Our wanderer Nicola turns 25 today! What better way to celebrate her birthday then navigating the world of Nicola? Well she couldn’t think of one either so here is Robyn’s Wanderings wishing her a very special birthday and a quarter of a century of Nicola’s travels:
A quarter of a century has come & gone, my friends. For me, at least.
For the third year in a row, I celebrate my birthday in Toronto, Ontario. This weekend coincides with two other big events in Toronto and throughout Canada - Scotiabank’s Nuit Blanche all-night art festival, and CIBC’s Run for the Cure.
Everyone is celebrating for one reason or another! Therefore, I deemed it appropriate to write 25 Things About Me. Birthday and travel-related, more or less.
1. I took my first flight at 4 months old and we moved to Bermuda… I slept the whole way
2. As a child, I was little enough to sleep on blankets on the floor below my family’s airplane seats on overnight flights.
3. I celebrated my 18th birthday in France, enjoying champagne and strawberry shortcake with my host family.
4. Two plastic figurines join me on travels: a California Raisin & Simba from the Lion King [Looking at that link for California Raisins, I found out that "Ben Indasun" is my toy!]
5. The first Broadway show that I ever saw was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
6. Katie and I saw snow for the first time when we were visiting family in England one Christmas.
7. My first winter sport experiences include 2 middle school ski trips to Colorado, and ice skating in Rockerfeller Center in NYC.
8. I saw the movie Lion King at the cinema in Africa, while spending a summer with my grandparents in Zimbabwe.
9. …Speaking of Disney, I’ve been to Disneyland California, Walt Disney World Florida, and Tokyo Disney… I have yet to conquer Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland & Shanghai Disney!
10. While visiting Japan for 3 weeks, I rode bicycles, developed a love for corn chowder, and dressed up as a meiko for a day [The meiko blog link is very similar to my own experience. I wish I had photos to post of Japan, but sadly they are in Bermuda, tucked away in an album... I took 6 rolls of film on that trip!]
11. Once, I fell asleep in my soup at a hotel restaurant and my parents & sister have never let me live it down.
12. While taking a home-video at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Katie and I danced around singing “We are space aliens, we are space aliens”. Oh, the good old days!
If you are reading this sentence, then congratulations – you are almost halfway through the list!
13. On my 10th birthday, I open a cereal box (nice gift-wrapping!), and dug through it to find 2 plane tickets to Oklahoma. My best friend’s family had recently relocated there, so it was my dream trip. We kept in touched, reunited in Europe & Bermuda, and are still best buddies today!
14. My week-long high school French trip to Paris served as a taster for the 3 times I would live in France as a student – in Lorraine, in Paris, and in Savoie.
15. Both sets of my grandparents moved to Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) post-WWII – one half from Croatia, the other from England.
16. Give me a window seat on an airplane any day.
17. The top 3 countries that I’ve been to that hold a piece of my heart are: France, India and Greece.
18. The longest flight I have been on so far is 13hr from New York to Tokyo.
19. After graduating university, I was treated to a First Class, overnight flight – champagne included! [A rather big step-up from sleeping on the floor of the airplane seats... re: #2]
20. My dream islands to visit are the Maldives… one day, I hope.
21. My 21st birthday turned out to be an awesome surprise party, although I had planned to do homework that evening…
22. When we visit my grandmother in Croatia, we go for 6am walks including a morning swim in crystal-clear sea – much chillier than Bermuda waters.
23. … Despite my affinity for Croatia, I must hark back to my adoration for Greece. Islandy. Laid-back. European. And f-e-t-a! [In fact, I'm celebrating this weekend by going out for a Greek feast... OPA!]
24. Hurricane Felix hit Bermuda in 1995, and we got our dog shortly afterwards from the SPCA. We changed his name from Felix to Chipo.
25. Lastly: Katie and I share this birthday month (October 17th and 2nd, respectively), and we are family friends with two sisters in Bermuda who have eerily similar birthdays (October 17th and 1st). We were meant to be friends!
Who knows, perhaps if I eat my vegetables and walk everyday I will make it to 100. If we still write blogs 75 years from now, perhaps I can write my “100 best travel experiences”. For now, though, back to the cupcakes!