Journal: How to Celebrate your Birthday 10,000 miles from home

I’ve never been particularly fond of celebrating my birthday. Maybe it has something to do with the memory of spending my 5th birthday suffering from a nasty bout of chicken pox. Or the time I turned 15 and my ex-boyfriend chose to announce he had a new girlfriend on my birthday.

Needless to say, spending my birthday abroad has never really bothered me. But for many people, the very idea of not being home for their birthday can be daunting. How do you celebrate? Should you just let it slip away unnoticed, promising to make up for it next year?

No, of course not. There are a myriad of ways to celebrate your birthday whilst travelling. You don’t need to throw an elaborate party or have your family and friends by your side to make the most of your day.

Here’s my ultimate guide to celebrating your birthday abroad. Because even if you don’t feel like it, you should always endeavour to commemorate your birthday in some way, shape or form. How else can you justify the wrinkles?

Ultimate Guide to Celebrating your birthday Abroad:

  1. Expect the unexpected

If you’re in an unusual place with unusual people this year, embrace it. Be spontaneous and be open to new ideas. Sometimes the best plans come out of having no plans. A few years ago, I was in Prague on my birthday and somehow ended up seeing the Magic Flute at a Marionette Theatre. Yes, I spent my birthday being entertained by puppets. And no, I have no regrets.

  1. Don’t stay in bed

Don’t stay in bed today. Get up, get busy and get active. Yes, it sucks being away from the people you love on your birthday, but that’s no reason to be gloomy. Go out and do something awesome. Get a tattoo, go skydiving, book a flight to Copenhagen. It doesn’t matter what, just go out and make the most of your day.

  1. DO stay in bed

That being said… If your idea of a perfect day is a Netflix marathon in your pyjamas, then today is the day to do exactly that. There’s no shame in embracing your inner sloth when it’s your birthday…. especially if there’s no possibility of a big family get-together this year.

  1. Let everyone know it’s your birthday

Tell the receptionist at your hotel, the taxi driver, and the waitress who brings your coffee. It’s a little known fact that your chance of scoring free stuff increases exponentially when people know it’s your birthday. The random birthday wishes will also make you feel so good, that you won’t even notice the lack of presents you received this year.

  1. Do something good for someone else today

There’s nothing like paying it forward. Since the likelihood of receiving presents this year is slim, ask any friends and family who might have wanted to give you something to donate to a charity instead.

  1. Calories don’t count on your birthday

Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too. If you’re travelling somewhere exotic, take the chance to sample some delicious local cuisine and desert. A Sachertorte in Austria or a Black Forest Cake in Germany will surely hit the spot. If you don’t want cake, champagne is also acceptable.

  1. Give your mum a call

Even if you’re not feeling homesick, ring your mum. Tell her you love her and thank her for giving birth to you all those years ago. If your lucky she might even tell you the story of her 26 hour labour again… and you’ll remember pretty quickly why you decided to spend your birthday on the other side of the world this year.

  1. Better late than never

Technically you have 365 days to celebrate your birthday before the next one comes round. If it’s literally impossible to make a hurrah on the actual day, pick the next weekend or the one after that. A little party never hurt nobody.

This post is dedicated to my baby sister who turned Nineteen today. Happy birthday Greta ❤


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