How Do You Celebrate Your Birthday While Traveling?

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Shawn Reece enjoying his birthday meal at McDonald's in Bogota!
Shawn Reece enjoying his birthday meal at McDonald’s in Bogota!

Tomorrow is Shawn Reece’s 14th birthday and we celebrated a day early since Jasmine is heading home early in the afternoon. While many people would choose the finest of local cuisines for their birthday meal, Shawn Reece wanted a taste of home.

On his 7th birthday, while we were traveling through Guatemala, we heard about a McDonald’s on Xela’s Central Square and he made us make sure to get there in time for his birthday meal. It turned out to be a disastrous day of travel, but he got his happy meal! Of course I documented all of my embarrassment for everyone to read at the time and it is still one of our most memorable days on the road.

Shawn Reece on his 7th birthday at the McDonald's located near Xela's Central Parque.
Shawn Reece on his 7th birthday at the McDonald’s located near Xela’s Central Parque.

We are currently in Bogota, Colombia and a full seven years after the aforementioned birthday, he once again chose the most American of places to eat. (In his defense we have eaten local food almost our entire time in Colombia!) In addition to McDonald’s, he also enjoyed a strawberry filled donut from Dunkin’ Donuts. Globalization!

While his birthday made me realize that I have been blogging for over seven years, it also made me think about how special it is to spend a birthday on the road. I personally have spent three birthdays out of the country including earlier this year in India.

While my Indian birthday meal was very local, on my 26th birthday, we dined at a Chili’s located in the mall beneath the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. We had been out of the U.S. for six months and nothing sounded better than a restaurant with free refills on both drinks and tortilla chips!

Shawn Reece's birthday desert. A donut!
Shawn Reece’s birthday desert. A donut!

My family and I are blessed to be able to travel quite often. While birthdays are special for everyone, they tend to mean a tad bit more to children. Traveling is about creating life long memories and there is simply nothing better for a child then spending their birthday on the road.

I’ll close with this, upon realizing that he spent both his 7th and 14th birthday dinners at a McDonald’s in a Spanish speaking country he stated, “Well I guess it is a tradition now!” In other words, we will be traveling to a Spanish speaking country and eating at McDonald’s at least every seven years and that excites me!

How about you? Have you spent a birthday on the road and what did you do? What made it special? Let me know in the comments!


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