On my 25th birthday, I embarked on a birthday adventure that took me to five different cities in two weeks; kicking off what became an annual birthday tradition — ringing in a new year in a new destination. Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to ring in my birthday in places like Jamaica, Italy, Nepal, and the Galapagos while having life-changing experiences in the process. How do I do it? I make it a priority. Why? Because life is short damnit.

27

Ringing in my 27th birthday in the Galapagos

 

I make sure that these trips are personal vacation time and I spend most of my year saving up for it. I started a Travel Savings account and have money from my paycheques each month go into this account. After spending the past 8 years ringing in my birthday in a new destination, I’ve learned a few lessons along the way.

With that my dear friends, I’ve come up with a few great reasons why YOU should travel for your birthday too! 

 

1. It’s easier to get the time off workbooking vacation

Planning ahead with your boss and colleagues that you have a birthday trip coming up allows others to work around your schedule (and for you to plan your time and projects accordingly). If your boss, colleague, or client gives you a hard time for wanting to go away to celebrate, it’s probably a good wake up call that you’re not working in the right environment (especially if it’s a big milestone like turning 30 or 40). Generally speaking, asking for the time off work is the easy part.

 

2. Experiences are way better than possessions

champagne toast while flying over the Himalayas in Nepal

A sunrise champagne toast while flying over the Himalayas in Nepal

Whether you travel solo, with a loved one, or your best friend, the experiences you will create on your birthday trip will be ones to last a lifetime. If you have a destination in mind you’d like to travel to, let your friends and family know in advance and ask if they would be willing to contribute in any way towards your trip. Most people would be more than happy to support you (and it saves them time having to search for that perfect gift for you). You could ask for gift cards to travel agencies like Flight Centre, or ask people to surprise you with a tour or activity in the destination of your choosing.

 

3. You’ll meet awesome people

galapagos birthday

When you travel, you are leaving your comfort zone and are thus encouraged to be a little bit more social than you normally are at home. All it takes is telling a bartender, tour guide or fellow traveller that it’s your birthday, and you’ve got your first ice breaker. When you first meet people on your travels, the number one question is usually ‘what brings you here?’ and as soon as you say that you’re taking a birthday trip, it immediately opens up the floodgates for a series of other questions (and most likely free drinks or dessert). #yourewelcome

 

4. You’re allowed to be selfish

jamaican birthday sunset

If there’s one day you’re allowed to be a little selfish, it’s your birthday. This is, after all, a day to celebrate your life and the beautiful person that you are, so embrace it! If you want to spend your birthday at the beach, or eating your way through a new city, then you damn well deserve that right. This is the one time of the year that YOU can decide what to eat or what activities to do, and nobody can hold it against you.

 

5. You’ll learn to appreciate new cultures

local meal in ecuador

If there’s one thing worth experiencing, it’s how different cultures celebrate birthdays. By putting yourself in a new situation and celebrating the local way, you’ll have a more authentic experience in-destination and no doubt feel the love around you. It’s amazing how loved a complete stranger can make you feel when they sing happy birthday to you in their language.

birthday cake

Need some more convincing? Feel free to follow my bday adventures on Instagram.