Vignettes from a lifetime of Travel

Y is for Yesteryear

Having been blessed with teacher’s holidays,  I’ve been lucky enough to celebrate a summer birthday in some amazing places over the years.   How’s this for a list ….  Alice Springs,  Antigua,  Athens,  Bali,  Bath,  Budapest,  Capri,  Chicago,  Cologne,  Dordogne (France),  Guatemala,  Hong Kong,   Jodhpur (India),  Las Vegas,  Malta,  Nashville,  New York,  Nuwara Eliya  (Sri Lanka),  Orlando,   Serengeti (Tanzania),  Siem Reap (Cambodia),  Zadar (Croatia)….to name a few!!


(Birthday Girl,  Hong Kong,  1988)

I’ve spent many birthdays on European campsites  – 3 in France,  4 in Spanish camps and maybe 5 in Italy.  I’ve counted 9 birthdays in the US.

The great thing about being away is that you’re already in festive mood. While I’d do something to mark the day,  I never went all out for a grand splash – there was never a need… being away was enough of a celebration in itself.   If there was something special in the place I’d try to coincide it with my birthday so I’ve cycled to Angkor Wat,  had afternoon tea in Nuwara Eliya and gone to the Grand Ole Opry show in Nashville….

Scan_20200902 (2)(Birthday Girl,  somewhere on Stuart Highway,  Northern Territory,  Australia,  2004)

Of course, not every birthday was exotic or glamorous – there were occasions when we were in transit – ending up in a dingy motel or a truck stop in our caravan.   Sometimes in the early years, the holiday budget was so tight that the celebration stretched to a shared pizza.

There were 2 years (out of the last 40!) when I celebrated my birthday in Ireland – once,  we came home for a wedding and on another occasion we were heading to Tunisia the following day (something to do with flights…)

And now 2020 makes for a third time.

I’ve recently celebrated my ‘Covid’ birthday.   It certainly wasn’t what I could have possibly imagined at the beginning of 2020 but I’d a lovely time in Dingle,  County Kerry – the sun even shone for a few hours!

I don’t know what the next few years will bring but we travelers have been blessed with wonderful memories – let’s never take anything for granted again!


(Birthday Girl,  Vegas,  2019!)

IMG_20200803_124921(Birthday Girl,  Dingle,  2020)


22 thoughts on “Vignettes from a lifetime of Travel

  1. I’m often away for my birthday too, it usually falls around Easter or actually Easter Sunday or Monday. When we lived in Hong Kong it was always a holiday..Qingming ..grave sweeping day!

      1. Not really ..the graves are buried in obscure places in the hills and troops of people go to visit their ancestors to pay respects

  2. What an exceptional lot of birthday celebrations in interesting places! But no matter where you celebrate, life is a gift. (Although Dingle in County Kerry looks lovely!) Birthday greetings! 🎉🎂💐🍧🎶🍰🎉

  3. Travelling is certainly the best birthday present. Glad you were able to take a little holiday even this year. My last couple birthdays were spent in Chicago, USA and Luang Prabang, Laos. I need to plan more birthday travel!

    1. 2 great places – I celebrated my 30th birthday in Chicago – a Greek restaurant with friends who were living there at the time. And Luang Prabang – what a gorgeous place to mark the day…. keep planning….

  4. Happy belated birthday. Mine is in January so until the death of my husband a few years ago, it was always celebrated in S.E. Asia, most often in Thailand with friends from various European countries we would arrange to meet up with. I even managed to continue the tradition until two years ago when I stayed home for birthdays but didn’t really enjoy the occasion. Having a holiday in the summer means many more places are open to ou for visiting so I’m glad to see you took advantage of it. I’ve also welcomed Santa on a camel, on a donkey, on a surfboard, and on a water buffalo.

  5. A wonderful summary of so many birthday memories, and a poignant message about not taking our travel opportunities for granted. Happy birthday, Marie!

    1. You’re right – on the eve of what looks like increased restrictions in Dublin from tomorrow, my travel days are getting further out of reach. Thanks for your good wishes!!! XXXMarie

  6. Lucky girl! I am also blessed with teacher’s holidays – which is the only reason I am still teaching! I’ve managed Zimbabwe, Slovakia, Hungary, France, only. But I am an April b-day so not so convenient relying on Easter holidays each year. So, in short, I envy your birthday CV. Great post! Your site is fabulous.

    1. That’s a great list – yes Easter hols can vary can’t they.
      Thanks for your support and kind words – much appreciated at the moment as I’m wrestling with the new WordPress set up and its driving me insane!

Leave a Reply