9 Wanderlust-Inspired Destinations For Your Birthday Vacation

9 Wanderlust-Inspired Destinations For Your Birthday Vacation

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“Oh, shit. Where are we?!”

“Venice is safe to walk around at 1 AM, right? We got past the Rialto so we are on the right side, I thiiii….OH MY GOD, CANAL. Why don’t they have fences? Or warnings?”

“Can we just sleep here?”

“Oh f’, I have to pee. Do you have a few Euros? Or should I just buy another drink; it is my Birthday vacation after all.”

“No. NO, I DON’T WANT YOUR FREAKING OVERPRICED ROSE! Stop following me. Stop it!”

“Did he just throw a rose at me?! WTF?”

Wakes up the next day at 1 PM, gagging on toothpaste and wondering where I went wrong… P.S. I have never slept in on a vacation. So there I lay sprawled out zombie-style in a fancy boutique hotel in a non-touristy part of Venice hung over and 30. How did this happen?

I did not take turning 30 gracefully.

I mean, sure, it could be all Sex in the City glam if I tried, but I loved my 20’s. And that damn sip of water from the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, Florida for my 29th: worthless.  However, I do appreciate getting older because it means I am alive.

Like many others, I do not like Birthday parties or gifts. However, I am a sucker for a birthday vacation and 30 is HUGE. My husband and I decided to hop on a plane destined for Venice and Florence, Italy. Hating tourist spots, I wanted to see Venice but had low expectations. Yet, you cannot help but to fall in love with the quaint canals, flower-boxed windows, and heck, anything Italy for these two Italian-Americans.  Italy runs deep within our blood.

Are you looking for places to go on your birthday? Check out these wanderlust inspired Birthday vacation destinations from top travel bloggers. The Uncorked Librarian enjoyed Venice, Italy for her birthday. #birthday #Italy #Venice #traveltips #travelbloggers

As we landed, disorientated and tired, we quickly learned that the canals are not like a NYC-grid.

Trying to find our accommodations sober let alone inebriated would have lost us the Amazing Race. Not to mention that 80+-year-old woman who helped us find our hotel, grabbed my bag like the Hulk, and swatted at me like a overprotective grandmother. God, I freaking love this country.

Our hotel warned us that their remote location made it tricky to ever return. “Venice, esss like a fesssh,” reception told us. Well, that fish definitely tasted great—I love Italian cuttlefish—but contained thousands of prickly, misleading bones.

That night to ring in 30, we wandered the canals in search of Prosecco and endless Birthday drinks. Venice is stunning in twilight: alfresco dining, romantic gondola rides, music, and starlit canals. The birthday drinks flowed freely, passed to me by cute, old bartenders donning suspenders. Thirty started to look much better.

Hours later, map in hand, we went geocaching for our beds.

Are you looking for places to go on your birthday? Check out these wanderlust inspired Birthday vacation destinations from top travel bloggers. The Uncorked Librarian enjoyed Venice, Italy for her birthday. #birthday #Italy #Venice #traveltips #travelbloggersTravel tip: The further you get into the heart of Venice, those little streets disappear off the maps, the buildings block the light, and harmless peddlers chuck roses at you after you refuse to buy one. The smaller canals have no barriers, and the steps guide the unsuspecting tipsy traveler right into a sobering bath.

I found a picture on my husband’s phone on the plane ride home from Venice: Me, 30, chucked red rose in mouth, arms up lost in search of our bed. BEST. BIRTHDAY. EVER.

How do you celebrate your big day? Find out these 9 #birthday vacation destinations for the wanderlust-inspired soul. #traveltips #travelaroundtheworld #travelbloggers Click To Tweet

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That birthday week, we also deliriously drank Chianti on a vineyard in Chianti.  We skipped lines to meet David, instead heading to the fortress walls of Lucca.  Did you know that you could ride your bikes, picnic, or steal away for a lovers’ tryst on those very walls?  We held up the Learning Tower of Pisa and shared a gondola ride with a German couple to save a few bucks.  Who needs romance anyway?  Magical.

Which Got Me Thinking…

How do others celebrate their Birthdays?

In search of the perfect Birthday vacation, I asked eight more travel bloggers for places to go for your birthday.  From Tanzania and Peru to India and Disney, here’s how they responded:

Where To Go For Your Birthday From Top Travel Bloggers

Are you looking for destinations of where to go for your birthday? Check out these top travel destinations from your favorite travel bloggers so that you can have the best birthday vacation. #Birthday #BirthdayVacation #TheUncorkedLibrarian #TravelTips #Africa #Bali #Disney #Venice #Philippines #Peru #India #Europe #Tanzania


India For Your 18th Birthday

Submission from Dagney of Cultura Obscura

These days I make it a point to be abroad every year for my birthday. My only rules? (1) It must be a country I have never spent my birthday in and (2) I need to have Chinese food (although I will accept Indian if necessary). Nowadays the ritual keeps me excited about my birthday, but when I was younger, this habit was only just forming – and unintentionally, I should add. Oh, and I hated my birthday. I can’t really tell you why beyond the fact that I loathe being the centre of attention. For an introvert, it’s kind of hell. I’m also just not the biggest fan of cake (blasphemy, I know).

So when I found out our senior class trip–a habitat for humanity excursion to Southern India–would be over my 18th birthday, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I was excited to be returning to India, a place I still held in high regards and missed dearly. I also liked the idea of giving back on my birthday. I was 18 and naive; nowadays, I question whether people who don’t know how to build buildings should be involved in projects like this – I certainly wouldn’t trust a house I built! But on the other hand, all my friends kept threatening to publicly announce it was my birthday – something most people in my class didn’t know.

Are you looking for places to go on your birthday? Check out these wanderlust inspired Birthday vacation destinations from top travel bloggers. This blogger enjoyed India for her birthday. #birthday #India #AsiaTravel #traveltips #travelbloggers

Being back in India was like returning home.

The smells, the colours, the cows on the road. While all my classmates screamed, as our bus flew through the streets at breakneck speed, swerving constantly to avoid other cars, vendors, and various animals, I smiled and bounced along oblivious.

In the end they didn’t announce it – thank you everyone! – and instead, they threw a secret birthday party for me. It did involve waking me up ridiculously early before the ‘work’ day and loudly singing happy birthday as I sat in sheer terror that everyone in adjoining rooms would wake up and join in. My ‘cake’ was comprised of several brownies and two donuts, arranged into the number 18. I didn’t really do anything crazy in India, but I had a genuinely good time with friends. I also got the most confusing birthday present ever: a Miss India barbie doll!

With a love for dark tourism, follow Dagney and her blogging teammate/husband, Jeremy, on Instagram and Twitter.


Bali, Indonesia For Your 24th Birthday Celebration

Submission by Hayley of Backpacking Bookworm

As a January baby with a birth date that falls just 13 days after Christmas, I’ve pretty much exhausted my present list following a good Christmas haul, 95% of which is books and socks. So I like to celebrate my birthday by treating myself/being treated to–more the latter–a little getaway instead (not that you can ever have too many books and socks).

My 24th was no exception. Living 10,000 miles apart from my soon-to-be fiancée, Dom surprised me on my birthday with a very unexpected trip to Bali.  He told me after that it was a toss up between Bali and an online course. That could have been the marriage deal-breaker.

Are you looking for places to go on your birthday? Check out these wanderlust inspired Birthday vacation destinations from top travel bloggers. This blogger enjoyed Bali, Indonesia for her birthday. #birthday #bali #Indonesia #seminyak #traveltips #travelbloggers

Touching down in Bali, we arrived at a beautiful resort in Seminyak, sipping a cocktail and hearing about the hotel perks: free daily cocktail, 4 free massages, afternoon tea – sign me up!

Staff showed us to our room and had been there mere minutes when I heard a knock on the door. Assuming/hoping for a another free drink, I bounded over and was greeted by my parents. Dom had arranged back in January for them to fly out and surprise me, knowing I wouldn’t have seen them for 6 months. Speechless, there was some ugly crying.  My dad (fortunately) forgot to hit record on his phone so missed the whole thing. You had 1 job dad, 1 job.

The rest of the holiday was a dream. Dom and I trekked up Mount Batur at 3am for the incredible sunrise. We visited the rice paddies, waterfalls, local food joints and a coffee plantation–one of my favourite spots. We experienced a traditional Balinese evening of food, music and dance, and watched the sun set every night on the beach. If you haven’t been to Bali, I can’t recommend enough. My advice is to spend money – Bali is cheap so take advantage of this. But you also need to eat at the local warungs, which we didn’t do until our subsequent trips the following year. Once you’ve tasted a local Gado Gado (for less than $1.50), you’ll never look back.

In love with books and world travel–or even some van-life road trips? Follow Hayley on Instagram.


Disney World For Your 27th Birthday Vacation 

Submission from Tori Corran of Tori Leigh

When you think of a milestone birthday in Disney World you probably envision a giddy five year old, dressed in her princess gown, excited for photos with Cinderella’s Castle, not a gleeful 25 year old. Disney has no shortage of magic for our little ones, especially on their special days. But, believe it or not, Disney is also the perfect venue for a milestone adult birthday, especially when your big day falls during Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival like mine does!

Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is an annual event that usually runs from the end of August through the beginning of November. In addition to the eleven country pavilions permanently stationed in Epcot, kiosks from almost thirty other countries are set up throughout the park. Guests can sample food and drinks from around the world.  They can attend cooking demos and wine tasting events at the showcase headquarters, all while enjoying the culture, shopping, and rides Epcot features.

The festival is this wine and travel (and Disney) enthusiast’s dream getaway.  Throw a birthday in there and you’ve got the perfect combination of boozy adventure and ageless magic.

I spent my 23rd, 25th, and 27th birthdays celebrating here, and it hasn’t gotten old. Eat and drink your way through Brazil, Patagonia, China, and elsewhere, all while getting shoutouts by Disney characters and cast members. Drift off to sleep with a glass of Lost Slipper Sauvignon Blanc and wake up to a birthday phone call from Mickey himself. Don your birthday pin.  Enjoy that extra falafel in Morocco’s Marrakesh Restaurant. Or, dare I say it, enjoy that free second glass of wine you were offered because, believe it or not, Disney does, on occasion, give you free things for your birthday

 

Are you looking for places to go on your birthday? Check out these wanderlust inspired Birthday vacation destinations from top travel bloggers. This blogger attends Epcot's Food and Wine Festival in Disney World, Florida. #birthday #Disney #floridavacation #traveltips #travelbloggers

 

Cast members are at liberty to give away what they deem fit to make a guest’s stay extra magical. I am one happy recipient. On my 25th birthday, a pair of cast members approached me to ask if I’d like free VIP seating for my mom and I during Epcot’s Illuminations firework show. Umm, happy birthday to me!

It’s not just free stuff from cast members, though, but the permeating aura of happiness and innocence that can only make getting older feel giddy again.

One evening my mom and I walked into Germany’s candy shop. After noticing my birthday pin (never don’t get the pin, BTW!), a thirty-something year old man drunkenly encouraged the entire store to sing happy birthday to me…in various slurred languages, behind glassy eyes and authentic smiles. Leave it to Disney to turn a drunken escapade into a memorable birthday serenade.

Between the fancy, tiny plates of food, the copious amounts of champagne, and the good old Disney magic, believe me, this is the perfect place for a milestone (or not!) birthday.  I can’t think of anything better except for the fact that my husband just surprised me with a trip to Paris for my 30th. We’re trying to jam pack every museum, wine bar, garden, and cafe into four days all while leaving time to leisurely stroll the Seine while sharing a ham and cheese crepe.  Dare I ask him to venture to Disneyland Paris?

Follow Tori’s love of Disney, book reviews, and adventures of momhood on Instagram and Pinterest.


Abra de Ilog, Philippines For Your 27th Birthday Vacation

Submission from Jana of Jana Soli

Have you ever gone on a trip without expectations and been blown away by the positivity of the experience? Abra de Ilog, located in the Philippines, was exactly that for me. For my Golden Birthday, I turned 27 on 7/27/2017, and because I couldn’t travel that July I saved up for a trip with a good friend in February 2018. That journey took us by pedicab and outrigger to our destination at a sandy beach beneath a giant hillside. A 15-minute stair climb brought us to the beautiful house that was ours for the week.

I’d researched beforehand, so I was open to experiences easily missed with an agenda and cell phone reception. No phones for the week!

What did we do with all our free time, you ask?

Picture mornings on a dreamy balcony, sipping Filipino coffee in awe of the changing colors of sunrise over the South China Sea. If you love coffee and porches like me, this is a dream come true.

Are you looking for places to go on your birthday? Check out these wanderlust inspired Birthday vacation destinations from top travel bloggers. This blogger enjoyed the Philippines for her birthday. #birthday #Philippines #AsiaTravel #traveltips #travelbloggers

When the coffee kicked in we climbed down to Tuko Resort and explored their gardens. Most days we followed a foot path to a village where we became regulars at Undallans Cooksina for their tasty 50 cent hamburgers. We made friends with villagers and sipped beer while they sang karaoke. My friend met a child with a basketball: They had the village children joining into the lively game or cheering from the sidelines.

Each evening we returned to check for sea turtles hatching at Tuko Resort’s turtle restoration site.

Few things cause you to fall in love with ocean life more than witnessing turtles hatch and sprint instinctively towards the waves. Back on our porch, we poured big glasses of boxed wine to celebrate the sunsets. Hilarious conversation and wine refills continued until mosquitos chased us inside for cover.

The week ended and we said goodbye to the incredibly kind locals we’d met before leaving the island. What I loved about this trip was learning how much a pause from technology reconnects you to the present. It also revealed how people enjoy connections and laughter everywhere I’ve been, whether that connection is over beer or an attempt at communicating between different languages, which often ends in shared laughter. Lastly, coffee and wine are best served on a porch overlooking the South China Sea.

You can follow Jana’s beautiful-wanderlust inspired travels on Instagram.


Tanzania For Your 30th Birthday Celebration

Submission from Joannda of A Zest For Travel

I’ve never really been one for big birthday celebrations. At least not in the traditional sense. As it turns out, my husband isn’t a huge fan either, so that tends to work out pretty well for us.

But, we do love going away somewhere for our birthdays – whether it’s just for a night somewhere close to home, or an all-out holiday for a couple of weeks. We’ve celebrated birthdays in Mexico, Mallorca, London, Thailand, New Zealand and more.

For my 30th birthday, I really wanted to tick off my long-standing #1 bucket-list item… And so I it came to be that I woke up that birthday on the shore of Lake Victoria in Africa, and spending the day going on my first ever game drive in the Serengeti in Tanzania! What an experience!!

 

Are you looking for places to go on your birthday? Check out these wanderlust inspired Birthday vacation destinations from top travel bloggers. This blogger visited the Serengeti in Tanzania for her 30th Birthday. #birthday #Africa #Serengeti #Tanzania #traveltips #travelbloggers

 

Driving through the picture-perfect wide open plains, brown and burnt during the midst of the dry-season, we got to see elephants, zebras, lions, giraffes, warthogs, wildebeest, buffalos, hippos, monkeys, gazelles, antelopes, and even a crocodile!

We were incredibly lucky to get to see so much wildlife on that first drive into the Serengeti national park! As cliche as it sounds, it was truly a dream come true.

We set up camp for the night in the middle of the Serengeti, with no barriers between the wild animals and our small dome tents, placed closely together so as to deter lions from entering the camp during the night.

We had a driver, tour guide and cook with us on our group tour. The cook managed to surprise me completely with a home baked lemon cake that evening around the campfire! How she pulled that off in the middle of nowhere I have no idea, but it was an amazing end to an unforgettable day!

We spent a total of three days camping in the wild in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater as part of our tour. We saw baby lion cubs and a Discovery Channel worthy moment of two cheetahs expertly hunting down a gazelle! It was without a doubt one of those moments in life that I will remember forever.

A travel blogger with gorgeous photos, follow Joannda and her zest for travel on Instagram and Twitter.


A Tour Of Europe For Your 35th Birthday Vacation

Submission from Derek Hamel and Carine Liberian of We Did It Our Way

Birthdays are a big deal for us no matter how old we are turning. We like to celebrate even the smallest things, because life is about the little details. The little moments really add up in the end.  So it’s important to take the time to appreciate them all.

However, 2018 was a milestone year for us. That’s the year we re-evaluated everything and hit reset on our lives. We went from the typical grind of working 9-to-5 jobs to having the ultimate freedom while traveling the world. We also celebrated our 35th birthdays on the road. It was truly an epic one for us.

We celebrate birthdays in a big way. We’re not just talking about a one-day celebration. We mean a whole week of festivities!

Are you looking for places to go on your birthday? Check out these wanderlust inspired Birthday vacation destinations from top travel bloggers. These bloggers took a tour of Europe for their 35th Birthday. #birthday #EuropeTravel #traveltips #travelbloggers

So to celebrate Carine’s big 35 this year, we are actually touring Europe; 15 cities in 12 countries, and all in 30 days. That in itself is an awesome gift. To make the week even more special, Carine gets to choose the fun and special activities we get to do. She also gets to pick restaurants and meals.  It’s her birthday week, so she’s the boss!

In Krakow, Carine wanted to go to the Wieliczka salt mines, so we went.  It was awesome! Then, in Budapest, she wanted to go to the famous thermal baths, so that’s what we did. It was so relaxing. And this is only the beginning. She has a few more days until her week is up, so let’s see what else we get up to!

You can follow Derek and Carine’s whirlwind world travel tour and a taste of the desk-free life on Instagram and Pinterest.


 Peru For Your 40th Birthday Vacation

Submission from Mel of Traveling Mel

When I turned 40, my husband gave me a trip to Peru. A friend of mine puts together custom, small-group trips and she had arranged for four of us to explore Cusco, spend nine days trekking through the Andes, and eventually arrive at Machu Picchu.

This was a pretty big deal. Not only was it a huge trip, it was 16 days away from my four- and six-year-old boys. Henry recognized that I needed something for me. It should be adventurous, outdoors, and entail no cooking, cleaning, or taking care of anyone. That’s exactly how this trip unfolded.

On my actual birthday, he handed me the book, “Turn Right at Machu Picchu” by Mark Adams. I was pretty excited about the book, since I had wanted to read it. When it turned out to be a cute stand in for a trip of a lifetime, I was floored.

Looking for places to go on your birthday? Check out these wanderlust inspired Birthday vacation destinations from top travel bloggers. #birthday #traveltips #travelbloggers

The nine-day trek along Incan trails was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. And that’s without carrying my own pack.

We were above 10,000 feet the whole time and were either walking straight up or straight down. I passed impossibly terraced farms gripped to the sides of the mountains and watched Andean condors soar overhead, riding the thermals. We explored an Incan city likely to be as big and elaborate as Machu Picchu once it is fully uncovered. I may have felt magic from the sun god while sitting in an unsu (an elevated platform for worshipping gods). I definitely crossed a 14,000-foot pass while munching coca leaves, and soaked in the most delicious hot spring. Old ladies in sandals carrying multiple bags passed me as I slogged up hills with my trekking poles, totally unencumbered.

Until we arrived in the town below Machu Picchu, we saw only locals. Most of the “towns” we stayed in didn’t have road access. Whether it was the work of the sun god or good planning by my husband, it was one of the best trips I have ever taken.

You can follow along with Mel’s outdoor and family adventures on Instagram and Facebook.


A 40th Birthday Culebra-tion In Puerto Rico

Submission from Bernie and Jess Watt of Watt? Where? How? 

We’re not sure if there’s a more ominous feeling than looking down the barrel of a milestone birthday – especially when it’s the big Four-Oh. And as an Australian couple living 9,621 miles from our family and friends, it made the prospect particularly depressing. With a limited budget and only a couple of days free, we went all in, escaping the lingering early spring snow to Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico is an American territory, which makes it an easy getaway for US citizens, with no passport needed, US dollars and full cell phone reception. Beyond that, it’s like a Spanish outpost, with its capital San Juan a charming walled citadel, with distinct blue paved streets and rather phallic garita guard towers watching over the town. There’s rich Caribbean food, pirate-like fortresses, delicious cocktails, people dancing in the streets, roosters patrolling the yards – everything you need for a milestone birthday destination. Oh, and one of the top ten beaches in the world.

Are you looking for places to go on your birthday? Check out these wanderlust inspired Birthday vacation destinations from top travel bloggers. These bloggers enjoyed Puerto Rico for a birthday celebration. #birthday #PuertoRico #IslandTravel #traveltips #travelbloggers

On the actual birthday, we head out on a cruise to Culebra Island and its famed Flamenco Beach.

Once a munitions training ground, the pristine beach is still littered with destroyed American tanks that make for great photos. After a choppy ride out, the catamaran stops at two locations for some snorkeling over reefs teeming with colorful tropical fish, before anchoring 100 yards from the beach.

With flotation vests to keep us upright, we proceed to drift in the most stunning turquoise waters as we’re handed bottomless cups of rum punch by the crew. Others float whole cases of beer to the shore (they’re either MENSA level intelligent or they’ve been on this trip before). It’s a celebratory atmosphere and buoyed by the buffet of fresh salads and with enough rum punches to make us feel half our age, we’re content with the fact that although we’re far from our loved ones, we feel that somehow, the world is partying with us. We may be graying, a little fatter and less likely to recover as quickly in the morning, but this, my friends is how you turn 40.

Bernie and Jess Watt are Australians living in NYC, blogging about budget travel, their Green Card journey and ideas for quick getaways that defy time, money and belief.  Follow them on Twitter and Instagram.


Where Have You Been For Your Birthday Vacation?

If you travel to celebrate your birthday, we’d love to hear what you did and where you went in the comments.  Do you have any big milestones planned?

Where is your dream destination if you could go anywhere for your birthday?  Mine might be in one of those over-priced yet cool as heck villas over the water in Bora-Bora.  I’d also love to play with the rescued elephants in South Africa or Thailand.

I would like to personally thank all of the above contributors–each of whom I work with and talk to across social media platforms on a weekly basis.  If you are looking for new travelers and bloggers to follow, I whole-heartedly recommend every single one of them.  They are a part of TUL community.

Excerpt and pictures are submitted from each respective blogging member(s).

Share These ‘Wanderful’ Birthday Vacation Destinations: Pin It!

Are you looking for destinations of where to go for your birthday? Check out these top travel destinations from your favorite travel bloggers so that you can have the best birthday vacation. #Birthday #BirthdayVacation #TheUncorkedLibrarian #TravelTips #Africa #Bali #Disney #Venice #Philippines #Peru #India #Europe #Tanzania

Are you looking for destinations of where to go for your birthday? Check out these top travel destinations from your favorite travel bloggers so that you can have the best birthday vacation. #Birthday #BirthdayVacation #TheUncorkedLibrarian #TravelTips #Africa #Bali #Disney #Venice #Philippines #Peru #India #Europe #Tanzania

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28 Comments

  1. December 4, 2018 / 9:53 am

    My favorite birthday trip had to be in Honduras. I was in Utila, just beginning 6 months of volunteer work. A local dive master took my husband and I to some lesser known dive spots where the three of us dove for a few hours. Then we took the boat to an amazing little restaurant overlooking the ocean and ate and drank the afternoon away. It was perfection.

    • Christine
      Author
      December 5, 2018 / 9:58 am

      Hey Sheri–All of this sounds awesome. I have been all over Central America, but I have not been to Honduras–it’s on my list. If I get to go in the near future, I will have to message you for ideas. What type of volunteer work were you doing? Was your husband volunteering with you? That sounds like a great birthday! Thanks for sharing, too!

  2. December 4, 2018 / 1:47 pm

    Venice is amazing I absolutely loved it – and getting lost inVenice is the best – we went in July this year – would love you to check out my blog posts about it 😀loving your posts xx

    • Christine
      Author
      December 5, 2018 / 10:05 am

      Hey Steph- Venice is truly special. I did check out your posts. Great pics! Thanks for sharing your experiences with everyone.

  3. December 4, 2018 / 2:48 pm

    Love this! Christine – I love that a hulk like 80+ year old helped you guys out! Made me laugh! And Dagney – I also hate cake! I don’t understand the allure. I loved reading about all of the birthday travels but I think Jana’s birthday trip to the Philippines – “mornings on a dreamy balcony” total won me over. All great posts! I’m inspired for my next birthday! ❤️

    • Christine
      Author
      December 5, 2018 / 10:12 am

      Thank you! I really had fun putting together this piece. I swear that older Italian lady could have kicked my butt too. She’s kind of like my grandma.

      Like you and Dagney, I don’t love cake. I’d rather a glass of wine or a fun martini/cocktail.

      I loved Jana’s post too! I’d also love to join in on the local fun.

      I have to start planning out my next Birthday adventures as well–lets hope we both have great next birthday celebrations.

  4. December 5, 2018 / 5:10 am

    It is such a good idea to travel somewhere for a birthday celebration. I also don’t love my birthday and celebrate it as little as possible, but I wouldn’t be opposed to a little exotic getaway! A few years ago, I planned a trip for my husband’s 30th to Dallas to visit the Dallas Cowboys stadium and see a game there. He is a HUGE fan and it was a bucket list item for him, and we both ended up having a really fun time together in Dallas. In the past, he’s planned getaways as presents to me (Cape May, NJ and the Hudson River Valley). Husband and I both love “experience gifts” for birthdays and Christmas (usually Christmas); the memories we make on vacationa bring us more joy for longer than most tangible items.

    • Christine
      Author
      December 5, 2018 / 10:30 am

      All of those adventures and experiences sound perfectly lovely! We are the exact same way: Our first year dating, we would get each other gifts for some occasions and experiences for others. Like here is your rice cooker and tickets to go see a play. Blahhh, although the play is always cool. After that first year, though, we decided that we just wanted the experiences. We would watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and then search for the nearest chocolate factory in town. We’d read James and the Giant Peach together and head to the Goodspeed Opera House for a production. Every year since my 29th or 30th, we have tried to plan something around my bday to celebrate–more so because the season is right, especially for Europe. We just don’t like physical gifts, and if we really need or want something, we just buy it.

  5. December 5, 2018 / 8:03 am

    Love this post, so many wonderful destinations I am still yet to explore! Happy belated 30th, it’s definitely one of those birthdays that gets you fretting about your age. Having recently turned 32, I promise you get over it and actually my 30’s are the best decade of my life to date. Venice looks and sounds like a lovely way to celebrate! Melis

    • Christine
      Author
      December 5, 2018 / 10:56 am

      I would thank you–but technically, my 30th happened…’a few years’ ago lol. Lets just leave it at that. HAHA [sobs].

      Thank you so much, and thank you for tweeting to everyone how much you liked the post too–I know it makes my day, and I am sure that it made all TUL contributors smile as well. Next time I work on a group piece, you should definitely contribute too if you aren’t slammed. We’d love to have you.

      P.S. I am a little worried how I will take 40…I either won’t care or I will be SO DRAMATIC. Any thoughts? I am glad that your 30’s are going so well. Mine turned around after a shaky start. I still loved my 20’s the best: I had a great job, moved to Indonesia, got engaged and married… I’m trying to get there with 30, but blogging has been AMAZING. Xxxx

  6. December 5, 2018 / 11:10 am

    Yeah, we have some ideas about physical gifts, but it becomes so taxing to keep thinking of stuff year after year. Especially since, like you said, if we want it, we buy it. (Because we are very grateful and work very hard to be in a position in which we can do so, within reason.) And if we BOTH can’t afford to buy it together, there’s no way ONE of us is getting it for the other, lol. So, experiences are a great way to keep the gift magic alive! We are hoping to get to France next year. #2019goals 🙂

    • Christine
      Author
      December 5, 2018 / 11:19 am

      It is taxing! Plus, I don’t love shopping by any means. We just don’t like “stuff” in general. I’m FL, we don’t have basements or a lot of storage so that helps us keep our things at a low. We are also grateful we can buy what we need (within reason too). For things we don’t necessarily need but would love, we just tell friends and family to get us who insist on getting us presents. I definitely get that others love buying and giving gifts too. I will never turn down a surprise present either. France sounds wonderful! We only had time for Paris, but there is so much more that I want to see.

  7. December 5, 2018 / 12:24 pm

    Ahhh Christine, it’s been so long since I’ve been able to sit down and read one of your posts (or anyone’s for that matter), and this did not disappoint! The intro had me laughing, and I sometimes wonder how I’m going to feel about turning 30, watching Friends and seeing Rachel’s reaction cracks me up :’) I just turned 19, and I’m not sure how I feel about it because I can’t believe I’ll be 20 in another year’s time. But I just need to slow down and enjoy each day as it comes along haha. I’ve never gone anywhere crazy or far away for my birthday, but I’d love to be in any of the places on my travel list on that occasion. Maybe one day!

    • Christine
      Author
      December 8, 2018 / 10:43 am

      Hey Macey, I know–it has been such a busy fall! I am always happy to have you dropping in, and thanks for reading this one. Turning 30 is more like Friends and less like Sex in the City. LOL.

      Congrats on turning 19! Once I graduated college and entered my 20’s, I really felt like I was ‘falling into’ myself. I learned what type of work I liked to do, started traveling, and I enjoyed having leisure time that seemed impossible to find in college. I thought college was a lot of fun too–HS, not so much.

      One day, you will get to travel wherever you wish! I wasn’t able to really travel until I landed my first full-time job. I saved up that year and promised myself that I would pay my bills and go to London and Rome. AND I DID! Those first years after college, I didn’t have a ton of free cash, but I made a travel fund since that was the most important to me.

      Slowing down is important–as you get older, it goes sooooo fast!

  8. December 5, 2018 / 2:45 pm

    Read this post yesterday but had no time to comment because I was too busy doing PR for it (HAHA), and work was nuts. I’m back and was able to reread this fun post with incredible birthday vacations. I wish I had great memories like these for my bday, but the truth is something bad always happens around my bday. There is always some dark cloud of it. I remember several years ago we jetted off to San Francisco as part of my bday celebration, but in reality we were running from the emptiness of our home because we had recently lost our dog. Still though we have happy memories from San Francisco and absolutely loved our time there. When we returned, we got another dog lol. Loved to read everyones stories.

    • Christine
      Author
      December 8, 2018 / 10:29 am

      GAHAHA!! Thank you for doing some PR for me. I just paid $20 for Wifi on an international flight on a reputable airline. Booo. What is the world coming to?! LOL

      No more dark clouds for your birthday! I had a few years in my life where I felt like I had just really awful luck. Everything that could wrong, did.

      We left for Puerto Rico right after we had to say goodbye to our tuxedo cat. He was my world. I spent all of PR on edge, and when we got home two things happened as we walked in the door…well 3. One, he wasn’t there. Two, our cat sitter left us a sweet book about cats and a memory rock with words painted on the back. Something about ‘love and take care of each other and fountain.’ I sobbed. Fountain–the fountain–was Syls’ pride and joy. He guarded his water fountain with his life. And then third, our vet didn’t tell us that they take prints as they walked him away to kitty heaven. I opened a sympathy card and there was his paw print and muzzle. I was done for the week. That trip is just awash in misery. I feel you.

      I hope you have a better birthday this year, and thanks for reading and sharing.

  9. December 5, 2018 / 9:05 pm

    I love all of the submissions and have added a few more places to my travel bucket list! While I wasn’t there for my birthday, I have a similar lost & tipsy experience in Venice lol!

    • Christine
      Author
      December 8, 2018 / 10:22 am

      I think our getting lost in Venice stories are what unite us all these days lol! Glad that you found some new ideas.

  10. December 6, 2018 / 1:31 am

    I am so glad I have found two others who are not fans of cake. We are few and far between! What are your plans for your next birthday? I would love to go to the states for my birthday but I don’t think it will happen in 2019 – but something closer to home will still be a lot of fun!

    • Christine
      Author
      December 7, 2018 / 2:04 pm

      The States would be awesome! I’m thinking maybe South Africa to see some wild animals?! I’ll be 35 so I have to get it together and go all out!

  11. December 6, 2018 / 3:58 pm

    I absolutely loved reading everyone’s submissions for this post! Thanks so much for allowing me to participate – it was so much fun reminiscing about that amazing birthday in the Serengeti! But, Venice was no doubt awesome too – I fell in love with it when we were there earlier this year. So. Much. Wine. 🙂 Great destinations from all participants – now my bucket list is once again longer than before….

    • Christine
      Author
      December 7, 2018 / 2:02 pm

      My bucket list is never ending just like my TBR pile 😂😂 Thank you so much for contributing and for all of the publicity. I really loved putting together this piece and working with the best bloggers. Your pictures were AMAZING from the Serengeti. I want to go so badly now!

  12. December 7, 2018 / 5:01 pm

    I love this post so much, and the recommendations! I much prefer travel & experiences over gifts, and now that I am financially able to I try to travel for my birthday. I spent almost 2 weeks in Spain for my 33rd birthday last year which was so fun! I turn 35 next month and don’t have anything big planned (doing a big summer trip instead), but I am going to spend time back home in San Diego with my bestie and see Blue Oyster Cult.

    • Christine
      Author
      December 8, 2018 / 9:59 am

      Hey Book Bestie, me too! I’ll take travel any day. …Unless someone wants to buy me a wine drinking, real life unicorn…

      Two weeks in Spain sounds amazing. We were only able to drop into Seville for a few short days during a Portugal trip. I loved the lively little city, and I would definitely like to see more of what Spain has to offer. What cities did you visit?

      35 is my next one too. I don’t have anything planned yet, but hopefully we will do something for a week. Bestie time is the BEST time! I’d love to explore CA.

  13. Jana Soli
    December 9, 2018 / 11:47 pm

    I loved reading about your birthday in Venice, your descriptions made the city come alive on the page! I also loved reading everyone’s stories, they are all great. Thank you so much for letting me reminisce and be a part of this wonderful post! I look forward to hearing your tales from this year’s birthday excursion.

    • Christine
      Author
      December 10, 2018 / 9:01 pm

      Aw, thank you. Your post was just darn fabulous. Thank you so much for contributing such a beautiful story as well as gorgeous pics. It was a hit. I still have to decide what I want to do this year. I’m thinking South Africa… Can’t wait to see more of your travels too!

  14. December 10, 2018 / 9:02 am

    We’re so excited to be part of this and to get a little inspired for the next round of birthdays coming up in April. Venice sounds dangerous after a few vinos! Definitely have Hungary and Tanzania in the mix!

    • Christine
      Author
      December 10, 2018 / 9:02 pm

      Yes, I might check into Tanzania as well. Thank you so much for being a part of this! Loved having you guys. Budapest is one of mine too… Cheers to amazing new birthday celebrations.

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