Sunday, March 17, 2024

Chill Birthday Vibes

Happy Birthday to me! for the past 14 years I have been celebrating my birthday in different countries but this year I am staying put. The initial plan had actually been to take a big trip during my birthday but circumstances had me postponing the trip to April so watch this space for an epic post birthday trip. In the meantime, take a walk down memory lane with me as I share my birthday adventures over the years.

2010 - Portugal (first solo trip, I was so scared and I remember trembling on my ride to the hostel from the airport. Who knew that this was the beginning of amazing adventures over the years).

2011 - Israel (had a great time in Jerusalem but Tel Aviv rubbed me off the wrong way. Taxi drivers kept stopping by my side asking for my price, initially I couldn't understand what they meant till it finally dawned on me, yikes!)

2012 - Peru (this trip opened my eyes to what South America had to offer and I wanted to see more. Visiting Machu Picchu was an unforgettable experience).

2013 - Colombia (this trip planted the seed of long term travel through South America, I met several solo female travelers who had been traveling for several months through South America and they inspired me to want to do the same).

2014 - Panama (honestly, Panama wasn't on my radar but it was conveniently located on my way to Colombia to start my long term travel through South America after having quit my job. Venezuela my first choice wasn't safe so I settled for Panama, I still had a good time so no complaints).

2015 - Galapagos (I was living in Ecuador at the time so it made sense to visit Galapagos, I had a good time as usual and when I came back from that trip, my then boyfriend proposed and we got married a few months later).

2016 - Mexico (I stayed with a local family and they showed me such a good time. Had all the delicious Mexican food imaginable, had food poisoning later but that's a story for another day. Mexico City won my heart and I could totally see myself living there.)

2017 - Guatemala (this country was such a pleasant surprise! it exceeded my expectations)

2018 - Cuba (for the longest time I had romanticized this country and was so excited to visit. I met great people that I am still in contact with but seeing the hardships that regular citizens go through, quickly slapped me into reality and got me off the bubble I was in).

2019 - Jordan ( I had read about Jordanian hospitality and got fascinated to learn more about the country. I was warmly received and met good people along the way. Can't forget the sweet taxi driver who took it upon himself to show me around during his free time. We actually became buddies and are still in touch).

2020 - Japan (who can forget this year, went to Japan just as news of the pandemic was spreading. I am so glad that I didn't cancel the trip because it was amazing and I loved Japan. Lockdown started just as my plane landed back in the US).

2021 - Puerto Rico (many countries still had tight rules concerning covid so options were limited, figured it was about time I visited Puerto Rico since I had always wanted to visit and it presented an easier option at the time).

2022 - Lebanon (my fascination with the Middle East led me to this country, such a beautiful country despite the economic hardships being faced by majority of the citizens. Great food too!)

2023 - India (while I appreciate the historic and cultural sites that I visited, this is one country that I wouldn't want to re-visit, I will just leave it at that).

That's it folks! it's been quite a ride and I am grateful for all the experiences that I have had over the years, the good and the bad. I really don't take it for granted and as long as I am able to, I will continue with my adventures. As I mentioned before, watch this space for my next adventure, it's going to be epic! in the meantime, let me enjoy my birthday cake next to my husband as we binge watch movies on Netflix (it's the simple things folks).