How I Celebrated My Birthday Alone In A Foreign Country
Two weeks after moving to England it was that time of the year, MY BIRTHDAY.
Flashback to exactly a year before, I have just moved to France for a semester abroad, all my friends were people I’ve recently met. My roommate surprised me with a nice cake and we were at our kitchen with my other roommates and some other newly found friends. It was really nice of them, I appreciated all of their efforts, but something was missing. I was away from my family and friends and couldn’t help but feel lonely, while surrounding by many people.
This year I was determined to embrace my loneliness as a blessing rather than a negative thing. After all, what’s so bad about my own company? I planned a pampered day for myself, alone. I made an appointment at the nail salon and at the cosmetician. I wondered around my new city, turning at every corner I’ve never been before to get to know my surroundings. I decided to go shopping, which is my favorite activity as a fashion blogger. I bought myself birthday presents: little black dress and heeled boots. As the evening came, I casually attended a wine society meeting from my University. In fact, I went there because I had no other plans and never intended to make my own birthday plans. Truth is, even if I wanted to celebrate my birthday, who was I going to invite? All of the friendships I’ve made two weeks into my time there were too recent. I didn’t want to do anything to celebrate, apart from spending quality time with myself.
I wasn’t purposely ignoring my birthday, I just embraced the fact that if I am going to live my life the wanderlust way, then I need to make some sacrifices. Feeling lonely or not spending my birthday celebrating with friends is one of those sacrifices.
Life on the road, moving around from a country to country, has brought many changes to my life: good and bad. I choose to focus on the good.
I’ve lost a lot of friendships when I first moved away from my home country. Maintaining friendships when you’re not living in the same country, or even in the same continent in my case, is not an easy task. However, it has been a great opportunity for me to find out who my real friends are.
Unconditional friendship is what we are all looking for. I can now proudly say that I know who my unconditional friends are and who were my friends simply because I was physical present.
I chose to focus on the good and see the bad as a blessing. I’ve received hundreds of birthday wishes on Facebook, dozens of messages, Snapchats and phone calls from people all over the world, in four different languages. This had made me realize how lucky I am to have crossed paths with those friends who even though I’m miles away it was important for them to make my birthday special.
So this year, for my birthday, I didn’t felt lonely, I felt lucky. Lucky to have experience what I’ve experienced, lucky to have learn what I’ve learned and lucky to be able to live my life in the WANDERLUST way.
Originally written by Hadas Aharon via www.thefashionmatters.com