Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere – a first for me – and admittedly I find myself confused by the sounds of Christmas tunes blaring from the radio as I stroll through busy high streets wearing my jandals – also known as the common flip flop. The warm sun stroking my limbs as I pass underneath the canopies of the native New Zealand trees in search of shade. Scarves, gloves and socks have been banished and replaced with shades, sun hats and sun screen. Families and friends gather on beaches, in their gardens and front yards. The sun sets well past 09.30pm and the mornings are filled with warmth and clear blue skies. The sun rays roll over the vineyards, caressing the grapes and paving the way for the liquid gold that they will become. These experiences this year have reminded me more of my childhood summers than of my Christmases of the past and with that I have explored the unknown territories that lay before me on this trip like an adventuress in my childhood dreams. I soared the skies at Coronet Peak like an eagle, watched the sun set over lake Wakatipu, walked the black sandy beach of the west coast, dipping my toes in the Tasman Sea and strolled through the streets of cities I had only imagined in my wildest dreams. As I wander this planet and look forward to the next adventures that lie ahead in 2018, Christmas down under will always have a special place in my heart.