditions and when the 31st of December rolls around, I look back and reflect on what the heck has gone on in my life in the past year.
2014 marks the first full calendar year I’ve been living in London. Lots of changes have happened (all exciting and eventful!) and it has been quite the ride as an ex-pat adjusting to British life.
We wanted to end the year with something a bit traditional (or insane depending on how you look at it): seeing the fireworks at the Southbank. Some 100,000 descend onto the River Thames to enjoy the merriment of closing out the year and opening up the next. We wore our party hats, popped some party poppers and drank our packed alcohol into 2015. The mood was light and cheerful. Everyone was dancing and singing along to the music being played counting us down to midnight. (A special shout-out must be made to everyone in the crowd singing along to “Livin’ on a Prayer” – official international party song, I’ve deemed – at top of their lungs.) Once it hit 11:58 pm, the countdown clock appeared ticking down to the seconds. At midnight, the bongs of Big Ben tolled and the fireworks show began. I’ve watched the show on TV but nothing compares to it in real life. The fireworks were amazing; the colors, the way they haphazardly explode yet all form a pattern, and how they explode off the legendary landmarks of the London Eye and Big Ben. We could smell the smoke and burning from the explosions. The show was an absolute joy. Once it ended, we all crossed our hands and sang “Auld Lang Syne” (or at least tried to sing it. Who actually knows all the words?).
With that, 2015 officially began and I was ready to look forward and take charge of the new year ahead. Let’s hope it’s an amazing one! Enjoy it, everyone, and each other.