It’s my birthday today and the first of our family’s birthdays whilst travelling.
Now I am not really the kind of person who needs to have a huge celebration – just spending time with the people I love is plenty good for me. However, for Roobs birthdays are a big deal and so she wants to treat me the same way she would want for her own birthday.
We realised that birthdays and celebrations are going to be different whilst travelling.
1) No BIG presents because that would be disastrous for our already stretched suitcases.
2) No hugely expensive items/experiences – we need to budget carefully whilst travelling.
3) We don’t have our community of family and friends from the UK here with us to celebrate together.
So this is what we did on my birthday and how we dealt with each of those issues.
So in England we usually give Roobs a set amount of money and give her the freedom to choose what she wants for the birthday girl/boy. In the UK we would give her £5 and let her explore gift shops to find something she thinks is appropriate (she’s usually pretty good with her choices – apart from once when she bought me a terrible book of girly short stories because the cover was her fave colour – pink!)
So here in Prague she went shopping with Dan and bought me a wonderful selection of goodies which I love and which are totally travel friendly. Dan added a few extra guidelines because we are travelling – each present has to be able to fit in the palm of my hand OR it is something edible/disposable.
These are the gifts I received
- A home made card – I treasure these little pieces of art.
- A miniature Guardian newspaper. Probably one of the few things I miss about life in the UK – a Saturday paper used to be a bit of a luxury and we’d spend a few hours each weekend reading together. So it was amazing that Roobs and Dan found a mini version of the paper here in Prague.
- A pair of earrings. Roobs knows that I am allergic to non-precious metals and in the UK Claire’s Accessories is one of the shops I know I can find some sterling silver, reasonably priced earrings. Claire’s is also here and so she got me some flamingo earrings. Cute and teeny tiny.
- A huge bar of Cadburys whole nut. (my favourite and it definitely won’t take up any suitcase space!)
- Breakfast in bed! No matter where you are in the world, breakfast in bed is always a possibility and definitely a tradition in our family. I had a simple but delicious fried egg on toast with a lovely cuppa.
- We decided we’d go out to a natural outdoor swimming pool called Biotop Radotin that we had visited earlier in the month. It is really cheap (we paid 100Kc for all of us for 2 hours- that’s just over £3) and a great day out when the sun is shining.
- We had a nice evening meal out at one of our favourite restaurants in Prague. Kobe restaurant at Andel. It is a bit pricey for Prague (around 1500 Kc – approx £50ish for all of us – including a birthday cocktail for me) but delicious and serves some of my favourite food. We had Japanese beef teriyaki and edamame with beer. Nommy!
As I mentioned earlier I am not overly keen on huge gatherings for my birthday so I’m pretty happy just hanging out with Dan and Roobs. However I still got a huge sense of a community and family who want to celebrate with us through various other means.
- Facebook – so many friends and family wished me a happy day using Facebook.
- Video messages. I received some beautiful videos of my godchildren and good friends singing to me! Below is just one of those messages – this is our beautiful goddaughter, Phoebe.
- Good old traditional post. I received some lovely cards from friends and family in the post. As we stay in each place for a minimum of a month we have been able to let people know where they can write to us.
Overall I had a lovely day and felt just as spoilt as if I had been in the UK. I have lots of great memories, some cute and some yummy presents and I feel loved by my friends and family back home. In fact a new friend in Prague offered to babysit Roobs for us so we could go out as a couple – so I’m also feeling blessed by new friendships (Thanks Bianca!)
Travelling birthdays are actually lots of fun and I look forward to the next one 🙂
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