As I enter a new decade next month, I wanted to look back on some of my favourite birthday memories and all the ways that I’ve been lucky enough to celebrate another successful orbit around the sun.
I am always so grateful to everyone that has celebrated with me. Although I’m incredibly thankful for any gifts that I receive, it’s always the laughs, new experiences and loved ones who have spent time with me that I remember the most fondly.
My twenties began in my second year of uni with a lovely homemade cake by my wonderful pal and housemate, Marianne. Looking back through these photos, I realised that this is the only homemade birthday cake that I’ve ever had so extra brownie points for you, Marianne!
As our house was pretty small, my friends very kindly offered me their house to celebrate my birthday so big thanks to the Rigby Massive!
No thanks to 2010 Queenie’s filter choice though.
Nothing says Happy 21st like a good old game of pass the parcel with dares, right?! Big thanks to Sarah for organising!
Of course, turning 21 wouldn’t be complete without sharing it with my long time birthday buddy, Em!
Jess and Soph also came to visit us so we made a long weekend of it with a night out in Wahoo, a day trip to the Winchester Christmas Markets, seeing Delilah at the Joiners and another night out in the infamous Jesters (the cock graffiti in the background says it all).
After graduating, I didn’t really know what to do with myself – working part time at Wetherspoons and a Chinese Takeaway weren’t exactly my dream jobs.
My mum suggested that I do the CELTA English teacher training course and teach English in Hong Kong – we had a family friend who worked at the language centre down the road who also highly recommended it. After seeing a careers advisor who suggested that it would be a good idea to make the most of being able to live abroad, despite having had no previous interest in teaching, I decided to take the leap. I didn’t have any better ideas at the time and I do enjoy a tropical climate.
I made some awesome friends on the month-long CELTA course and although we haven’t seen each other much since (besides visiting Anna in Paris), it was really fun to celebrate mine and Anna’s birthday together in Exeter. I also had another celebratory birthday meal at Amici’s Italian in Torquay with Leo, Hannah and Soph before a little drink in the classy establishment that is Spoons.
The actual day of my birthday was probably the worst birthday of my twenties which started in tears with an equally grumpy mum and ex, so the less said about that the better.
My birthday landed on a working day this year, so my colleagues very kindly bought me a yummy cake. I had a Japanese meal and watched The Hunger Games at the cinema in the evening.
The weekend was spent exploring Discovery Bay for the first time and Leo came to visit me in Hong Kong which was excellent timing.
My 24th birthday was spent exploring Stanley, a seaside village, in Hong Kong.
Evidently, my outfit choices weren’t particularly strong, but you live and you learn…
My parents also visited that year and we went on a day trip to Macau, had an epic buffet and watched the amazing House of Dancing Water show!
If you know me, you’ll know how much I love Japanese buffets and this was also the first time that I met Rico’s sister, Joee, and she’s a legend!
Turning 25 at my second teaching job in Hong Kong; this photo just reminds me of the satisfaction I’d feel after marking all of my books and having an empty box.
My parents visited this year too and we had dinner in Kowloon City – unfortunately the food had gone downhill from our previous visit, but it was still great to be able to spend time with family.
Ice skating followed by an Italian feast with friends in Festival Walk.
On my 26th birthday, I flew to New Zealand to be reunited with my brilliant travel buddy, Tash!
When I arrived at the hostel in Christchurch, she had a fresh plate of pasta ready for my dinner which was quite the treat.
The next day, we started our Stray tour with a trip to the beautiful Maruia Falls and ended the evening in a church that had been converted into a pub in Nelson.
For years, I’d wanted to see The Lion King in theatre and I finally did on my 27th birthday – it was absolutely brilliant!
Afterwards, we had a lovely dinner at Brasserie Zedel, a rather bougie Parisian brasserie with a 1930’s original interior.
A joint birthday brunch with Em at Percy and Founders, followed by ice skating by the Natural History Museum.
On my actual birthday, James treated me to a seafood lunch at Loch Fyne before visiting the Harry Potter Studios which was really fun!
I even got to open the door to the Great Hall because James let them know that it was my birthday…
For my final birthday in my twenties, James was incredibly generous and took me to Barcelona for a few days which was amazing!
I was lucky enough to have been able to really milk this birthday with lots of delicious meals with different friendship groups too which was excellent.
ALRIGHT THIRTIES, LET’S DO THIS!