For the climb of your life

Dec 9, 2010

Attending Christmas parties and gift buying has taken on a new dimension for me living on the other side of the world. I am not used to dealing with the freezing cold temperatures in the lead up to the Holiday season. I look like the Michelin Man as I arrive to Holiday parties. Before being able to exchange pleasantries and accept my first glass of wine, I spend ten minutes peeling off all my winter layers.

Gift giving has also taken on a whole new meaning, as I am obsessed with how cold it is (and complaining about it). All my gifts tend to have a "how to stay warm in winter" theme. In turn I enjoy receiving gifts that will make my winter more tolerable. One of the best Christmas gifts I have ever received was during my first Christmas in D.C.. I had only been in the country for a couple of weeks and was ill prepared for the weather. A glorious friend gifted me thermal lined leather gloves, it was true bliss for my frost bitten hands! As good as that gift was, it was not the best Christmas gift I have ever received. That honor lies with a gift I received while living in Sydney.

The lead up to Christmas in Australia is a very different experience to the lead up in Washington D.C.. It is all about the beach, eating fresh seafood and getting glammed up in summer dresses. The weather is beautiful, it is the start of summer and most offices are preparing to shut down for a few weeks for the holidays so the mood in the city is joyful!

On a glorious summer's day as a Christmas gift to all his employees, my former boss took us all on the climb of our lives! No it was not Mount Kilimanjaro or Kosciusko, we climbed up to the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. I thought I knew my city fairly well before the climb but being 134 meters above Sydney's sparkling Harbor put it all into a beautiful and breathtaking new perspective.

So much so that when I think about gifts for my friends and family back home, I am thinking of presenting them with BridgeClimb gift certificates. I figure not only will they get to scale an international icon but experience the rush of the traffic whooshing below them and the absolute thrill of reaching the top of the bridge and having all of Sydney laid out in front of them. Priceless....