Start with a teary eye [Brisbane, 31.12.2019]

This is the first of a couple of upcoming short travel notes from our 1-month-escape to New Zealand as I figured out that I really enjoy writing small notes. Just some real moments. We also took a lot of videos and I hope Bridget will edit an amazing short video from them. We will see. Stay tuned.

We have been up for 30 hours. It is warm and humid. My brain still tries to adjust where we actually are. I look at my phone which displays the local time. 9 pm. We are walking along the south bank in Brisbane to find a good spot to watch the fireworks.

“If our flights are on time and we have enough energy left we will try to leave the airport and have New Years Eve somewhere in Brisbane before catching the flight to Christchurch the next morning.” This has been our plan since we booked the slightly cheaper connection from Munich via Abu Dhabi and Brisbane to Christchurch. The 14 hours layover before our morning flight to Christchurch seemed to suggest exactly that. Getting out of the airport without our bags went pretty smooth although the customs clearance officer looked a bit confused – our luggage will hopefully get checked through as promised.

Every conversation we have this evening is incredibly friendly. We discover the south bank and its night beach pool. Loud music and a lot of short flashy dresses accompany us while we walk along the river still in our travel and hiking clothes. For the fireworks we decide to stay on the north side of the river where there are way less people and no bars or other venues.

There have been fireworks around 8:30 pm that we ran into after our Korean dinner which must have been something like the kid’s show and the longer we wait we are tempted to just collapse into a bed and skip NYE. I guess it was a good spontaneous decision to spoil ourselves with a hostel after midnight if we make it that long. And that we do not drink any alcohol tonight.

And then the fireworks start and we are part of them. Literally. I have never been so close to a major firework yet.

We get lost in smoke and loud sounds and I have many excuses why my eyes burn and tear up. Fireworks always make me cry especially if they are well choreographed and go crazy at the end. You know, crazy, when it seems like they look around at the end of their show and are like “Oh, we totally missed that huge pile of golden string fireworks over there! Let’s just burn them really quick.” And the sky lightens up with loads and loads of golden sparkles.

Brisbane offers an amazing show that evening. We can hear the people from the other side of the river gasping and woohooing. To start the new year with an experience that touches me already so emotionally is perfect. Isn’t that the reason why we are here on this planet? To make experiences, as many as possible?

This topic came back to me a couple of times during the last weeks. At work, in books and documentaries I watched. I guess in the end it is not about traveling or seeing exotic places. I’m searching for experiences that make me feel alive. And that can be also in your everyday encounter at home or around the corner of your city, region, country. 

That’s my resolution for 2020 I guess. To have more truthful experiences. 


  1. What a wonderful memory. I always find it odd that what touches my soul is what takes my breath away…the very thing a living breathing human should be frightened of! What a glorious way to start the New Year! May it be a happy one filled with memories that touch your hearts.

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