Around this time last year I was sitting by the water, sipping into a tropical fruit punch then moments later jumped into a kayak which resulted in sore and tanned arms (I did put on sunscreen!). Its always so much fun, so well worth it. Every weekend is a beach weekend when we’re in Vanuatu, plus the extra days off that my parents get on Christmas and New Years Day too. That is the kind of Christmas I grew up with, its hot but laid back… no need to worry about rushing to the shops to buy last minute presents or beat the queue at the seafood market. This Christmas, I feel shopped and partied-out and only just found some downtime after a crazy few days. Making the most of this downtime by digging up some old photos which I’ve been meaning to blog all year – my last trip to Vanuatu!
I accompanied my younger siblings back to Vanuatu for 8 days last Christmas. I’ve never done such a short trip to Vanuatu during that time of the year as I wanted to get back to Sydney for New Years and celebrate my Grandma’s 80th birthday just days after. It was a great excuse for a relaxing getaway anyway.
We’ve never travelled so close to Christmas Day before and as predicted, the queues and crowds are crazy… so crazy that I didn’t have enough time to claim all my $$ back from Tourist Refund Scheme #asianrage. Lesson learnt.
Below are just snippets from my trip, I think I got carried away with relaxing and didn’t do the best job at documenting my time there… but you get the point ;)… Beaches!
We’ve traveled on Air Vanuatu most of our lives so although it feels outdated now, it always feels ‘homely’ if you get what I mean.
We arrive at Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu and waited to transit to where we live in Santo.
As always, we’re greeted by both our parents at the airport with the largest smile on their faces. As per tradition, they would take us on a drive downtown just so we can see what the town is like since our last visit.
Local market place
The view we get from my parent’s shop front. That tree, they call the Christmas Tree – because it always flowers around Christmas time.
This is our neighbourhood
We haven’t even closed shop yet but Dad has already opened a can of Tsingtao beer.
Locals going home, to the villages for a night long celebration. I love the sunsets in Vanuatu.
Dad is prepping our usual Christmas Eve (or any other special occasion) bbq.
This is why we’re so obsessed with chicken wings, particularly the way my mum marinates it. It always reminds us of our childhood 🙂
Midnight! means time to light some fireworks! So scary, but so much fun (especially when the neighbours get startled at the sounds). Pretty much most of the town gets into it.
When we were growing up, our parents would make us breakfast on Christmas Day. Now, its our turn to spoil our parents on Christmas morning with a hot breakfast.
BEACH TIME!! We’re off to an island resort called Aore Resort which is just a short 10-15min boat ride away.
Kids that live on the island gather around to sing Christmas carols
Christmas buffet lunch complete with glazed ham for $55/head
Don’t get much time with my parents together so I try to make the most of it by capturing some nice family photos.
I love Kayaking!!
Boxing Day breakfast with Dad at Deco stop
Boxing Day lunch at Lope Lope Adventure Lodge – the views are amazing here!!
Heading for lunch at my favourite beach resort – Moyyan – House by the Sea
We also kayaked that day of course 🙂
After the beach, I requested to take a drive to my old primary school and kindergarten. I have not seen that place for over 10 years!
I went to school here from Years 1-3 before I started home schooling.
7AM every morning, I would wait to get picked up by the school bus outside my place and get dropped off where the orange van is.
This is where I went for pre-school and kindergarten, just across the road. It is definitely a lot more colourful than I remember.
This was on my last full day in Vanuatu, it rained like crazy. What I love about Vanuatu is, we still get awesome sunsets even when it rains.
I miss my island home and parents this year, but can’t wait to spend another Christmas there with family in the near future :’)
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