Birthdays abroad are always a strange affair. Growing up you are used to a lot of attention and celebration amongst your family and friends. The day is all about you and how special all of those around you can make you feel. However, when you travel, a birthday becomes a time of reflection. There’s usually less drama and celebration. If you’re lucky, a few new friends will go out of their way to give you a day to remember but many of my birthdays in the past have come and go without much attention.
This year in Madeira, I was fortunate enough to have made a few new friends who joined me for a last-minute sunrise hike to Penha de Águia. The five of us headed up in the dark hoping for a beautiful sunrise and we were rewarded for our efforts with rainbows, sunbursts and great weather. One mate brought some coffee, the others some traditional Venezuelan arepas.
After the sunrise we had a coffee and breakfast by the sea and the guys surprised me with a slice of cake and a candle at the cafe. When you live in a fixed place surrounded by family and friends this probably seems quite normal. However something as simple as a cake and a candle is never a guarantee in my world. So, thanks to those new friends who went out of their way for a sunrise hike, a coffee, a cake and to just share the day with me. I’ve had many birthdays alone and they were fine, but it was nice to share the day with good company.
In other news, as always, here are my favorite photos from the week of exploring on Madeira Island!