Last updated on November 17, 2021
So there I am, a year ago today, sweaty, sand is in every single possible crevice of my body, the cake I bought completely melting all over the makeshift table, and yet the moment is precisely right as twenty-four backpackers serenade me with the Happy Birthday song in six different languages.
We were all on a three day camping/driving/sandy adventure of Fraser Island, Australia (more on that tomorrow) and as my luck would have it I was hitting the quarter of a century mark. Birthdays on the road are a rite of passage of sorts; it’s like a travel Christmas, you have to adjust to some changes, alter your expectations, and embrace the unique circumstances and rituals that accompany.
So, instead of a birthday dinner with the family and hanging out with friends, I found myself surrounded with heaps of foreigners (or am I the foreigner?) willing to raise a drink in toast to my birthday and sing me the special birthday songs from their country.
A fair trade all in all methinks!
With birthday festivities in mind we piled up the goon and beer, turned up the radio on the 4-wheel drive and crammed onto the tarp (a failed attempt to avoid the sand) and all sat around a campfire picking at my melted chocolate cake mush while each group sang to me their traditional songs…at the top of their lungs.
And some even danced (hey, alcohol was involved, what can you expect!).
I loved my last birthday. Thanks to diversity on the road I wracked up six languages for the Happy Birthday song: Hebrew, Swedish, Swiss, Dutch (two different Dutch songs actually!), German, and English (obviously right).
I had a little video of the Israeli birthday song … but for the absolute life of me I just can’t find it. :-( Drats! Wish I had better organized my videos! Just know that there was fun to be had and the Hebrew one was one of the most fun of the lot :-)
No clue what I’m doing today; good friends and family most likely—equally great but in a totally different way!
So, tell me, how do you spend your birthdays on the road? Any fun stories, mishaps, or random occurrences?