Globetrotters share what it’s like to spend your birthday with Intrepid

written by Sahar Aman December 6, 2023
a woman drinking a cocktail

These travellers decided to swap the usual birthday festivities alongside friends and family at home for a group adventure with Intrepid. Turns out that celebrating with people they had just met was the icing on their special day.

When a birthday approaches – especially milestone years – it’s easy to feel the pressure to celebrate in a big way. But not everyone wants a huge party. Here, three travellers share how it felt to combine their love of travel with another journey around the sun. By opting for a celebration with Intrepid, they were able to have a fulfilling celebration with new connections and embrace gifts like wonder, curiosity and adventure. 

I never felt alone for one moment 

After spending her 39th with Intrepid in the Galapagos, Brittanie Graswich knew she wanted to spend her 40th birthday on a group adventure. For this milestone celebration, she visited a dream destination that had been on her mind since she was a kid: Antarctica

Brittanie explains that when booking the trip, she wanted to treat herself to Antarctica’s wildlife and scenery, but in the end, it was her fellow travellers who made the birthday trip stand out. Turning 40 among humans who wanted to engage in discussions about climate, culture, science and education filled her with ‘hope for a great future for the next generations.’ She added that was an epic feeling to carry into your next decade. 

Brittanie also says that while she was with people she had never met, it was exactly how she wanted to spend her birthday. ‘I loved every minute of it,’ she said, sharing she has the personality of a golden retriever. ‘I enjoy getting to know folks from all backgrounds in life.’ 

Everyone on the boat sang Happy Birthday to her at midnight on her birthday. ‘We shared champagne with lots of laughter while travellers had fun playing the piano. Someone gave me a stuffed toy penguin, among other random sweet tokens that guests had found in their luggage… I never felt alone for one moment.’  

I felt on top of the world 

Many people plan a big party for their 21st with all their friends and family. Denika Wyngaarden wanted to go on a trip with people from around the world. 

‘I always try to tick something new off my bucket list for each birthday. [For my 21st], I decided to tick off Uluṟu. I didn’t particularly want to travel alone, so I thought Intrepid would be a great way to travel to my destination with like-minded individuals.’ Denika appreciated the convenience of having adventure activities and hikes mapped out, which made her birthday trip hassle-free. 

Denika and her fellow travellers enjoyed a memorable hike around Kings Canyon on her birthday. ‘I felt on top of the world… I was excited to turn 21. I’ve always looked forward to birthdays because it means I get to cross off a new adventure.’  

This was Denika’s first time travelling with Intrepid, and she enjoyed it so much that she might even want to work as a trip leader one day. ‘It was a unique and exciting way to celebrate a birthday. You meet new friends very quickly and get to share cool experiences with them.’

An experience that will stay with me forever 

‘Turning 30 is always a milestone, isn’t it? Some fear it, and some embrace it. For me, 30 was an experience I’ll never forget,’ says Jessica Mills, who plans a trip around her birthday every year. This milestone was no different. 

Jessica discovered the perks of travelling with Intrepid after spontaneously joining a trip in Costa Rica. ‘I never really thought a group tour would be for me after backpacking alone for the last 10 years, but I was wrong. Intrepid aligned with my values and gave me some incredible inspiration to continue working on writing my children’s travel book series.’

For her 30th, Jessica decided to visit Bali. ‘It had always been on my list, so when the opportunity came up, I jumped at it and took a friend along with me.’ On the morning of her birthday, an early wake-up call led to a magical sunrise at Mt Batur.

Jessica describes this moment as an experience that will stay with her forever. ‘Like us, hundreds of people were there for the sunrise. It was almost silent until Andy [our trip leader] lit candles on a cake. Before I knew it, hundreds of strangers were clapping and celebrating with us.’ 

‘Kay and Keith, two of my fellow travellers, had kindly bought some local liquor from our homestay to have a little [spiked] coffee shot in celebration, and [people from our group] had bought postcards with kind words of wisdom for my next chapter.’ 

Andy added other little surprises to the day to make it memorable for Jessica, like filling her room with fresh flowers and planning a surprise dinner with the whole group at Global Village Kafe, an Intrepid Foundation-supported restaurant.

‘The first day of 30 set the bar high… I can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings,’ she says ‘If I could pass on any advice, it would be to find the trip, book the flights, say yes to things that may seem scary and embrace every minute.’

Find inspiration for your next birthday with The Goods.

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