I spent New Year's Eve in a world surrounded by lads who couldn't stop talking about shagging and it was magnificent.
Was I at sex addicts anonymous meeting? That's yet to be revealed.
DD punters, I don't know about you but for me, the past few months have been fuelled by the desperate desire to party in a field with 10,000 people while anticipating a sexy, flirty, spicy NYE kiss.
It actually took over my life to the point where my daydreams were no longer about Covid suddenly ending and getting my fun, renegade barbie 20s back but instead were about all things Rhythm and Alps.
Hours and hours of daydreaming about restriction-free life and being at a festival got me through WFH life last year. I wanted to chat with strangers about random things, wait 10 minutes in a line for the toilet and wonder how much money is left on my wristband – I even went as far as playing drum and bass songs wondering which one would take me into 2022.
Day two of Rhythm and Alps on December 31, 2021. Photo / George Heard
So, when it got to lunchtime on NYE and I still didn't have a ticket for the iconic Rhythm and Alps festival I was extremely close to breaking out in hives.
I mean, can you imagine how embarrassing those daydreams would have been if I didn't end up attending the festival?
I would have had to get botox to prevent the frown lines.
Thank god for the party angels above and my dear friend George because a ticket was secured, the hives retreated, and my daydream was back on track to becoming a reality.
Rhythm and Alps was only a bus ride away.
For all the little legends who are yet to attend the iconic South Island festival, you're in for a treat. It takes place in what feels like the middle of nowhere but is located just outside of Wanaka in this big old paddock – surprisingly sheep-free, surrounded by lots and lots of beautiful scenery (mountains) and it might be my South Island gal bias coming out but it really is the best way to ring in the new year.
You absolutely must put it on your bucket list.
Every partygoer knows the tone for the night is set at pre-drinks and the minute my bestie and I walked into a friend of a friend's place, we were confronted with mountains of empty beer bottles, male musk and 20 guys' eyes on us.
We had found the secret world of lads, aka the place where you will immediately feel like the cute, sexy single main character in your own personal rom-com.
Within minutes of being in the company of the Central Otago lads three things were clear, they were good looking, hilarious and obsessed with variations of the word shag - it was going to be a great New Year.
Stepping into boy world was incredibly refreshing and not just because I was back in my natural habitat of flirting, giggling and hair twirling, but, because there was no mention of Covid, not one single debate about the vaccine, no fear of what the future might hold, only music, good vibes, the overuse of the words "shag" and "shagger" accompanied by too many chats about shagging.
The lads had magically erased any trace of Covid from existence and made the world feel almost normal again, their shagger nicknames and "see you at the bottom" priorities reminded me of what the world was pre-pandemic and it felt like any minute we would wake up from a bad dream and go back to planning trips to Bali and OEs to London.
When we finally made it to Rhythm and Alps, we spent hours chatting with strangers, waiting for what felt like years in toilet lines, spent all our money on our wristbands and ended up a little too preoccupied to tell you what song brought us into 2022 – but it was all worth it.
A night without one mention of this godawful pandemic and everything that comes with it was a night we all needed. We felt young, dumb and free again, unburdened by a virus that majorly changed the course of our 20s.
Starting the year at Rhythm and Alps with a bunch of lads is something I might have taken for granted a couple of years ago but having absolutely no expectations and living in the moment as we started 2022 resulted in finding some much-needed excitement for a Covid-free future.