A birthday in quarantine will always be an interesting experience. It might not be the ideal plan crafted in my head, but it is certainly unique. I turn 31 tomorrow. Being a birthday enthusiast, I had already imagined myself in a winery with Bradley and a couple of new friends in Querétaro. Such is life!
To feel festive, I decided to walk down memory lane. I found joy in these birthday memories, and I would love to share them with you. I have always tried to deviate from typical celebrations. I either travel somewhere new or do an outdoor activity with a group of loved ones. If you will celebrate your birthday in quarantine, maybe looking at old pictures could remind you of the amazing moments you have had.
I would say my love of outdoor birthday activities started when I was in college. On my 20th birthday my girlfriends and I had a picnic surrounded by white peacocks, and then enjoyed a couple of hours at an alligator farm in Saint Augustine, Florida.
I obviously partied too hard when I turned 21, so I will leave the photographs from that time to the imagination. While extremely fun, there was little that was unique.
I loved that I graduated from Flagler College a day before my 22nd birthday! My mom, godmother, and best friend from a different college drove up to Saint Augustine. We saw dolphins at the fort, watched the sunrise on the beach, and visited a rose garden full of butterflies.
My 23rd birthday was months after I had lost my dad to cancer. This was, as you can imagine, a difficult time. I had a simple birthday party at home, but full of love and people that really mattered. I was very grateful to have an amazing support system, but this also meant that the following birthday would be BIGGER.
I celebrated my 24th bithday solo traveling. It was my first time going abroad on my own. I traveled to Chicago for a weekend to get my feet wet in the experience of exploring a new city alone. Shortly after, I backpacked Ireland for 10 days, and may I let you know I did not have a smart phone! What a life. That is actually when I started this blog, which was the way to let my loved ones know I was okay.
My 25th and 26th birthdays were more family oriented. I went kayaking with my mom, and I probably spent a day at the beach (go sunny Florida!). I am so glad these two birthdays were spent at home because little did I know I would spend the next 5 birthdays abroad and without family nearby. Sometimes traveling involves sacrificing time with people you love to the moon and back.
My 27th birthday was the second most “life-changing” one because in the process of moving to Spain and traveling Europe, I became a totally different person. This year felt like “my moment”. I had come out of an adventurous relationship full of drama and turmoil, made a whole new group of friends I never wanted to let go of, discovered my passion and a new career path, was being trained by a professional athlete, and straight up felt like I was living in an HBO show set in Madrid. I spent 2 full days celebrating my 27th. One day (or should I say entire night) was spent partying in a club and in my apartment with friends and roommates. The second celebration was a Sunday hike in El Escorial. I LOVED hiking in the outskirts of Madrid. You can find all level hikes with different nature views (snowy, flowery, foresty, barren and rocky). I had a dream of hiking to the top of a mountain wearing a tiara and eating cupcakes, so I did that. And then I had a giant beer and chorizo dish for dinner.
Madrid was such a unique time in my life; it is not just the birthdays but the day-to-day work and play balance that I remember so fondly. I yearn to go back, yet a part of me wants to leave it frozen in time, perfect in my memory.
I left Madrid for Mexico City. My one and only reason was love. I fell in love with Bradley, and while I was ready to keep traveling the world, I never really intended to leave Europe so soon. Yet Europe was home to him, and being a fellow traveler, his eyes were set on distant lands. I thought, heeeeyyy! as long as I keep the Englishman I could compromise.
Birthdays in love were totally new and fun experiences for me. On my 29th birthday, Bradley took us to a spa for a couple’s massage, and then surprised me with an overnight stay in a hotel. I was thrilled he remembered to pack my bathing suit so we could spend the whole afternoon by the pool. This was a total surprise to me so I don’t even have pictures! Just the sweet memories.
Last year was the big 30th! You bet I went all out for this! This celebration involved two trips, and one big day of eating and drinking. For the pre-birthday celebration, Bradley took me to Puebla for a long weekend. Being so close to Mexico City, we could easily take off from work, and spend a couple of days strolling the city center while dining in delicious local restaurants. On the actual day of my 30th, we went to lunch in the Torre Latino Americana. This is in Mexico City’s very center, and you can get a spectacular 360 view at the top. At night, we ended up in a bar near our home called La Coyoacana. We drank a lot of margaritas, and hired a mariachi band to play a couple of songs. This was a true highlight and dream come true for me! Last but not least, my friend Christy (who was also turning 30) and I went to Quintana Roo. We snorkled with turtles, hiked a pyramid in the jungle, had many cocktails, and cruised Cozumel island while getting tanlines that still show a year later.
Given the circumstances of this year, I am SO GLAD I went alll out last year with multiple celebrations. You can say I do birthdays BIG! A part of me has been concerned of how I’ll feel tomorrow so I have organized activities to mark the occassion without being obnoxious, meaning, I want to be sensitive to others during this time.
This 31st birthday will be about the little things. I ordered some carrot cake for Bradley and I, and I scheduled a zoom call with my girlfriends in the afternoon. During this quarantine, we have cooked at home every day, so I am glad to report I will be ordering in from my favorite poke bowl restaurant! I have partly kept myself from ordering in during quarantine because I am doing a 30 Days to Healthy Living Challenge that involves cooking your own nutrient dense meals. It worked out so well because it will make tomorrow feel so special to not cook all day and also support my favorite local businesses.
Thanks so much for taking the time to walk down my birthday memory lane. Your being here is part of my celebration, and I am thankful we can connect through this platform. To keep the party spirit going, remember to like this post, share your favorite birthday memory (or memories) in the comments below, or tag me in your favorite birthday photo on Instagram @somewhereblog.
Happy birthday to all the taurus celebrating in quarantine! Stay healthy.