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When you’re a kid, a teen, and a twentysomething, birthdays only require one ingredient to be awesome: loads of people. That’s the secret to a birthday celebration. Yes, there will be cake, and your fruit shoot drinks will gradually turn to shots, but the only thing that really makes the list is people. A valuable skill to learn is how to spend your birthday alone. Because as you get a touch older and start heading for your thirties and beyond, we all feel ready to switch things up a bit, whether we admit it or not. That is to say, we all think about opting for the solo route.
Sure, this may sound a little sad and loner-ish and the sort of thing that clarifies you will become a crazy cat person but, trust me, there is nothing wrong with a little bit of solo-celebration. In fact, it’s one of those things that will make your birthday really special. Think about it for a moment: when all you’ve done is celebrate with friends and carving out an occasion that they will love enough to plaster all over Instagram, you can guarantee you’ll gain a hugely different perspective of your birthday when you soak up every single second by yourself. There are so many solo activities to do on your birthday you won’t feel deprived. It’s being able to do all the things you love without any of the hassle, worry, self-doubt and second-guessing that comes with planning something with other people in mind, even if it is just their schedule.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I hate having a celebratory clink of glasses with our girlfriends on my birthday. I love being surrounded by my beautiful kids and amazing family and friends. But I’ve also learned that a glass of champagne after a solo spa day is an awesome way to unwind and have a birthday that is uninterrupted per se.
So, without further ado, here are some amazing solo-birthday ideas that will help you kick off this new chapter in your life with total clarity and fill you with tons of tasty self-esteem:
A much-needed spa day.
I mentioned it above, so it makes sense I kick things off with this one, especially as a solo-spa day on your birthday is pretty much the perfect way to unplug from the distractions of everyday life and the pressures of existing, and just unwind. Completely unwind. Get treated like a princess for a day, and let that feeling of dream-like relaxation lead the way. Not only will you feel totally refreshed and energized afterward, but you can do that little something you’ve been contemplating for months now (#rosewineandfacial).
Solo road trip!
We know most bucket lists are packed-full of far-flung places, but we all have a few dream spots that are a little closer to home. You know the ones. So pack enough gorgeous clothes to get you through a long-weekend escape, make a road trip playlist, burn it onto a CD (nostalgia for the win), and take to whichever freeway is gonna get you to that spot you’ve always imagined exploring, and do it alone. Of course, if you’re not one for planning, or just don’t want to plan this one trip, then why not let go of all control and let your wanderlust take you somewhere new. Backroads and wrong turns have turned into some of the best “vacation” destinations in our family. We all want to live in the moment, and surely our birthdays are the best time to exercise that desire.
Posh table for one, please.
It doesn’t matter where you live, phone up the most expensive, nicest and instagrammable restaurant in your area and book a table for one. The reason: foodie or not, everyone knows that nice food is what makes a birthday great. Sure, you might want to pack a couple of paleo protein bars because a) they’re healthy and b) most gourmet restaurants have a way of leaving you almost full but, other than that, go all out on this one. Invest in a nice, new wow-factor dress full of sequins, pair it with some Converse pumps, do your hair as nice or messy as you like, and head out for a night of scrummy eating. Take a book, plug into a podcast, just talk to those on tables around you. Whatever you decide, this is a real eye-opener of an experience.
Go see your favourite band.
If there is one thing we can all agree on it’s how awesome live music is. You don’t even have to like a certain genre that much to enjoy hearing it live. That’s its power. So just imagine how fulfilling it will be to book a spontaneous ticket and see your favorite musician up close and personal.
What’s more, you won’t have to worry about whether you can hear your friends talking, so you can escape the nosebleed section and push forward into the front row. That’s where the best times are had, where the best half-hour friendships are made and where it will seem like everyone is performing just for you. It’s the best.
Indulge in a staycation celebration.
What could be more awesome than waking up on your birthday morning surrounded by all the little luxuries that make life so sweet, such as breakfast in bed, a super-soft bed that you won’t have to make, a view across some new vista and the chance to explore somewhere new all by yourself? Nothing. That’s the answer. So forget all about wandering off too far and celebrate your birthday by booking into an Airbnb, a bed and breakfast or a boutique hotel in that part of the city that’s always intrigued you. It still counts as a vacation because it’s somewhere new – somewhere away from all those things that you’re used to – and you might just walk into a new discovery, such as your new favorite restaurant, a quaint bookstore you can’t get enough of, a coffee-shop that is just so you or a backstreet that lets you forget where you are. All that and you also get to indulge in a great big solo-pampering session. Call room-service and have your smashed avo on sourdough toast delivered to you before you take a long soak in the freestanding tub. Mmmmm. That’s what birthday bliss feels like.
So long friends – this is the new way to enjoy birthdays.