“Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years”
– Ausonius –
Maybe you already know this, but after a total bummer of a twenty-third birthday I decided to try something different. So now each year, on October 31st, I plan something I really want to do. Whoever I invite is welcome to join along, but if they can’t or don’t want to, it’s fine. No pressure.
This year was my thirtieth, making it exactly seven years since I started my birthday tradition. Are you guessing where this is going?
For this Special Edition I’ve listed my past birthday experiences. Each year I did something different and each year I was surprised by something special happening, which I like to call my “birthday magic.”
My seven birthday-magic moments:
24 – Not one, but TWO pandas!
Imagine this: I’ve been a pandaholic all my life, but until I turned twenty-four I’d never actually seen one. So what better way to start my tradition than by travelling to the Zoo Aquarium de Madrid and worship my favourite animals in person?
Little did I know they had just had babies :D That’s plural! :D :D And even though, at all times, one baby was supposed to be with their mother (they would switch the cubs every hour or so), when me and my eldest sister got to their enclosure BOTH babies were in the incubator, behind an extra glass, all out for the world to see! When we returned for a second glance before going home, there was only one cub left “on display.” But we had seen both :)
25 – I am as old as the London “Phantom”
For my twenty-fifth me, a friend and my crazy sister hopped on a plane to London to see The Phantom Of The Opera. I love the movie (the one with Gerard Butler), the songs are amazing, and I wanted to experience it all live.
Somehow I managed to get my hands on the last three tickets available for the show (imagine that!), and when we got off the tube I saw a huge poster, announcing the musical’s twenty-fifth anniversary in London. Thus, I am exactly as old as The Phantom‘s London edition!
26 – I got a beautiful tattoo from a beautiful tattoo artist
Me and my best friend had wanted to get a tattoo for a while and my twenty-sixth birthday seemed like the perfect time. We had done research into finding the best parlour nearby and the one we chose had an “open hour”, meaning you didn’t need to make an appointment but there was a set time frame in which you could just walk in and ask for a tattoo. The artist listed on the website to be in charge of the open hour that day was not the one we eventually got. We didn’t mind a single bit, though. The guy who eventually put ink on our bodies was so attractive, all I could think was how sorry I felt for not getting a tattoo on my forehead, so I could have stared at him the whole time.
Plus, he turned my sad scribble of a tattoo-idea into a fine piece of art I am happy with still :)
27 – Experiencing Halloween in one of my favourite countries
Halloween is not that big (yet) in the Netherlands, but as a horror-fan I’d always wanted to experience it. I went on a language trip to Dublin, Ireland, and was not only happy to find they indeed celebrate this holiday over there, but imagine my excitement as I learned Ireland is the country Halloween originates from! Whoop whoop!
All dressed up as Rapunzel I ventured out for a party hosted by my school. I met up with some friends outside of the building, where quite a crowd had already gathered, all international language students. My friends gave me a muffin with a candle jammed in and started singing Happy Birthday. Before we knew what happened, everyone joined in!
And that was not the best part! After three English Happy Birthday-s, an Arabian student sang the Arabian version. Then came the song in Russian, followed by Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, and so many other languages I can’t even remember!
I smiled and laughed so much my jaws started to hurt. That moment, right there in the streets of Dublin, being surrounded by strangers from all kinds of countries, all singing to me in their own language… That was pure magic. Right there. I still get a smile when I think back to that moment :)
28 – I’m a shooting talent!
Don’t ask me why, but I’d always wanted to shoot a gun. I booked a shooting range combined with shooting clay pigeons afterwards, and did I have fun!
At this point I’d like to say I fully understand a gun is not a toy. But it was such a thrill to shoot a piece of paper and actually hit it, and that was before I found out I am really good at shooting things that fly. For some reason, I hit all clay pigeons but one, and I think the instructor made me shoot about fifteen or so. I’m pretty darn good with a rifle… So you better don’t mess with me! ;)
The magic? A full week of rain, but not when I went out to shoot pieces of flying clay. Ha! Plus, the buffet restaurant we had dinner at afterwards served my favourite dessert and I got the last piece of it. Ha-di-hah!
29 – Relaxation has its price
All I wanted in 2015 was piece and quiet. We didn’t make it on the day itself, but eventually me and my mother went to a Rasul spa, got a total body massage followed by a facial, and had a very healthy and delicious lunch somewhere in between. The best part of it was that it cost us practically nothing, because I managed to get a very good offer online. Plus, I was so relaxed it took me about three days to feel bummed out that my team didn’t win the pub quiz I had gone to later that day.
30! – We exited the torture chamber escape room in time!
Actually, my mother unknowingly brought this year’s birthday magic to the table. Literally. She gave me flowers, but didn’t know they were actually my favourite floral pieces of art: yellow roses with a soft red rim around each petal. Beautiful, and they smell great!
Add to that another bright and glorious day, me and my team escaping the torture chamber with less than two minutes left on the clock (I felt so bad-ass, haha) and I introduced my parents to a different restaurant (my father usually makes us go to the same one, because he knows he likes the food there – he’s very picky), which they liked so much, they decided to go there again for their wedding anniversary :)
I’d like to end this special Summary with a song that’s recently been covered by another artist. I keep hearing the new version on the radio, but I like the original (this one) better.
How do you normally celebrate your birthday? Do you have special traditions, too?