Last year I wrote a post after my birthday (28) so I thought I would do the same this year. Reading back at last year's post it's crazy to see how much has changed in a year. My birthday this year was a million miles away from last year. OK, not a million miles - 3396.08 to be exact. I was in Dubai.
My friend Paul moved out there a couple of years ago and I was dying to visit, so I figured what better time to go? I had such a great time and felt revitalised when I got home.
My actual birthday was different to any birthday I've had before. For one thing, I spent a lot of the day alone. For the past six years I've been in relationships on my birthday, so always had a significant other to spend it with. So being alone in a foreign country was certainly a first.
And you know what? I actually kinda loved it. As soon as I woke up I opened my cards I brought along from home and then had a very lazy morning reading blogs. Eventually I got myself ready, slicked on some pink lippy and went for a wander. I headed to Baker and Spice, asked for a table for one and ate some tasty pasta salad. Then I went to the Dubai mall and found my way to Sephora and Cos (AKA Mecca). I grabbed a coffee on my way out and sat in front of the Burj Kalifa to take pictures and watch the world go by.
When Paul got home from work we both got spruced up and headed out for dinner. Paul took me to a restaurant called Pai Thai which was in a beautiful setting and sold the best Thai food I have ever eaten. We finished the evening off with a couple of cocktails - perfection. All in all, a pretty wonderful day.
Something else that made this birthday different was what I saw for myself in the future. Last year I thought I knew exactly what the future held. I could see it clear as day and was so excited for it. This year is different. For the first time in a long time I have no clue what the future looks like.
While this is slightly scary, there is a sense of freedom about not knowing.
For example, being in a different country reminded me how much I love to travel. This combined with a newfound obsession with creating wish lists on the Airbnb app has given me seriously itchy feet. So I think 29 will be a year for exploring. Exploring different cities, exploring other cultures and yeah, exploring myself.
I don't know where I'll be when I turn 30, but I have a sneaky suspicion that it'll be somewhere new.