Reborn in a tent full of glitter.

New Years Eve.
A night filled with expectations that are seldom met.

Occasionally, you may attempt to attend an event in the city. It’s December in Victoria, but don’t let that fool you. If you don’t get stuck in torrential rain, hell-bent on destroying the ladies perfectly set hair, you’ll find the dapper gentlemen sweating profusely in their button-up shirts that they’ve forced themselves into for entry into any venue that’ll promise a skerrick of class for the evening. Anyone still keen for New Years Eve in Melbourne?

Yes, having no plans on how to bring in the New Year can often turn us into panicked freaks, desperately clutching at straws for ideas. We snap when asked for our evening plans, and if we don’t do something fabulous, we fear the universe will punish us by ensuring the following year is a disaster. Ultimately, we’re all trying desperately to escape the previous New Year’s Eve anyway.

However, having to make a decision based on instinct, combined with the genuine fear that we may end up sitting at home, alone, watching the Sydney fireworks from our television screen, can sometimes result in the best celebratory outcomes.

It seems that everyone else escapes to the beach over the holiday period. Leaving the rest of us to develop an eerie sense of ‘What the hell am I doing with my life?’ and ‘Why didn’t I book a trip to India to find myself’?

Last year, amidst all those thoughts and possessing an eagerness to rid myself of everything related to 2015, I did something crazy. I spent New Years Eve in Gippsland. In doing so, I was reset, reborn even, as I woke up on New Years Day in an overheated tent, covered in a whole lot of glitter that possibly contained magic healing powers.

Obviously, I was at a music festival. On reflection, however, I believe my newfound happiness had a lot to do with getting back to nature, in a place so close to where I grew up and had spent my entire childhood exploring.

A strong sense of community radiated throughout the festival – it struck me as we drove into the
dusty temporary tent village pitched under giant eucalypts. The festival was filled with familiar faces from my youth, along with new ones that had escaped the city. Instantly, I knew I was in for the perfect end to a less than perfect year.

Personally, I’m not a camper. Not at all. Yet I found incentives to remain un-showered and eat tuna directly from the can for three days straight. Although the music was my initial motivation for this long weekend of escapism (let’s not forget dressing in a gold Lycra bodysuit and wild feather headpiece too), dancing amidst a tranquil forest clearing, close enough to be my childhood back yard, was a particularly special experience.

Whether it’s a music festival or a camping adventure with your favourite people, Gippslanders, you have the opportunity to pack the car and stumble across a utopian paradise, just as I did. Go and explore. I promise you that no matter how excessively wide your flat screen is, spending New Year’s Eve watching fireworks spew all over the Harbour Bridge won’t even come close.

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