Birthdays have always been a bit of a mixed bag for me. It doesn’t bother me that I’m getting chronologically older. In fact, I kind of dig getting older. For most of my life, though, birthdays have mostly not been very enjoyable. Every year I attempt to make it a special occasion.
Some years are much more successful than others.
Since we’ve been on the road, it’s been a bit more of a challenge. I love to have friends around to celebrate with, but being nomadic doesn’t always support that well, obviously.
Two years ago earned its place as one of my more memorable birthdays because it was a rough day which terminated with us spending the night in an emergency room in Australia.
The following year we found ourselves back in Mexico. As we weren’t on Cozumel and had only arrived a short time before, we really didn’t have any local friends. Finally, we connected with another travel blogger and his girlfriend who were living there which helped it be a bit more fun.
This year I had high hopes. As I’ve explained before, France and I share a fondness for celebrating on my birthday. Their Fête nationale (aka Bastille Day) and my birthday fall on the same day. Ever since I discovered this when I was 8 years old, I’ve wanted to celebrate my birthday in France as it would feel like the whole country was celebrating my birthday.
And who doesn’t love fireworks on their birthday?
Well, you know me and my “no regrets” policy. Since we’re in Europe this year, I figured why not fulfill that lifelong dream? So we planned to be in Paris for my birthday this year and to spend some time in another city I’ve wanted to visit for a very long time—Rouen.
As it would happen, some of our online friends from Galbraiths Go Global planned to be in Paris around the same time so we arranged to meet. We hit it off so well in person that we spent 3 days together exploring Paris and Versailles. We’ve become close friends, and I can honestly say that being with them has made this birthday already incredibly special.
Another family who are online friends spend July in Paris every year. We have never met in person, so I’m really looking forward to meeting them. Coincidentally, they are having a Bastille Day potluck dinner with some other writers and expats. Their apartment has a great view of the Eiffel Tower fireworks. So I will get to spend my birthday with some friends and hopefully will make some new ones.
After falling so head over heels in love with Budapest, it was hard to leave there to come to Paris, even though I’ve looked forward to celebrating in France for almost 4 decades. More than a few times I mentioned that if Paris hadn’t already been paid for, we would’ve just stayed in Budapest for my birthday.
I’m so glad I didn’t take that option! This has not only been a very special birthday but an absolutely wonderful time. My dream of being in Paris on my birthday has turned out to be even better than I could’ve imagined.
I am filled with joy, love, and gratitude.
There’s no better birthday present than that.
Do you have a special place you want/wanted to visit to celebrate your birthday? Where is/was it?