Spending your birthday by yourself is a chance to focus on your goals and appreciate how far you’ve come
In 3 hours I’ll be 27 years old.
It’s so strange to think about where I thought I’d be by now. When I was a kid, I always imagined that I’d be married with 2 kids by the time I turned 25 years old. I suppose I had based this thought around the nuclear families I’d seen on TV, and the stories I’d heard of my grandparents marrying and having children of their own in their early 20’s.
The times however have changed. Now, it seems somewhat out of the ordinary to learn of anyone I know of or grew up with, as getting married and having babies of their own. In a sense, I still feel like so many people my age are still children themselves. Nonetheless, I feel as if for me 30 is just around the corner, and that there’s a push to start getting my life more in order…in terms of relationships, career, and responsibilities.
Looking back, I’ll consider the year I was 26 as a whirlwind adventure. I experienced what feels like a lifetime of ups and downs in a mere 365 days. I took my first solo trip and lived in Nicaragua for the summer, I became a certified Yoga instructor, I spent 3 weeks travelling through Europe, I made new friends, I spent more time with family, I left my job, I impulsively moved to Australia, I re-evaluated relationships , and most importantly I learned more about myself and how to love myself.
Although I’ll be spending my birthday this year 17,000km away from my friends and family, I look forward to turning 27 and to what this year has in store for me. I feel through this past year’s experiences, I’ve gained more wisdom and clarity to be able to truly decide on what I want in life.
Ageing is inevitable, so why not make the most of this short time we have on Earth?
You can’t put a price on experiences
After I arrived back in Canada from my trip to Nicaragua, within 24 hours of hopping off the plane I received a text message from a friend excitedly asking me if I’d accompany her to Europe. I tried to protest that after a summer-long hiatus from work, my bank account had seen better days, but she (among many others) reminded me that it would be a once in a lifetime experience, and what better time to travel than now — while I’m healthy and in good shape, and before I had started a family.
Besides, the new mantra I’d adapted while obtaining my yoga teacher training certificate was after all Om sri ram jai ram jai jai ram which my guru had loosely translated to “don’t forget, you’re going to die!” and I had interpreted as “live life to the fullest, and don’t have any regrets on your death bed.”
Many others reminded me that I can’t take my money to the grave with me, so why not experience all that you can when the opportunity arises? After much consideration and planning, we took the plunge and decided to book a 3 week trip to Britain, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Vatican City, France and Monaco, commencing in only 45 days.
Surprisingly enough, I had no reservations about booking such an impulsive trip. I had never taken a girls trip and was really curious as to what our time together would be like, since I’d usually only ever travelled with family or my boyfriend. And although my friend did end up becoming homesick a few days into our travels and had to cut the adventures short by catching an early flight home, I didn’t resent her at all for leaving me alone in a foreign country. Although I’d just spent the summer to myself in Nicaragua, most of my time was spent studying and intensely training. Here in Europe, I was free to explore and have my own adventures (and now having the hotel rooms to myself was just an added bonus) !
And of course, had I not come to Europe, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet new friends who had travelled from Australia…which lead to the next chapter in my life of moving to the land down under.