My birthday was this week. I’ve found there’s something extra special about having your birthday away from home.
You don’t have the luxury of organising a party with fancy things. You have to make do with what you have, which I think makes you appreciate it a whole lot more.
My day started with teaching, AKA, work. This was the best way to start my day, really. Most people would say “oh, you have to work on your birthday? That’s a shame.” But I was offered the day off, and still chose to teach. Because I love my job. I love teaching. And that’s how I want to spend my birthday. It was a joyous class which ended with “Namaste” and then launched into Happy Birthday sung by my class to me.
I sat and had breakfast with friends which included a delicious smoothie bowl and a cheeky ice cream.
I then took my friend Zac off to the boat to get to Nusa Penida, and then drove to the other side of the island to pick up my dear friend Paul. We’ve known each other since we were about 18. He’s on a little trip to Bali from Australia and he made plans to come and see me for my birthday. So we went to the beach and caught up on our lives, ate delicious food and swum in the ocean.
Swimming in the ocean is a real treat for me to do on my birthday since usually it’s freezing cold and raining for June in Melbourne. So being away for my birthday, I always make sure I enjoy the warm weather to its fullest.
It was then time to enjoy a stunning sunset at a lookout called Devil’s Tears with some fancy red wine Paul had bought over from Australia and chocolate balls Sal had bought me as a little present. Delicious.
I played with my hoop whilst we listened to music and watched the sun dip below the horizon as the sky turned pink.
I had dinner with Paul, Sal, Nanna (the other yoga teacher) and her friend Nikki, who is also a yoga teacher. My tribe. We ate vegan pizza and drank a bit more wine and laughed into the night.
Birthday’s sometimes have a tendency to spill over into the following days and this year is no different. The next day I got the joy of being able to sit with my laptop and go through so many beautiful messages from my friends all over the world. I got phone calls, photos, letters, poems, songs and more kind words than I could ever imagine.
My heart was so full of love it brought tears to my eyes at times. I found myself just giggling like a crazy woman, and when Paul looked at me strangely I would just comment, “man, my friends are the f**king best!”
I feel like birthdays mean different things to each person. I feel that it is a time of reflection. Last year, I spent my birthday in Gili Air with Lynsey as we watched the sunset and drank Bintang’s into the night.
I guess from the outside, it looks pretty similar to a year ago. I’m still on an island in Indonesia, still watching sunsets and still have special people around me. Only I look back on that girl that was me a year ago and so much has changed. I was still in love with someone back then who has since been removed from my life because I can acknowledge that I deserve so much more than to just be manipulated and thought of second. I had just moved to Indonesia with no idea what was going to happen next and how much I would love it. I had just started working and living overseas with only the vague idea of making it a lifestyle, whereas now I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Also, my hair is pink now.
I have learnt so much, I have grown so much and I have so many wonderful people around me both physically, and spirituality as they’re now dotted all around the world. I am eternally grateful for the effort everyone went to to make me feel special, because it has worked. I am still feeling the effect of all of the love.
What I would like to mention as well is that this year, I feel really proud of myself. I noticed some people saying to me whilst I tell them about my life, they mention how “lucky I am.” Luck has nothing to do with it. I have worked hard, made sacrifices and chosen this life. And I’m really bloody proud of myself for it.
So here’s to another year of adventures, learning, growing and smiling all the way through it.
Here’s a little list of things that have and haven’t happened this year.
- I can speak more Indonesian, Thai, French and Spanish.
- I can dance with fire now. Pretty well too.
- My handstands are A LOT better. Not there, but better.
- I still have never been skinny dipping.
- I’ve travelled to three more countries.
- I only got two more tattoos in the last year. I think this should change.
- I don’t think I’ll ever smoke a cigarette because I haven’t had one yet, so why start now?
- I went vegan.
- I still hate olives. (But not my friend Olive, she’s the best.)