Birthdays and travel go together like bacon on top of, well, just about everything. After all, who among us hasn’t dreamt of a 25th birthday spent stumbling through the French Quarter with a cocktail in hand, ushering in our dirty thirties beachside in Sydney, hiking Kilimanjaro the very day we turn 40 saying hello to our fabulous fiftieswith a trek along the Great Wall of China? As Orbitz blows out 15 candles this week, we asked some of our favorite travel scribes and online influencers to name their most unforgettable birthdays from afar.
“My 30th was spent in Chiang Mai Thailand celebrating the Thai New Year, a.k.a the World’s Largest Squirt Gun Fight. Adam spent his 31st & 32nd [birthdays] on safari game driving during the day and camping under the African stars at night.” —Hannah & Adam
Hannah & Adam are travel writers and photographers who have called the road home since 2013. Their passion for adventurous travel has brought them to 60 countries and counting. They blog about their adventures on their travel blog GettingStamped.com.
“For my 20th birthday I traveled to Costa Rica, explored rainforests filled with monkeys (one actually stole a sandwich from my hand), swam in hot springs at the base of a volcano and jumped off of a giant waterfall. It was one of the most adventurous experiences I’ve ever had and I’ll never forget the thrill, or the sting on the bottom of my feet from that big jump. A tip for future waterfall jumpers: point your toes.” —Kara Franker
Kara Franker is a Miami-based, beach-obsessed blogger at KaraOnTheCoast.com, editor-in-chief of a bridal magazine and a recovering lawyer who ditched the courtroom to be a writer.
“For my14th birthday, myparents rather wonderfully offered to let me go on holiday anywhere in the world I wanted for a week. I decided I wanted to go on an African safari, so we packed up and headed to Kenya for a week. Even my grandmother came along! It was an absolutely fantastic experience, and one I’ll always be grateful to them for.” —Laurence Noah
Laurence Norah and his wife Jessica are the authors of the blog FindingTheUniverse.com. When not out exploring the world, they are based in Edinburgh, U.K. Follow their adventures on Twitter at @lozula or on Facebook at Facebook.com/findingtheuniverse.
“Eight years ago I went to Australia for the first time, to celebrate my 30th birthday. What a way to exit your twenties! It was memorable for so many reasons: I was newly single, starting a new chapter and I went on this adventure with a new friend. (There’s nothing like traveling half-way around the world to hit fast-forward on a budding friendship.) I visited Melbourne, the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney—but one of my favorite memories was celebrating the New Year with thousands of others as we watched the fireworks go off over the Sydney Opera House. I’m married with two small children now; I’m so glad I had the opportunity to take this amazing birthday trip before life got in the way. –Nicole Pearl
Nicole Pearl is a fashion and beauty blogger who has written for numerous publications and whose work can be seen at TheBeautyGirl.com. Readers can also follower her on Twitter and Instagram at @NPTheBeautyGirl.
“After celebrating my 29th with a group of friends who delivered me a birthday cake that read: ‘One more year until death,’ I decided for my 30th to leave behind the cliched ritual of a big party and instead headed out to the Coachella Valley for a weekend escape in Palm Springs. I spent that crisp, January morning hiking Joshua Tree National Park in complete solitude and it was amazing. When I returned to my small hotel that night the owners had purchased a birthday cake in my honor and all the guests came pouring out of their room simultaneously and sang happy birthday to me poolside. Unforgettable, to say the least.” —Jason Heidemann
Jason Heidemann is a longtime travel writer who first entered the vocation via the LGBT-oriented travel magazine Passport (for whom he still writes for to this day). He is currently an associate editor at Orbitz.
“My favorite birthday vacation memory was 5 years ago when I flew to Paris with my best friend. We stayed at the Four Seasons, drank champagne at Hotel Costes, and danced the night away at Raspoutine.”