They say that the New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney are some of the best in the world. Fireworks over the Harbour Bridge, shouts of "Happy New Year" and high-fives with strangers; I knew I wanted to experience it, and at the end of 2017, two friends and I finally made it happen.
Unexpectedly, the hours leading up to the spectacle were my favorite part of the day. Starting around noon, we camped out at a vantage point near the water. We laid down blankets and set up our lazy picnic under the afternoon sun, singing along to reggaeton hits from our portable speaker. We chatted with the girls from Bosnia behind us, the Bolivians and Argentines beside us, and the Chinese contingent directly ahead. As the first round of fireworks went off at 9pm, we started an impromptu dance party on the grass, laughing and busting moves with our international neighbors.
When midnight finally struck, the festivities were not what I had expected prior to my trip. There were certainly high-fives and “Happy New Year” wishes, but they came in all different accents and languages, and they were exchanged not between strangers, but between new friends. It was a celebration to remember, and a beautiful way to begin 2018.