Every year is the same. "Why don't you stay here for once?," questions a colleague of mine who enjoys badgering me about not sticking around town for my birthday. He can't fathom going on a vacation instead of having a party filled with family and friends. He's never tried it though. If he had, he'd understand why Paris, Norway and Kenya far exceed any Dutch birthday party gathering.
So once I cleared his spit fire questioning this time around, "You're not going away on holiday for your birthday this year, are you? Don't you want to share your day with your favorite colleagues? What about cake? Don't you like presents?", he decided to shoot out one more: "So then, where are you spending your birthday this year... instead of here with us?"
And that's all it took for me to be struck dumb. I had no answer, even though my birthday trip was less than a month away.
It wasn't for my lack of decision making. I knew where I wanted to go... it was finding a travel partner which proved difficult.
I asked 30 people... plus or minus 15. But we'll stick to 30, because that's a nice round number, and will garner more sympathy. Of those 30 people, 27 could either not take the time off, were already going to another destination at that time, or didn't want to go where I wanted. Wait... scratch the last reason, because 30 out of 30 people didn't want to go where I wanted to go, or had already gone there before.
The three finalists included one friend who wanted to go on a Baltic cruise, and two friends who wanted to keep things cheap and requested a trip to Ibiza. Neither destination tugged at my heart. I knew where I wanted to spend my 31st birthday... I knew it for two years. I wanted to go to Slovenia.
The Baltic cruise issue was resolved rather quickly... it was full, so we weren't going. However, left with the thought of spending my birthday alone, or subjecting myself to an island I didn't care to visit in order to spend the vacation with friends, I was distraught.
The decision consumed my life for a few days. I asked the opinion of everyone I came in contact with. I was stressed. My heart screamed Slovenia, but it also screamed friends. I was agonizing over it. Truly agonizing.
And then... I stopped. Because, during a moment of distress, one thought popped into my head. It said, "if deciding between Ibiza and Slovenia is your biggest trial right now, you've got it pretty good."
Touché little voice in my head. Touché.