Blogmas day 4 is upon us, and if you’re getting to these posts through my Facebook or Instagram¬†you’re probably getting sick of me spamming your feed every night/morning, depending on whether you’re here in sunny Australia or back home in England. I thought I would care about annoying people with it but I don’t, I needed a way to get back into writing and blogging and this so far has been the perfect way, especially because it’s getting me into the Christmas spirit too. This year I’m spending Christmas thousands of miles away from home, which has made me appreciate everything so much more. So today’s post is dedicated to bringing to light 10 things I’m grateful for this holiday season and hopefully it will make others think about what they have too.

1. Friends
When I first came to Australia I was so worried I wasn’t going to find a good group of people who I’d be really close with, but as soon as I moved into Wake Up and met everyone in room 406 I knew I had been worried over nothing. Even after the original group had gone their separate ways I continued to make friends with the people coming and going, then became part of the family when I became staff. For Christmas we’re going to Coogee beach for a BBQ and a few of us are going to Helen’s for a traditional English roast, so right now I’m grateful that I’ve met such a wonderful group of friends and can create these memories with them.

2. The opportunity to travel
I had been planning on coming to Australia for two years prior to arriving, so to actually be here now still feels surreal. This year I’m grateful to have the chance to travel and spend New Year’s Eve watching the fireworks at the Sydney harbour bridge and opera house, which has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember.

3. Living in Sydney
This follows on nicely from my last point. Sydney is such an expensive city but I’ve been able to live here for the past three months. The city centre feels like home for me now and I love that I live in the heart of the city but can hop on a bus and be at a number of beautiful beaches within 20 minutes.

4. My job
I wouldn’t be able to live in Sydney if it weren’t for my job. I work 16 hours a week at Wake Up for accommodation and thank god I do because otherwise I’d be flat-out broke by now. Accommodation in Sydney over Christmas is expensive if you’re not living in an apartment, so to already have my living arrangements sorted is something I’m so grateful for. Plus this job has led me to meet so many amazing people.

5. Family
Moving away to university made me appreciate my Mum and everything she’s done for me, but moving to the other side of the world has amplified that and I now appreciate my family even more. I’m no longer just an hour’s drive away from my Mum and Dad in Blackpool or a 3 hour drive away from my Gran and Granda in Glasgow, so when I phone or Skype them it makes it all the more special.

6. Social Media/Technology
Nowadays it’s really easy to stay in contact with friends and family because of Facebook, Skype, etc. so I can Skype home on Christmas Day and show my Mum what I’m doing and see the house back home all decorated.

7. The weather
Something I really don’t miss about home is the weather, so as it’s dropping to -4 in Manchester I’m loving the 30 degree heat in Sydney then complain about it being cold when it drops to anything near 22.

8. Moments of peace
Last week Sonia and I took a trip to the Blue Mountains and there were moments where we’d just stand at the lookouts and enjoy the silence and fresh air. These are the moments I really love and I usually have them at the beach too just listening to the waves break on the shore. They make me feel relaxed and this gives me a second to appreciate what I’m doing right at that moment and take it all in.

9. No exams
This is my first Christmas in a decade where I’ve not had to worry about school, college or university assignments and exams. I miss being in education, I love learning and I miss everyone back at UoM, but right now I’m grateful that I have my degree and can enjoy this Christmas without getting stressed about passing exams or writing essays.

10. Having something to look forward to
Before writing this post I had a read through what other bloggers had been grateful for in their posts and this one really stuck with me. I have so much to look forward to right now and a bunch of opportunities that could take my life in a completely different direction. I’ll keep you guys updated on that front after Christmas, but at the moment I’m currently looking forward to Christmas Day on the beach and spending NYE watching the fireworks in good company.

Leave a comment below with what you’re grateful for around the holiday season.