Postcards From Birthdays Abroad

birthdays abroad

For a traveller some of their most memorable moments are from travelling during holidays, like spending birthdays abroad.  I always seem to travel abroad in the spring which certainly doesn’t coincide with my November birthday but two years ago I took a road trip with my best friend to the Georgia Aquarium for my birthday which was an adventure in and of itself.  More recently, last year I decided that I’d take My First Solo Trip for my birthday and so headed off to Charlotte, North Carolina.  And like most of my birthdays it was filled with animals – this time at the Charlotte Nature Museum!  This got me interested in what other travelers had done for their birthdays while one the road and asked for the help of my fellow travel bloggers to create my first collaborative post on postcards From birthdays abroad!

Birthdays Abroad: Travel Bloggers Tell All

Jessica in Spain

Jessica from She Dreams of Travel had an amazing birthday in Spain with a fantastic memento!

When I woke up in my hostel in Spain the morning after my 21st birthday, I was not a pretty sight to see. I had makeup smudged all over eyes, the same dress on from the night before and a new bracelet on my arm that I vaguely remembered getting from some Spanish teenagers as a birthday present. I had my hair in a side ponytail on the very top of my head and of course the mother of all hangovers. The big 2-1 means absolutely nothing in Spain, but when I found out that my summer study abroad program would have me spending my last weekend in the country celebrating my birthday, I was determined to make it something special. I was off to a great start in making it a memorable birthday just by being in Spain, but I was missing something. I wanted a token to remember this birthday by, a little souvenir to commemorate my 21st year of life. That’s when the idea hit me. That night when I went out to celebrate, I wore my favorite dress, but this time I accessorized it differently. Instead of having a bold necklace to adorn my neck, I bought a huge Spanish flag and wore it as a cape. All night I made friends with everyone on the street as they screamed “Viva España!” and even sang happy birthday to me. What made that flag special, however, is that everyone I met that night, even if it were only for a brief moment, was to required to sign my flag.  At the end of the night, my flag was filled with over 50 signatures written in several languages by people from all over the world. That flag hangs in my bedroom now not only as a reminder of an amazing birthday, but also as a token of my love for Spain. Thank god my friends didn’t let me lose it!

Adelina Birthday Turtle in Budapest

Adelina from Pack Me To enjoyed an entertaining birthday in Budapest in costume!

My birthday falls on Halloween, which in North America, calls for costumes, parties, lots of candy and trick or treating for the little ones. However, in Europe, where I was for the past couple years, Halloween is pretty much a non-event. It is growing in popularity, but mostly because of the influence of North American pop culture. In 2011, I was living in Budapest and together with a flatmate, who had a birthday a couple days prior to mine, we decided to hold a combined birthday and Halloween party. My flatmates and I decided to do a group costume and came up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I don’t know how the idea came to be, or why, but it seemed like a good idea at the time so why not? We made our own turtle shells with painted cardboard boxes and cut our own weapons. Michelangelo even had a cut of a slice of pizza from a box! We tore up pieces of cloth for our bandanas. High tech costumes, these were not, but we sure had a lot of fun putting them together. Budapest is famous for its ruin bars and we did a mini ruin bar crawl. In our group we had everything from Edward Scissorhands to a human dart board to a hazard clean-up crew. Everywhere we went, hilarity followed us. Nothing can go wrong when a bunch of people get dressed up in random costumes. Needless to say, my birthday was a memorable one.


Ashley from A Southern Gypsy had a fanciful birthday in London!

I’ve never been the type to plan anything extravagant for my birthday.  However, with a planned trip to Europe during that time and already knowing I was going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour outside of London, I immediately decided to make sure I planned the extremely exciting, albeit nerdy, tour for my birthday.  If you are even the slightest Harry Potter fan, you’ll know how big of a deal this was.  They did an exceptional job with the sets, displays, and even the audio recorded commentary that was available (and, I usually hate these!).  I even made sure to get a cupcake – that was phenomenal by the way – at their café to celebrate. If you ever find yourself near London, make sure you visit the Warner Bros Studio in Leavesden – it’s definitely not to be missed.

bali birthday

Kate from This Could Lead to Anywhere had a blessed birthday in Bali!

I decided to choose a birthday I had around 3 years ago in Bali. I was living and working out in Australia and decided to save for a really nice holiday in Bali. I spent my birthday in Ubud which is fairly central in the island. Its very green with a lot of lush forest and it has a famous monkey temple. I arrived and was staying in this beautiful hotel with tropical gardens. I had a bedroom, bathroom and private terrace area and my own little gecko friend who came to visit each night! The owners knew from my passport that it was my birthday and I woke up to a fruit basket with a lovely birthday message. I went to the temple complex after breakfast to take some photos of this abandoned site and the monkeys that have pretty much taken over. After exploring for a while I went back into town and gave myself a treat of an Indonesian massage and facial, so indulgent and relaxing! Then I arrived back to my hotel to find a blessing at my door (woven leaves with flowers and rice) and several people who came to give best wishes. That evening ended with a couple of free cocktails next door and great company. The lovely, welcoming strangers made it a great birthday.
My Tan Feet had a surprise birthday in Nicaragua!
I celebrated my 24th birthday in Costa Rica, or so I thought! My boyfriend actually surprised me with a trip to Nicaragua with one of our friends. We got to San Juan del Sur, one of my favorite places in Nicaragua in the evening and spent the night out on the town exploring since it was our friend’s first time there. We ate at one of my favorite pizza places and instead of taking the free drinks offered to me, I graciously gave them to my friend (I don’t drink much anyways). Let’s just say my boyfriend and I had a blast getting our friend drunk on my birthday instead of me! San Juan has a fairly big and crazy party atmosphere so we were bar hopping, having drinks on the beach and hanging out with a bunch of random people. Definitely one of the most fun birthdays I’ve had on the road!
sharon in mexico
Sharon of Where’s Sharon had a moving birthday in Mexico!
I spent my 27th birthday overseas in Mexico. It was very unique. If you are thinking a birthday in Mexico might include a resort or a tequila bar, you couldn’t be more wrong.  I had been sponsoring a girl near the city of Ixmiquilpin for the past couple of years, and I spent the day visiting her, her family and her community. It was an absolutely amazing, moving experience.  The whole village was there to meet me.  On arrival, I received a standing ovation.  It was very humbling.  My loose change had made such a huge difference to the lives of the people in this community.  I never even told them that it was my birthday.  I did not want to change the focus of the day.  It may not have been a very exciting birthday, but it was definitely memorable.

tamara hannah maui balcony

Tamara from We 3 Travel had a birthday in paradise in Hawaii!

Since I turned 40 less than a month after my 10 year wedding anniversary, we decided on a double celebration in Hawaii. This was our first “big trip” with our daughter. We spent two weeks on the Big Island and Maui exploring volcanoes, walking in waterfalls, sightseeing by helicopter, and snorkeling with sea turtles. By the time my birthday rolled around, I was ready for a day of relaxation. Since all I really wanted was to have some time to sunbathe on the beach, we decided it was a good time for my daughter to check out the kids camp. After getting a little too much sun, I indulged in a 90 minute massage at the spa. To top it off, we enjoyed one more sunset by Black Rock before heading to dinner at Capische in the stunning Hotel Wailea. It was truly the perfect day and a memory that I’ll always treasure.

Have you ever spent one of your birthdays abroad? 


I'm a Canadian gal with a passion for wildlife, the great outdoors and travel and hope to inspire others to feel the same way! Travelling mostly solo I love to explore Ontario Gems in my own backyard as well as exotic cities around the world.

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10 Responses

  1. Wow, everyone celebrated their birthdays while traveling so differently. I would absolutely love to go to the Harry Potter Studio Tour for my birthday and massages and cocktails on the beach? Definitely relaxing and a great birthday indulgence. Thanks for including me!

  2. Thanks for including me in this! 🙂

  3. aeparker81 says:

    Some great birthdays and ideas! This is what my husband got for his 40th…
    I am looking forward to mine already and it’s years off!!

  4. Thanks for including me in this! We all had some very memorable birthdays spent abroad. Here’s to hoping we have some more great birthdays on the road! 😀

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