Birthdays abroad are a super exciting but daunting prospect, at home we have our friends and family around us and are usually guaranteed to have a good time with people that love us. But, on a solo adventure your not guaranteed that reassurance!
My birthday was 3 weeks into my Australia adventure and I was SO fortunate that I was with my girls I travelled down the east coast with – Jen, Janie & Lea. We landed in Rainbow Beach a couple of days before my birthday at Dingos which was a really cool hostel! I was happy enough that I would have friends around me on my day, so wasn’t too worried about making a plan. The night before we had 3 new additions to our room (who at the time we didn’t realise would become our bestest pals and we’d end up travelling for ages together) Alex, Bernie & Tom arrived and Lea cheekily asked if we could borrow the car so we could go see the dolphins at Tin Can Bay, crazily, they said yes, cheers Alex!
When midnight hit, everyone stayed up and sung Happy Birthday to me in all our languages, played every birthday song, the best being ‘Its my birthday, I’mma spend my money’. The next day we got up early and drove the 30 mins to Barnacles at Tin Can Bay to feed the Wild Dolphins by hand! We arrived just in time and we bought our entry ($5) and also a fish each ($5), the volunteers were in the water with the dolphins who came up so shallow, these dolphins come everyday and get fed by hand by the volunteers and visitors which is such a special experience! Up came our time to go down to the water and hold a fish in our hand and feed it to the dolphin, the dolphin (Misty) takes it straight from your hand and its just the craziest experience! We all got to feed a dolphin and couldn’t believe how amazing it was, it was definitely a fab way to see in my 24th birthday!
After this early start it was time for us to get ready and head down to the beach, we grabbed a crate of cider on the way down, took some body boards and relaxed on the beach alll afternoon, did handstands, played in the water, took loads of photos and an awesome surprise was that Bastian from Agnes Water/Airlie/Magnetic showed up!
Around 3 we decided it was time to grab some food and meet some of the others so we headed up the beach and then I saw that the BBQ area was covered with balloons, loads of people and loads of food! The cheeky little things had arranged a surprise beach bbq for me and had cooked loads of food, it was the most kind and lovely thing ever and I was so happy! There was even a birthday cake, a card and a load of goon, do I have the best travel buds ever or what. An extra suprise was that Wanchy and Fred were there too! We had speakers and music and all enjoyed having drinks and loads of food and of course the cake.
We headed up to the sand dunes with our body boards and goon in hand to catch the sunsets and enjoy the views. We were all so drunk running up the dunes and literally just got to catch the sunset, this was were the phrase goon boarding was founded, going down the sand dunes on a board whilst drunk on goon!
That night our room became the drinking room and we got through so much goon and played loads of drinking games which was awesome! The hostel had a bar where the Fraser after party was so we went there and kept the party going with some salsa dancing and more drinks and it was hilarious but after a few of us got kicked out we realised that actually we were pretty drunk!
My family had given me birthday cards to take with me so that was so lovely to have and to open on my day and feel close to them! Also the wonders of facetime came in handy and I was able to speak to all the fam.
All in all I had the most awesome 24th Birthday and as the first one I’ve ever spent away from the UK I can safely say its one I will never forget. Thank you so much to all of my amazing travel friends for making my birthday amazing. You are all the kindest babes ever.
So the best way to enjoy your birthday whilst backpacking is to ensure you have good people around you, drink some goon and head to the beach!